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Fineman and Robinson blast Sam Harris and HBO for promoting ignorance about Islam

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on 61 Comments

The debate triggered by Bill Maher’s comments about Islam on his HBO show Friday night, alleging that it is inherently violent and intolerant, continued on Hardball last night. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, Howard Fineman of Huffington Post, and host Chris Matthews all condemned Bill Maher’s and Sam Harris’s comments about Islam– on a show in which Ben Affleck argued for Islam.

Robinson: “It’s only like three non-Muslims talking about Islam– with a familiarity with the religion which frankly they don’t have. So as a debate per se I don’t put much stock in it or take it that seriously.”

Fineman: “I think what Sam Harris said was outrageous. You don’t call a religion of 1.6 billion people on the planet the mother lode of bad ideas.”

Matthews: “I’m with you–”

Fineman: “You just don’t. I don’t claim to have read the entire Koran. I’ve read a fair amount of it. I have lots of Muslim friends and I know something of the religion. And I think it’s fair to say that terrorism, that ISIS, the people we’re responding to do not represent a great Abrahamic religon and if I were a Muslim I would be completely outraged, however worried I was about a bad face of my faith being shown.”

Matthews: “When you say stuff like this, you are basically condemning a religion, and that’s a loser, because all it will do is just rile up people against you and it won’t change a single person’s religious commitment.”

Fineman: “Also it’s not true.”

Robinson: “It’s not true. It’s a ridiculous statement.”

Surprise: Michael Tomasky lines up with Maher at the Daily Beast, says he’s on to something:

Debates about multiculturalism are appropriate to a later stage of development of the infrastructure of rights and liberties than one finds in some other parts of the world. That infrastructure has existed in Western countries for a century, and it is the very fact that it was so solidly entrenched that opened up the space for us to start having debates about multiculturalism in the 1970s and ’80s.

But in much of the Arab and Muslim world, that infrastructure barely exists. So—and how’s this for a paradox?—to insist that our Western standards that call for multiculturalist values should be applied to countries that haven’t yet fully developed the basic rights infrastructure constitutes its own kind of imposition of our values onto them. A liberated woman or a gay man who lives in a country where being either of those things is at best unaccepted and at worst illegal doesn’t need multiculturalism. They’re desperate for a little universalism, and we Western liberals need to pay more attention to this.

Tomasky doesn’t address Maher and Harris’s claims about Islamic violence. As for the cultural critique of traditional values, fair enough; and I can think of other societies that need some more universalism.

 

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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61 Responses

  1. Pixel on October 7, 2014, 4:24 pm

    .
    While occasionally funny, Bill Maher is predominantly a sexist racist jerk.

    When Affleck said that criticism of Islam was like saying ‘You shifty Jew,” my immediate thought was, “Well, there goes his career.”

    On challenging the status quo, here, his good friend Clooney won’t be far behind. Not so much if he had married a Jewish Zionist girl but, as Debbie Schlussel describes the new wife:Amal Alamuddin: George Clooney’s Anti-Israel Druze Arab Chick

    • Kay24 on October 7, 2014, 5:12 pm

      This writer you quote seems very amateurish, and it is so obvious that she is anti Islam, and shows a rather crude side to her, when she attends a wedding she was invited to, and can write a very insulting article about her hosts. Shows no class.

      “The Alamuddins have similar allegiances. But they are definitely very anti-Israel. As I learned in my own experience at the Alamuddin wedding.

      And, so, I suppose it’s very fitting that far leftist, Obama superfan George Clooney would have a virulently anti-Israel Arab girlfriend.

      I wonder if she gets satisfaction knowing that she’s just the latest sperm receptacle, er . . . concubine, slated for future disposal wen he quickly gets sick of her and his Hollywood liberal elite Arabian Nights fantasy becomes boring. Just like all the others in the “George Clooney Harem Diaspora.”

      So Amal Alamuddin is anti Israel, so what? I don’t blame her, since Israel has attacked Lebanon her nation, so many times, still does. Amal belongs to the majority in the world that thinks Israel is one of the most disliked nations in the world. Not everyone loves Israel like she does.
      She also seems jealous of Amal, as she makes very personal attacks even hoping the marriage will not last. Not worth the read.

      • Pixel on October 7, 2014, 5:17 pm

        .
        I was being sarcastic.

        Debbie Schlussel is ridiculous.

      • Kay24 on October 8, 2014, 9:55 am

        Sorry Pixel, I did not notice it was your comment. :))

      • piotr on October 8, 2014, 8:39 pm

        Is Debbie Schlussel a simple moron, or she can be witty as well? She wrote “A little more about the Druze. Their religion is secretive, and they believe in the transmogrification of the soul.”

        transmogrify: to change or alter greatly and often with grotesque or humorous effect

        transmogrification of the soul: reincarnation as Debbie Schlussel

      • Mooser on October 10, 2014, 12:05 pm

        “and they believe in the transmogrification of the soul.”

        I’ll see your transmogrification, and raise you one transubstantiation!

      • Keith on October 10, 2014, 6:15 pm

        MOOSER- “I’ll see your transmogrification, and raise you one transubstantiation!”

        For some curious reason, I found this hysterically funny.

    • Pixel on October 7, 2014, 5:14 pm

      .

      Things are moving so fast, the next thing you know Naomi Wolf will be intelligently questioning the possible staging of the alleged ISIS beheading videos:

      .
      https://twitter.com/gcaw/status/518549774514286594/photo/1

      and then be pressured to walk back on it!

      .
      Naomi Wolf: Media ‘Distorts’ My Questions About ISIL Beheading Videos

    • Kathleen on October 9, 2014, 12:08 pm

      I believe that was Bill Maher who threw out that red meat comment. Affleck did not take Mahers bait which was clearly an effort to undermine Afflecks points.

    • Kathleen on October 9, 2014, 12:09 pm

      Again Affleck did not say like saying “you shifty Jew” that was Maher’s effort to undermine Affleck’s valid points

  2. MRW on October 7, 2014, 6:32 pm

    I agree with Fineman. I watched that painful Maher/Harris glennbecky routine on Islam and cringed at their ignorance, and the always-there-to-make-America-go-along-with-you statement about “women’s rights.”

    Newsflash. The right and necessity of treating women equal to me is enshrined in the Koran, and has been there since Day One of its writing. The only Abrahamic religion to do so.

    From Dr. Aftab Ahmad Khan’s explanation about Muslim women and their religious rights:

    The right in inheritance, 12 centuries before it dawned on European Christians and Jews:

    “Unto the men (of a family) belongeth a share of that which parents and nearer kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be little or much – a legal share” (Koran 4:7)

    Ending the pre-Islamic act of female infanticide when a daughter was considered inauspicious:

    “He hideth himself from the folk because of the evil of that whereof he hath had tidings, (asking himself): Shall he keep it in contempt, or bury it beneath the dust. Verily evil is their judgment” (Koran 16:58-59).

    Education for both men and women is a mandatory requirement in Islam:

    “Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed” (Koran 39:9)

    Forced marriages, “honor” killings, and women’s confinement to the home have no endorsement in Islam:

    “O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward God in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bear you)” (Koran 4:1)

    There is no priestcraft in Islam, no hierarchy, no Pope, rabbis, pastors, or bishops. They only have scholars. Islam is the relationship between you and God (Allah) and the words of the Koran. There is no idolatry–a big no-no–which is why they get so pissed at people attempting to produce a face of Mohammed.

    The myriad of different sects is the result of groups of like-minded people getting together and saying X passage in the Koran means Y. An extreme example are the camel-driven tribes of Saudi Arabia deciding to create Wahhabism, and hating the Sufis until after the start of the 21st C.

    On the other hand,

    The Kingdom of Morocco under the leadership of Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdullah, known as King Mohammed III, was the first country in the world to recognise the United States of America as an independent nation in 1777. This historic act by the North African Muslim kingdom highlights the relationship then existing between America’s Masonic leaders and the Moors. Before exploring this strange connection further we need to understand the part played by the Moors in the transmission of knowledge to Europe.

    Moor is the classical name in Europe of the Muslim people of North Africa. In Spain, where Muslims ruled for over five hundred years, Arabs are still called Moros. The term “Moor” came to be synonymous with “Muslim” in many contexts, for example the Muslim communities in the Philippines are known to this day as Moros. The Supreme Wisdom of the Moors, much of it derived from ancient Egypt, has come to be known as “Moorish Science”.

    The Moors provided the vital link between ancient and modern civilisation. The light of knowledge which illuminated the Moorish lands of Spain and Sicily was instrumental in dispelling the gloom of ignorance that enveloped mediaeval Europe.

    “It was under the influence of Arabian and Moorish revival of culture,” writes Robert Briffault in The Making of Humanity, “and not in the 15th century, that the real renaissance took place. Spain and not Italy, was the cradle of the rebirth of Europe. After sinking lower and lower in barbarism, it had reached the darkest depths of ignorance and degradation when the cities of the Saracenic world Baghdad, Cairo, Cordova, Toledo, were growing centres of civilisation and intellectual activity. It was there that the new life arose which was to grow into a new phase of human evolution. From the time when the influence of their culture made itself felt, began the stirring of a new life.”

    The Orientalist Stanley Lane-Poole acknowledged the great impact Moorish civilisation had on Europe when he wrote:

    For nearly eight centuries under her Muslim rulers Spain set to all Europe a shining example of a civilized and enlightened state. Art, literature and science prospered as they then prospered nowhere else in Europe. Students flocked from France and Germany and England to drink from the fountains of learning which flowed only in the cities of the Moors. The surgeons and doctors of Andalusia were in the vanguard of science; women were encouraged to devote themselves to serious study, and a lady doctor was not unknown among the people of Cordova.1

    1. Stanley Lane-Poole, Studies in a Mosque

    • MRW on October 7, 2014, 6:34 pm

      Correction: this should read: “An extreme example are the camel-driven tribes of Saudi Arabia deciding over 200 years ago to create Wahhabism, and hating the Sufis until after the start of the 21st C.

      • aiman on October 8, 2014, 1:36 am

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

    • just on October 7, 2014, 9:55 pm

      Many thanks MRW.

    • Kathleen on October 9, 2014, 12:24 pm

      Fineman nailed it. However still wish Chris Matthews (who smirked at the beginning of his three panel’s comments knowing how absurd it was not to have one Muslim on his panel) would have Ayman Moyheldin (easy to access because he reports for MSNBC and is a recognized contributor to MSNBC), Professor Noura Erakat and Prof Saliata on his program to discuss this issue more deeply. Racism and bigotry on display by Maher and Harris. When will Chris Matthews actually have a panel on who can discuss this more deeply?

      Anyone else noticing over the last three or so years fewer guest outside of the MSNBC pool of clearly approved contributors on MSNBC shows. Chris has his favorite Joan Walsh on but he used to periodically pull TPMuckraker reporters, and other in depth reporters outside MSNBC’s comfort zone on his program? Rachel had Prof Cole on years ago. Chris Matthews had Amy Goodman on once. Chris Hayes had Noura Erakat, Barghouti and others on some years ago to discuss the middle east. Melissa Harris Perry still going outside MSNBC’s clearly demonstrated comfort zone with experts on outside of MSNBC’s box. Years ago Dylan Ratigan had Glenn Greenwald on to discuss Afghanistan and other middle east issues (a segment to behold) I think Rachel used to have Greenwald on. However it now seems like some of those leaks in those walls of silence constructed over decades are being plugged up once again on some outlets. The other day on Morning Joe the round table group did not challenge a guest who referred to Iran having nuclear weapons as a fact. No one challenged this flimsy assertion. Now Andrea Mitchell has done this so has Rachel Maddow. But the unsubstantiated claims about Iran being made in our MSM slowed down for awhile. Are we going to watch these unproven claims increase once again as we get closer to the talks with Iran deadline?

  3. ron.was on October 7, 2014, 10:40 pm

    “ISIS is no Islam…”

    Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)

    Afghan Taliban

    Al-Nusrah Front

    Al-Qa‘ida

    Al-Shabaab

    Al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

    Al-Qa‘ida in Iraq

    Al-Qa‘ida in the Lands of the Islamic Magreb (AQIM)

    Boko Haram

    Central Asian Terrorism
    DHKP/C

    Greek Domestic Terrorism
    HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)

    Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin

    Hizballah (Party of God)

    Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)

    Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL

    Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)
    Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT)

    Jemaah Islamiya (JI)

    Kongra-Gel (KGK)

    Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT or LeT)

    Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

    Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan

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

    If one cartoon brought 200,000,000 Muslims protestors out to the street , than why radical Islamic terrorists beheading & killing other Muslims, raping women and selling them as slaves doesn’t bring 1000,000,000 Muslims protestors out to the street.

    Everywhere in tweeter, Facebook and the printed media, you will find Jews against Israel action. In fact, it might seems that there are more Jews voices against Israel action than Palestinians voices. Take this blog owners/founders as example.

    The question to be asked is, if Muslims as a collective, especially Muslims in the Middle east and other Islamic countries are for the action of ISIS. Not necessary, for the savagery ISIS showed, but more for the ideology of Greater Muslim caliphate in the M.E. and other places in the world.

    75% of Muslims around the world believe that some form of Sharia law should be implanted in their community.

    There is a collision of cultures and religions in communities around the world. Collision between Muslims and Christians mainly. As Muslims population around the world and especially in Christian dominated countries, such as UK, France Norway, etc’ grows, the impact of the collision will grow with it. There is no escape of it and “good words” or deed won’t change that fact.

    Muslims in western countries should protest against savagery of ISIS and not just protest against Islamophoba.

    Christians must understand that caliphate will be created in the Middle East, and it is not such a bad thing. Turkey is not far from that.

    • aiman on October 8, 2014, 2:34 am

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

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

      • Kay24 on October 8, 2014, 8:44 am

        To your point I found this article which shows the Imams in the UK condemning ISIS.

        If the zio media covered this here, maybe those who keep yelling and blaming all Muslims for not speaking out, might learn something. Perhaps Bill Maher might learn something too, since he keeps lumping all Muslims and tarring them with the same brush, ignorant style.

        http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-229-4878.htm

      • Horizontal on October 22, 2014, 10:18 am

        In fact, it might seem that there are more Jews’ voices against Israel action than Palestinians voices.

        If only.

        Then again, Palestinians seldom appear in our press unless they’re getting murdered by Israeli weaponry, but even then, their voices aren’t heard.

    • aiman on October 8, 2014, 2:36 am

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

    • bilal a on October 8, 2014, 3:14 am

      If you mean by Caliphate an EU-like borderless trade union of arabic speaking and majority muslim peoples, organized with freedom of religion as in Islamic Spain, I would say this would be a good thing for the region in bringing stability and a deterrent , even if financial, to western aggression. This is generally called self determination when not forced from above.

      Also recall that Shariah is a legal system based upon religious (natural law) precepts , BUT administered by judges , will leeway on sentencing, most of the extreme punishments overlap with the Jewish halaka -Leviticus from a time without prisons and borders, in which non Muslims are exempt, and emigration out of the jurisdiction was completely voluntary. I do not know of any Jewish or Islamic courts in today’s era which apply the Leviticus punishments –excepting of course the terrorist entities armed and funded outside of the religious traditions. I would much prefer to be administred under a Jewish halaka or Islamic shariah court than by the corrupt elite ‘justice’ system of chuck schumer and dershowitz, which by the way has created unprecedented numbers of incarcerated , even in comparison to mao and stalin;s gulags.

    • on October 8, 2014, 10:06 am

      Shall we list all the Zionist Orgs that operate in America and internationally to support the continued occupation and terrorizing of the Palestinians? It would dwarf ron.was’s list. Shall we vilify all Jews in America who do not actively oppose Zionism?

      I guess not. That would require applying the same standards to Jews that we apply to Muslims.

    • tree on October 8, 2014, 4:36 pm

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

      Wrong. You’ve just proven yourself ignorant on the subject with extremely rudimentary cut and paste skills. First off, you obviously did a cut and paste job from the “related links” column at the National Counter Terrorism “groups” page. See here:

      http://nctc.gov/site/groups/index.html

      Which explains of course why you erroneously listed “Greek Domestic Terrorism” as if it were a “group”, which it is not, and as if Greek “terrorists” are Muslim, which they are not. As the NCTC site goes on to explain, most designated Greek “terrorist” organizations are radical leftist in orientation.

      Likewise, the “Lord’s Resistance Army”, also on your cut and paste list, is NOT Muslim, but is instead extremist Christian, and are considered one of the most violent extremist organizations, engaging in wholesale murder, kidnapping, rape, mutilation, child sex slavery, and forcing children into combat. Again, for you to falsely claim the members of this group are Muslim just shows your ignorance on the subject.

      Does the Lord’s Resistance Army prove that Christians are inherently violent? Are all Christians everywhere supposed to protest against the savagery of LRA, or other Christian based terrorists? All Jews supposed to protest against Kahane Chai, Gush Emunim, or the Bat Ayin Underground?

      Why treat Muslims as a large group differently from how you treat Christians or Jews, as if they have more responsibility for everything that small groups do “in their name”?

      • piotr on October 8, 2014, 9:01 pm

        Perhaps “Greek domestic terrorists” are frat boys engaging in “date rape”, although once they made also a riot in my home town, due to the shortage of alcohol. However, most Greek organizations are relatively harmless, with puzzling habits (like starting weekend drinking on Thursday).

    • ASBizar on October 9, 2014, 1:55 pm

      This is totally true, but only half of the truth. The other half being most Muslims do not belong to these groups and are not a fan of it. Also Koran has both aggressive and peaceful verses, so ignoring the peaceful ones is again biased thinking which is a hallmark of Harris.
      See this: http://lettertobaghdadi.com/ as an argument of several clerics against ISIS on a one by one point. Have any media in the US shown this? no

  4. aiman on October 8, 2014, 1:46 am

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

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

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu'tazila

  5. bilal a on October 8, 2014, 4:09 am

    VATICAN CITY (RNS) A special Vatican meeting on the Middle East ended Saturday (Oct. 23) with a flare-up in Catholic-Jewish tensions, after an American bishop declared the Bible does not give Jews privileged rights to the land of Israel.

    “We Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people,” said Archbishop Cyril Bustros, a native of Lebanon who is currently a Melkite Greek Catholic bishop in Newton, Mass.

    “This promise was nullified by Christ,” Bustros said at a Vatican press conference marking the end of a two-week session of the Synod of Bishops. “There is no longer a chosen people — all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.”

    Bustros’ remark drew swift and strong rebukes from Israeli spokesmen.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/25/us-bishop-says-jews-have-_n_773657.html

    • just on October 8, 2014, 6:06 pm

      Bravo Bustros!

      • just on October 8, 2014, 7:49 pm

        Only wish he’d added all men and all women of all faiths on all continents…

        but bravo to his point about THE ‘chosen’ people.

        (it’s bound to get a whole lot of knickers in a twist)

    • Horizontal on October 22, 2014, 11:41 am

      Nothing like ending a meeting with a bang.

      Well done.

      I never understand people who point to the Bible as an authority when those same people wrote it in the first place. Now if the Eskimos claimed that the Jews were the chosen people, then they might be on to something . . .

  6. Faisal on October 8, 2014, 5:57 am

    Before Michael Tomasky gets all mighty and haughty about Western exceptionalism; he needs to take a look at those pictures; when he’s finished he can get back to his cultural supremacy and historical whitewashing about how West Asian and North African – and much of the world’s – civil institutions are in shambles

    • MRW on October 8, 2014, 7:13 am

      And Tomasky can put down his iPhone, which is only possible because of discoveries in Islamic Science.

      • Kay24 on October 8, 2014, 9:58 am

        A very good point MRW, it is getting a bit lame to hear the flaunting of apologists and how great they are to human kind, when it comes to their contributions in technology etc, but basically everyone progressed and benefitted by the initial discoveries from many parts of the world, including ancient China and Islamic scholars. Of course, you may never hear that acknowledged in the media. I watched an old PBS DVD on Islamic civilization, and it was really impressive.

      • just on October 8, 2014, 2:36 pm

        the peoples of the East were also much more aware of bathing, hygiene etc than the West………

        ah well.

      • ASBizar on October 9, 2014, 1:59 pm

        When Christians were burning scientists for saying the truth, there were several math, chemistry, medicine, astronomy, and physic scientists in the Muslim country who thrived and discovered many things. Having or not having iPhone has nothing to do with justifying bigotry. When you are a bigot, you are a bigot because you have a biased thinking and reasoning. While you excuse Israel murderous acts, you condemn the Islamic ones. This is bigotry

  7. pabelmont on October 8, 2014, 9:40 am

    Not sure if acts done “in the name” of a religion are therefore “religious acts”. Not sure.

    Was the creation of Israel (in terror and war) a “Jewish” act or an act done by a lot of (mostly socialist, irreligious) people of Jewish ancestry?

    Were the crusades (wars by Christians nominally against Muslims but also against Jews and non-Catholic Christians) “Christian” acts, or merely acts by Christians? How about the 30-years war (wiki: “Initially a war between Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmenting Holy Roman Empire, it gradually developed into a more general conflict involving most of the great powers of Europe,[15] becoming less about religion and more a continuation of the France–Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence.[16]”)

    One view has it that ALL “Abrahamic” religions gave (and still give) themselves over to violence against heresies, non-believers, etc. and that all this apparently religiously-based warfare is, indeed, “religious” (and we see Christianity as a major, major practicer of religious warfare. And terror (consider the Russian and Polish pogroms).

    But if, as in the 30-years war, the war was also about the usual — land, money, power — we may instead see a war BY religious factions ABOUT land, money, and power.

    In the current round of Middle East wars, insurgencies, etc., I believe we are seeing in part actions by those previously in power (Sunni) against those previously out-of-power but now-in-power (Shia) and, often, all of these against the American and European invaders, colonizers (USA, Israel, UK, France, etc.)

    Just as “turn the other cheek” is a Christian teaching which has not prevailed noticeably to dis-arm the American, European, or any other armies, any peaceable Islamic teachings seem not to dissuade the Islamic fighters.

    • aiman on October 8, 2014, 10:04 am

      “One view has it that ALL “Abrahamic” religions gave (and still give) themselves over to violence against heresies, non-believers, etc.”

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

    • Mooser on October 8, 2014, 12:53 pm

      “Was the creation of Israel (in terror and war) a “Jewish” act or an act done by a lot of (mostly socialist, irreligious) people of Jewish ancestry?”

      Are we talking about the poor schlimazels who went to Palestine as Zionist colonists, or are we talking about the machers who actually controlled the destiny of Palestine from far-away countries, and financed and politicked and minipulated and armed “Israel” into existence? Were they “socialist” or “irreligious”?

      • JLewisDickerson on October 9, 2014, 11:05 pm

        I say olde chap, pardon my French, but it’s not nice to speak ill of your Elders (“machers”); so behave yourself sport or I’ll Hurrycane® your sorry, irreverent a*s! ! !
        Capiche?

        P.S. Be a jolly good fellow and do not put me to the test or you will be sorely sorry that you did!

      • JLewisDickerson on October 9, 2014, 11:16 pm

        P.P.S. BadAss Cane – http://badasscane.com/

      • Mooser on October 10, 2014, 12:17 pm

        Dickerson, as the Olde Yiddish proverb says: ‘When I use a word, it means it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

  8. Robert Brooks on October 8, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Look, Maher is 1/2 Jewish by birth and 100% by life-choice. How he could craft an HBO feature on the rediculous nature of all religions but yet cling to a Zionist analysis of Islam beats me. Most Cornellians, however, are capable of such mental gymnastics. They attended a university that features at once no single religion and simultaneosuly all religions (via the so-called Cornell United Religios Works), yet come away with the deepest pro-Israel, Zionist convictions. Next he wil be sleeping with Ann Coultre, another nutty Cornellian. (Ful discosure: I have two Cornell degrees). So much for lieral education.

  9. pgtl10 on October 8, 2014, 12:54 pm

    Michael Tomasky talks about multi-culturalism. Why has tolerance for Zionism led to a loss of jobs. It seems people only want to critque multi-culturalism when we bash certain religions and cultures.

  10. AdamAW on October 8, 2014, 5:03 pm

    Glen Greenwald has written an excellent critique of Sam Harris’s views on Islam. See:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/apr/03/sam-harris-muslim-animus

    I particularly appreciated his comment:

    “When criticism of religion morphs into an undue focus on Islam – particularly at the same time the western world has been engaged in a decade-long splurge of violence, aggression and human rights abuses against Muslims, justified by a sustained demonization campaign – then I find these objections to the New Atheists completely warranted. That’s true of Dawkins’ proclamation that “[I] often say Islam [is the] greatest force for evil today.” It’s true of Hitchens’ various grotesque invocations of Islam to justify violence, including advocating cluster bombs because “if they’re bearing a Koran over their heart, it’ll go straight through that, too”. And it’s true of Harris’ years-long argument that Islam poses unique threats beyond what Christianity, Judaism, and the other religions of the world pose.”

  11. Misterioso on October 8, 2014, 6:56 pm

    PLEASE FORWARD THE FOLLOWING TO BILL MAHER AND SAM HARRIS AND THEIR ILK, I.E., MUSLIM/ARAB BASHERS AND HATEMONGERS.

    THE JEWISH CHRONICLE ONLINE, May 24, 2012.

    Audio of lecture: http://www.soas.ac.uk/religions/events/jordan-lectures-in-comparative-religion/14may2012-opening-lecture-how-islam-saved-the-jews.html

    So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews? – How Islam Saved the Jews.
    Professor David J Wasserstein.

    David J Wasserstein is the Eugene Greener Jr. Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. This article is adapted from last week’s [May, 2012] Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

    EXCERPT:
    Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity – also in Christendom – through the medieval period into the modern world.

    By the fourth century, Christianity had become the dominant religion in the Roman Empire. One aspect of this success was opposition to rival faiths, including Judaism, along with massive conversion of members of such faiths, sometimes by force, to Christianity. Much of our testimony about Jewish existence in the Roman Empire from this time on consists of accounts of conversions.

    Great and permanent reductions in numbers through conversion, between the fourth and the seventh centuries, brought with them a gradual but relentless whittling away of the status, rights, social and economic existence, and religious and cultural life of Jews all over the Roman Empire.

    A long series of enactments deprived Jewish people of their rights as citizens, prevented them from fulfilling their religious obligations, and excluded them from the society of their fellows.

    Had Islam not come along, Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance and Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult. This went along with the centuries-long military and political struggle with Persia. As a tiny element in the Christian world, the Jews should not have been affected much by this broad, political issue. Yet it affected them critically, because the Persian Empire at this time included Babylon – now Iraq – at the time home to the world’s greatest concentration of Jews.

    Here also were the greatest centres of Jewish intellectual life. The most important single work of Jewish cultural creativity in over 3,000 years, apart from the Bible itself – the Talmud – came into being in Babylon. The struggle between Persia and Byzantium, in our period, led increasingly to a separation between Jews under Byzantine, Christian rule and Jews under Persian rule. Beyond all this, the Jews who lived under Christian rule seemed to have lost the knowledge of their own culturally specific languages – Hebrew and Aramaic – and to have taken on the use of Latin or Greek or other non-Jewish, local, languages. This in turn must have meant that they also lost access to the central literary works of Jewish culture – the Torah, Mishnah, poetry, midrash, even liturgy.

    The loss of the unifying force represented by language – and of the associated literature – was a major step towards assimilation and disappearance. In these circumstances, with contact with the one place where Jewish cultural life continued to prosper – Babylon – cut off by conflict with Persia, Jewish life in the! Christian world of late antiquity was not simply a pale shadow of what it had been three or four centuries earlier. It was doomed.
    Had Islam not come along, the conflict with Persia would have continued. The separation between western Judaism, that of Christendom, and Babylonian Judaism, that of Mesopotamia, would have intensified. Jewry in the west would have declined to disappearance in many areas. And Jewry in the east would have become just another oriental cult.

    But this was all prevented by the rise of Islam. The Islamic conquests of the seventh century changed the world, and did so with dramatic, wide-ranging and permanent effect for the Jews.

    Within a century of the death of Mohammad, in 632, Muslim armies had conquered almost the whole of the world where Jews lived, from Spain eastward across North Africa and the Middle East as far as the eastern frontier of Iran and beyond. Almost all the Jews in the world were now ruled by Islam. This new situation transformed Jewish existence. Their fortunes changed in legal, demographic, social, religious, political, geographical, economic, linguistic and cultural terms – all for the better.

    First, things improved politically. Almost everywhere in Christendom where Jews had lived now formed part of the same political space as Babylon – Cordoba and Basra lay in the same political world. The old frontier between the vital centre in Babylonia and the Jews of the Mediterranean basin was swept away, forever. Political change was partnered by change in the legal status of the Jewish population: although it is not always clear what happened during the Muslim conquests, one thing is certain. The result of the conquests was, by and large, to make the Jews second-class citizens.

    This should not be misunderstood: to be a second-class citizen was a far better thing to be than not to be a citizen at all. For most of these Jews, second-class citizenship represented a major advance. In Visigothic Spain, for example, shortly before the Muslim conquest in 711, the Jews had seen their children removed from them and forcibly converted to Christianity and had themselves been enslaved.

    In the developing Islamic societies of the classical and medieval periods, being a Jew meant belonging to a category defined under law, enjoying certain rights and protections, alongside various obligations. These rights and protections were not as extensive or as generous as those enjoyed by Muslims, and the obligations were greater but, for the first few centuries, the Muslims themselves were a minority, and the practical differences were not all that great.
    Along with legal near-equality came social and economic equality. Jews were not confined to ghettos, either literally or in terms of economic activity. The societies of Islam were, in effect, open societies. In religious terms, too, Jews enjoyed virtually full freedom. They might not build many new synagogues – in theory – and they might not make too public their profession of their faith, but there was no really significant restriction on the practice of their religion. Along with internal legal autonomy, they also enjoyed formal representation, through leaders of their own, before the authorities of the state. Imperfect and often not quite as rosy as this might sound, it was at least the broad norm.

    The political unity brought by the new Islamic world-empire did not last, but it created a vast Islamic world civilisation, similar to the older Christian civilisation that it replaced. Within this huge area, Jews lived and enjoyed broadly similar status and rights everywhere. They could move around, maintain contacts, and develop their identity as Jews. A great new expansion of trade from the ninth century onwards brought the Spanish Jews – like the Muslims – into touch with the Jews and the Muslims even of India.

    All this was encouraged by a further, critical development. Huge numbers of people in the new world of Islam adopted the language of the Muslim Arabs. Arabic gradually became the principal language of this vast area, excluding almost all the rest: Greek and Syriac, Aramaic and Coptic and Latin all died out, replaced by Arabic. Persian, too, went into a long retreat, to reappear later heavily influenced by Arabic.

    The Jews moved over to Arabic very rapidly. By the early 10th century, only 300 years after the conquests, Sa’adya Gaon was translating the Bible into Arabic. Bible translation is a massive task – it is not undertaken unless there is a need for it. By about the year 900, the Jews had largely abandoned other languages and taken on Arabic.

    The change of language in its turn brought the Jews into direct contact with broader cultural developments. The result from the 10th century on was a striking pairing of two cultures. The Jews of the Islamic world developed an entirely new culture, which differed from their culture before Islam in terms of language, cultural forms, influences, and uses. Instead of being concerned primarily with religion, the new Jewish culture of the Islamic world, like that of its neighbours, mixed the religious and the secular to a high degree. The contrast, both with the past and with medieval Christian Europe, was enormous.

    Like their neighbours, these Jews wrote in Arabic in part, and in a Jewish form of that language. The use of Arabic brought them close to the Arabs. But the use of a specific Jewish form of that language maintained the barriers between Jew and Muslim. The subjects that Jews wrote about, and the literary forms in which they wrote about them, were largely new ones, borrowed from the Muslims and developed in tandem with developments in Arabic Islam.

    Also at this time, Hebrew was revived as a language of high literature, parallel to the use among the Muslims of a high form of Arabic for similar purposes. Along with its use for poetry and artistic prose, secular writing of all forms in Hebrew and in (Judeo-) Arabic came into being, some of it of high quality.

    Much of the greatest poetry in Hebrew written since the Bible comes from this period. Sa’adya Gaon, Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Ezra (Moses and Abraham), Maimonides, Yehuda Halevi, Yehudah al-Harizi, Samuel ha-Nagid, and many more – all of these names, well known today, belong in the first rank of Jewish literary and cultural endeavour.

    Where did these Jews produce all this? When did they and their neighbours achieve this symbiosis, this mode of living together? The Jews did it in a number of centres of excellence. The most outstanding of these was Islamic Spain, where there was a true Jewish Golden Age, alongside a wave of cultural achievement among the Muslim population. The Spanish case illustrates a more general pattern, too.

    What happened in Islamic Spain – waves of Jewish cultural prosperity paralleling waves of cultural prosperity among the Muslims – exemplifies a larger pattern in Arab Islam. In Baghdad, between the ninth and the twelfth centuries; in Qayrawan (in north Africa), between the ninth and the 11th centuries; in Cairo, between the 10th and the 12th centuries, and elsewhere, the rise and fall of cultural centres of Islam tended to be reflected in the rise and fall of Jewish cultural activity in the same places.

    This was not coincidence, and nor was it the product of particularly enlightened liberal patronage by Muslim rulers. It was the product of a number of deeper features of these societies, social and cultural, legal and economic, linguistic and political, which together enabled and indeed encouraged the Jews of the Islamic world to create a novel sub-culture within the high civilisation of the time.

    This did not last forever; the period of culturally successful symbiosis between Jew and Arab Muslim in the middle ages came to a close by about 1300. In reality, it had reached this point even earlier, with the overall relative decline in the importance and vitality of Arabic culture, both in relation to western European cultures and in relation to other cultural forms within Islam itself; Persian and Turkish.

    Jewish cultural prosperity in the middle ages operated in large part as a function of Muslim, Arabic cultural (and to some degree political) prosperity: when Muslim Arabic culture thrived, so did that of the Jews; when Muslim Arabic culture declined, so did that of the Jews.

    In the case of the Jews, however, the cultural capital thus created also served as the seed-bed of further growth elsewhere – in Christian Spain and in the Christian world more generally.

    The Islamic world was not the only source of inspiration for the Jewish cultural revival that came later in Christian Europe, but it certainly was a major contributor to that development. Its significance cannot be overestimated.

    • Mayhem on October 10, 2014, 11:25 pm

      Professor Andrew Bostom gave two interviews which introduced the factual basis for the obscenity-laden Maher-Affleck kerfuffle on HBO which has been almost entirely obscured. Read
      http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2014/10/10/from-obscenity-to-clarity-a-factual-understanding-of-the-maher-affleck-islam-debate/ and the interviews can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4niAf4BCR3Y and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoHE06voubA

      Bostom’s reaction to this guff from Misterioso:
      “This is the sheerest idiocy. Just look at historical Palestine where the devastating Islamic conquests effectively wiped Judaism–and Christianity– out, other than vestigial remnant communities of brutally subjugated dhimmis.

      “Moreover, look at the basic demography of Jews over this 600 year period from the mid 13th through the mid 19th centuries. In the md 13th 90% of the world’s Jews lived in Islamdom, and 10% in Christendom; by the mid 19th century those numbers were reversed due to ..what..”Islamic salvation?”

      So Professor Wasserstein’s views seem to be at odds with those experts who say that Jews experienced periods where they flourished under Islam, but nonetheless identify periods of great persecution, forced conversion from Judaism and Christianity to Islam, and above all, the imposition of the dhimmistatus of forced humiliation and oppression of non-Muslims. Jews were wiped out from the Arabian peninsula. Christians were wiped out from North Africa. It would seem at times more accurate to say that Judaism survived despite, not because, of Islam.

      The Wasserstein lectures seem to be essentially little better than propaganda to make Islam look good.

      • annie on October 11, 2014, 12:43 pm

        Wasserstein’s views seem to be at odds with those experts who say that Jews experienced…great persecution, forced conversion from Judaism and Christianity to Islam, and above all, the imposition of the dhimmistatus of forced humiliation and oppression of non-Muslims.

        Andrew Bostom may be an expert in his field (professor of medicine) but he moonlights as an islamophobic author specializing in demonizing islam and iran, he’s not an “expert”. you might want to use another example.

        Whereas Wasserstein is a professor of history specializing in studies of medieval Islamic and Jewish history. you might want to use someone besides a self taught gellar type to take him down.

    • MRW on October 11, 2014, 2:33 am

      Fascinating lecture. Thank you.

    • Mayhem on October 12, 2014, 1:38 am

      Please Robbins do we have anybody that corroborates Wasserstein’s view besides Misterioso who just reproduces Wasserstein’s whole paper without thought (a link would have sufficed)?

      Have a listen to Wasserstein to understand exactly what he means when he says that Islam saved the Jews.

      Living as dhimmis, paying the jizya and succumbing to ceaseless subjugation and humiliation the lot of a Jew in the Muslim world was at least better than that in Christendom. At least there was some hope. Wow!

      That is hardly cause to flatter Islam, prepared to let Jews and Christianity survive, people of the Book, so generously (sic) giving them three fantastic options – conversion, subjugation or death.

  12. JLewisDickerson on October 8, 2014, 7:03 pm

    RE: “A liberated woman or a gay man who lives in a country where being either of those things is at best unaccepted and at worst illegal doesn’t need multiculturalism. They’re desperate for a little universalism, and we Western liberals need to pay more attention to this.” ~ Michael Tomasky

    MY COMMENT: Yes, let’s pay attention to that. By all means!

    ■ SEE: “Israel’s Treatment of Gay Palestinian Asylum Seekers” ~ by Caroline Esser, The Washington Note, 6/06/11

    [EXCERPTS]. . . The newest way to sell Israel to Americans: LGBT rights. Search gay rights on the Anti-Defamation League’s website and what do you find? A ready-to-print and available for order poster that reads, “Which of the Middle East nations protects the legal rights, safety & freedom of the LGBT communities? Only Israel.” . . .
    . . . In their 2008 study, “Nowhere to Run: Gay Palestinian Asylum-Seekers in Israel,” Michael Kagan and Anat Ben-Dor describe in detail Israel’s unsympathetic and unbending policy towards gay Palestinians. . .
    . . .In pursuit of protection and the ability to openly express their sexuality, there have been at least ten cases in which gay Palestinians have sought refuge in Israel. However, despite their desperation, Israel refuses to even review gay Palestinian applications for asylum (those who have successfully received asylum have had to submit their cases directly to the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva). Moreover, gay Palestinians who have illegally entered Israel have been arrested and promptly deported–returned to the very environments in which their lives were at risk and in which they will now face further danger as they are questioned not only for their sexuality but for their choice to spend time in Israel. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2011/06/israels_treatme/

    ■ ALSO SEE: “Contradicting its own ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court legalizes segregated communities”, By Amjad Iraqi, +972 Blog, September 18, 2014
    The Israeli Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed various petitions against the Admissions Committees Law, which allows admissions committees in hundreds of communities in Israel to reject housing applicants based on their “social suitability.”

    [EXCERPT] March 8, 2000 marked a unique moment in Israeli history. In a major decision, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that the town of Katzir, which was established on state land by the Jewish Agency, could not deny the right of the Arab Ka’adan family to live in the town simply on the basis that they were not Jewish. This was the first time that Palestinian citizens of Israel successfully challenged the legality of “Jewish-only” communities in the state, generating cautious optimism that it could set an important precedent for Palestinian rights in land and housing.
    Fifteen years later, on September 17, 2014, these hopes came to an abrupt end. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court dismissed various petitions filed by human rights groups against the Admissions Committees Law, enacted by the Knesset in 2011. The law allows admissions committees in 434 communities in the Negev and the Galilee (about 43 percent of all towns in Israel) to reject housing applicants based on their “social suitability” and the communities’ “social and cultural fabric.” In effect, these committees are now legally permitted to refuse residency based on any “undesired” identity, including Palestinian, Sephardic, African, gay, religious, secular and others. . .

    ENTIRE POST – http://972mag.com/contradicting-its-own-ruling-israels-supreme-court-legalizes-segregated-communities/968

    ■ AND SEE: “Poisoning Arafat”, by Uri Avnery, Counterpuch.org, 7/06/12

    [EXCERPT] Tel Aviv — For me, there was no surprise. From the very first day, I was convinced that Yasser Arafat had been poisoned by Ariel Sharon. I even wrote about it several times.
    It was a simple logical conclusion.
    First, a thorough medical examination in the French military hospital where he died did not find any cause for his sudden collapse and death. No traces of any life-threatening disease were found.
    The rumors distributed by the Israeli propaganda machine that Arafat had AIDS were blatant lies. They were a continuation of the rumors spread by the same machine that he was gay – all part of the relentless demonization of the Palestinian leader, which went on daily for decades. . .
    . . . Arafat was the man who was able to make peace with Israel, willing to do so, and – more important – to get his people, including the Islamists, to accept it. This would have put an end to the settlement enterprise.
    That’s why he was poisoned.

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/06/poisoning-arafat/

    ■ P.S. FROM MONDOWEISS (by Allison Deger on July 3, 2014):

    . . .While the investigation is ongoing to find the culprits responsible for abducting, killing and burning a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem two days ago, police are not stating if the crime was “nationalistic” or “criminal,” which is code for whether the perpetrator is Israeli or Palestinian. According to the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 17, who was thrown into a vehicle Tuesday around 4:30 am and found dead and brutalized within an hour in a field in the western edge of Jerusalem, the police are looking at relatives. Yet all of Shuafat, the East Jerusalem neighborhood where Abu Khdeir is from, is sure settlers conducted a retaliation murder for the deaths of the three kidnapped Israeli youths Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrah.

    “They want the family to get the boys for questioning,” said Walid Abu Khdeir, the deceased’s uncle. “We refused this. If you want them come and capture them,” he continued. Police also released false information that Mohammed was gay, leading Israeli media to pick up the story as a crime of passion from an imagined homophobic family member. Richard Silverstein re-caps here.)

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/palestinian-murdered-answers

    • JLewisDickerson on October 10, 2014, 12:00 am

      P.P.S.
      ■ ALSO SEE: Israel’s bizarre decision to give up on education – and its future, by Ami Kaufman, +972 Magazine, 12/03/11

      (excerpt) Last week I came across a disturbing story, one of many recently, where Haredi school boys threw stones at secular Jewish school girls. [Because] [t]he schoolgirls were singing. . .
      . . . [W]hat bothered me more about this particular incident was the age of the perpetrators. These were young boys or teenagers, already well versed on the issues of female singing and its dangers.
      What this incident shows more than anything else, is the education factor and how it will change this country. And it shows how incidents like the one above are going to happen again, and again and again.
      Much has been said on the demographics of the Haredi community and the pace at which it grows. But not many know of how huge an impact Haredi education already has on this state.
      These Haredi rock-throwing boys learn in a Haredi school. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://972mag.com/israel%E2%80%99s-bizarre-decision-to-give-up-on-education-and-its-future/28962/

      ■ AND SEE: “Saving children from spiritual damage caused by toy pigs . . .” , By Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 12/26/10

      [EXCERPTS] Shmarya Rosenberg of FailedMessiah.com has a funny/terrifying blotter up at Heeb of some of the achievements of orthodox Jews in the last week. Go to the link to read the whole thing, but, excerpts:

      • Seven minors and two young adults, all Jewish and all thought to be residents of West Bank settlements or Jerusalem, were arrested by Jerusalem police. The Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox youths used a 14-year-old girl to lure unsuspecting Arab men to isolated locations in the city where they were beaten by the others. The gang is also suspected of mistakenly beating a South American tourist they mistook for an Arab. (Ha’aretz)…
      • An Israeli-Druze man who served in Israel’s armed forces and his four Israeli-Arab flatmates were forced to flee their home in Tel Aviv after local Jews, egged on by Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox rabbis, vandalized their home and threatened to kill them with a car bomb. (Ynet)
      • Earlier in the week, five Sudanese refugees barely escaped with their lives when their apartment in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod was set on fire, apparently by Jews upset that “infiltrators” were living in their neighborhood. (Ynet) . . .

      SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/spiritual-damage-caused-by-toy-pigs.html

    • JLewisDickerson on October 10, 2014, 12:15 am

      P.P.P.S
      ■ ALSO SEE: “‘Modesty patrol’ suspected of spilling acid on teenage girl”, By Neta Sela, Ynet News, 06/05/08
      Religious tensions at boiling point in Beitar Illite as 14-year-old girl attacked by member of town’s ‘modesty guard’ 

      [EXCERPTS] A 14-year-old girl from Beitar Illite was taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem after an unknown person spilled acid on her face, legs and stomach, causing light burn wounds.  The act has been attributed to a representative of the so-called ‘modesty guard’ in this town where religious and secular residents are increasingly at bitter odds.
      MDA received the call just before midnight on Wednesday and paramedic Dror Eini who arrived on the scene to treat the girl also managed to calm her down enough so she could explain what had happened.
      Eini told Ynet that “the modesty guards have been threatening her for quite some time.” According to the paramedic the focus of the threats has largely been the victim’s 18-year-old sister and some suspect the attacker mistook the younger girl’s identity for that of her older sister’s. . .
      . . . An ultra-Orthodox teen from Beitar Illite who is in contact with the girl’s family spoke with her sister who described the incident. According to the boy, the attacker stopped the girl and first asked her for directions. Then, after confirming her surname, he spilled a bottle of acid on her. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3552461,00.html

      ■ AND SEE: “Police arrest Jewish teens for allegedly assaulting Arab youth in Galilee”,

      [EXCERPTS] An Arab youth from the Galilee village of Majd el-Krum was injured lightly on Monday night after a gang of Jewish teens beat him with sticks while he was walking along the promenade in Tiberias.
      Police arrested eight suspects ranging from 14 to 16 years of age who are believed to have taken part in the assault.
      The victim, Mohammed Mansur, was rushed to Poriah Hospital near Tiberias, where he was treated for injuries sustained all over his body. . .
      . . . The group is suspected of physically assaulting Arab residents of the city, torching cars belonging to Arabs and trying to set fire to their homes. Police said the investigation has been going on for several months. . .

      SOURCE – http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1059164.html

    • JLewisDickerson on October 10, 2014, 12:20 am

      P.P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE: Nobody mentions the Jewish Brotherhood ~ by Yossi Gurvitz, +972 Magazine (Israel), 02/05/11

      …Like the Muslim Brotherhood, whose basic assumption is that the first process towards a return to the glory days is cleansing society of non-Islamic elements, the Jewish Brotherhood always claimed that non-Jews ought to be removed from Jewish society. In this, they enjoyed wide support from most of Israeli Jewish society, which was always racist to the bone…This process reached new peaks during the last few years.
      About a year ago, some hitherto unknown group in Safed started demanding employers sign their non-Jewish workers to a pledge to keep the “laws of the Sons of Noah” – i.e. recognize their subservience to Jewish law…Then came Eliyahu’s ruling, forbidding renting apartments to non-Jews, which led to the “Rabbis’ Letter,” signed by 300 Israeli rabbis [ http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/we-all-owe-israel-s-racist-rabbis-a-vote-of-thanks-1.330565 ]. Immediately afterward we were hit with the “assimilation” hysteria: The Rabbis Wives’ letter (apparently they’re denied political office, but are allowed carefully-vetted political expression), a ruling by the rabbi of Rosh Ha’Ayin forbidding the employment at Jewish women and Arab men in the same workplace; and the blood libel that Arab witches brew seduction potions, made of rabbits, to be used against Jewish females, particularly Orthodox ones (I sh*t you not)…
      …It should be noted that Israeli law already fights interfaith marriages…An Israeli Jew wishing to marry a non-Jew is forced to marry abroad.
      And, soon enough, his or her partner won’t be able to work alongside Jews…So, once again – which of the two is nearer power, the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, or the Israeli Jewish Brotherhood?

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://972mag.com/nobody-mentions-the-jewish-brotherhood/

    • JLewisDickerson on October 10, 2014, 1:16 am

      P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Rabbi Aviner: Women must not wear pants even when alone”, by Neta Sela, Ynet News, 05/02/08
      One of Religious Zionism’s most prominent leaders defines trousers as a ‘self-prohibition,’ says women ‘must dress modestly also when alone and in the dark’

      [EXCERPT] Women must not wear pants even when they are home alone, Rabbi Shlomi Aviner has ruled.  Aviner, Beit El’s rabbi and one of Religious Zionism’s most prominent leaders, was asked in a cellular Q&A session published in the “Small World” bulletin, “When a girl goes to relieve herself at night, is she allowed to say the ‘Asher Yatzar’ (‘he who formed’) prayer while wearing a short-sleeved shirt and trousers?”  The rabbi replied that it is permitted to say the prayer in such a case, but added that “in general, a woman must always wear modest clothes even when she is alone and in the dark, because the Holy one blessed be he is everywhere. And yes, trousers are a self-prohibition even when a woman is alone.” . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3552461,00.html

      • Mooser on October 10, 2014, 12:33 pm

        “Rabbi Aviner: Women must not wear pants even when alone” “

        The up-skirt video is a holy mitzvot! And must not be impeded!

      • JLewisDickerson on October 11, 2014, 12:41 am

        MY COMMENT: Be careful with the heretical comments; I’m practicing caning techniques using my new Freedom Edition™ HurryCane®!

    • JLewisDickerson on October 10, 2014, 1:41 am

      P.P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Woman beat, threatened by ‘modesty squad'”, by Aviad Glickman, YnetNews.com, 8/14/08
      Jerusalem woman who left ultra-Orthodox life after her divorce gagged, beaten by group of self-proclaimed ‘chastity guards’

      A 31-year-old Jerusalem woman was cruelly beaten and threatened with death by members of the ‘modesty squad’ who took it upon themselves to interrogate her about her relationships with men, an indictment filed Thursday by the Jerusalem Prosecution reveals.

      According to the indictment, 29-year-old Elhanan Buzaglo and six other men forced their way into the woman’s apartment in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Maalot Dafna several months ago. The Prosecution says that the woman once belonged to the ultra-Orthodox community, but abandoned that life after her divorce in 2005.

      After seizing the woman, the men toppled her to the floor, kicked her repeatedly and then gagged her, warning she would be blinded with mace and stabbed if she dare open her eyes. She was then ‘interrogated’ by Buzaglo and his ilk, as they tried to force her to disclose the identities of men she had been in contact with.

      The group, which also hurled profanities at the woman throughout the ordeal, is also accused of threatening to kill the woman if she did not move from her apartment. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3582713,00.html

    • JLewisDickerson on October 10, 2014, 1:49 am

      P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Israeli earthquakes are gays’ fault, says MP”, By Tom Chivers and agencies, The Telegraph (U.K.), 02/21/08

      [EXCERPTS] An Israeli MP has blamed a spate of recent earthquakes in the Middle East on gays.
      Six earthquakes have struck Israel and neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan in recent months, with two coming last week alone. Shlomo Benizri, of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas party, suggested that the tremors could be stopped through the simple expedient of repealing various liberalising laws on homosexuality that have been passed by the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, in recent years. . .
      . . . “God says you shake your genitals where you are not supposed to and I will shake my world in order to wake you up,” he added. . .

      SOURCE – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1579424/Israeli-earthquakes-are-gays-fault-says-MP.html

  13. chris o on October 9, 2014, 2:13 am

    It’s like, who cares what these guys are saying. But surprise, the liberals all condemn Maher and Harris. As do the commenters. I think Matthews was onto it when he said: “When you say stuff like this, you are basically condemning a religion, and that’s a loser, because all it will do is just rile up people against you and it won’t change a single person’s religious commitment.”

    But that’s what these guys do: condemn and ridicule these religions, Maher in a more comedic way, and Harris in an academic one. Of course, that does not reflect good manners and genteel sensibilities. But hopefully this is changing, because all you have to do is read almost any page of the Koran of the Bible, and you are struck by the absurdity. It is truly worthy of ridicule. And it should not be immune from criticism.

  14. Vera Gottlieb on October 9, 2014, 12:08 pm

    Are these people stupid by birth or well paid to say these stupidities? Last century it was the Jews who were being persecuted; this century it is the Muslims’ turn – in other words, we haven’t learned a damn thing.

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