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Orientalism at the ‘NY Times’: Muslims worship ‘Allah,’ not ‘God’

Media Analysis
on 71 Comments

The Orientalist bias is right there in the first paragraph of the New York Times report about Rashida Tlaib’s grandmother, who was waiting in occupied Palestine for a visit from the congresswoman that may now never come. Reporter Isabel Kershner described Muftiya Tlaib as

a 90-year-old woman [who] ran a string of wooden prayer beads through her gnarled figures on Friday, silently reciting the 99 names of Allah. . . 

“Allah” is the Arabic word for “God.” Why not translate it? When the Times reports on people in France or Spain, they are not described as praying to “Dieu” or “Dios.” What’s more, the Times would never have a Jewish Israeli worshipping “Yahweh.” 

This is basic Orientalism: Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims — they are fundamentally different from the rest of us. Even the “God” they worship is not quite the same — but a mysterious, exotic, foreign-sounding entity. This is how the press other-izes Arabs.

The implied subtext is: You can’t trust them, they don’t behave in the same way that the rest of us do. When they resist Israel’s occupation and theft of their land, they are motivated by some primitive, irrational force, beyond our ability to understand. So you don’t really need to reason or negotiate with them. In fact, you probably can’t.

James North

James North is a Mondoweiss Editor-at-Large, and has reported from Africa, Latin America, and Asia for four decades. He lives in New York City.

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71 Responses

  1. edwardm on August 18, 2019, 3:40 pm

    people insist on saying: “Judeo-Christian” too, instead of “Abrahamic”. Artificial and intellectually dishonest.

    • John O on August 19, 2019, 8:08 am

      It also ignores the contribution of Ancient Greek philosophical thought to the way we view things today.

      • RoHa on August 19, 2019, 9:06 am

        Western values and civilization owe more to Graeco-Roman thought than to Middle Eastern religion.

      • RoHa on August 20, 2019, 2:13 am

        Though one Middle Eastern religion, which was heavily influenced by Greek thought, was far more influential than the others.

      • frybulous on August 20, 2019, 2:19 pm

        Agreed, but you know what ALWAYS gets left out of conversations about our Graeco-Roman heritage? Before I answer, ask yourself this: Who influenced the Greeks and Romans?

        Who had the biggest, baddest empire, and one of the world centers BCE of learning and understanding? The Persians. Will someone please offer a theory about why the picture of where our roots come from never goes past the Greeks and Romans?

      • RoHa on August 20, 2019, 8:14 pm

        We get it via the Greeks, and as far as they were concerned Marathon and Salamis were the important bits. They were enemies of the Persians. Heredotus was denigrated for not being harsh enough on the Persians.

        (And you really don’t want to know what bits actually go into salamis.)

        Gore Vidal’s novel “Creation” takes a Persian view.

      • MHughes976 on August 21, 2019, 5:03 pm

        Have you come across Warwick Ball’s ‘Towards One World’ which is an interesting examination of positive relations between Greeks and Persians in ancient times?
        The Persians came comparatively late to the scene as an imperial power., becoming dominant in Iraq, the major population centre in that region, only around 540 BCE. There had been flourishing civilisation in Iraq for a long, long time previously – and Greek cultural debt to the Iraq/Syria region has been a big topic recently, dominated by Martin West’s book ‘The East Face of Helicon’, though I think there’s been a bit of a reaction against In the last couple of years. It’s a lively question.

    • RoHa on August 19, 2019, 8:49 am

      “Abrahamic” refers to a group of religions. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Baha’i are the main ones.

    • RoHa on August 19, 2019, 8:51 am

      “Judeo-Christian” seems to be a neologism. I don’t recall hearing or seeing it when I was young.

      • MHughes976 on August 20, 2019, 7:44 am

        It seems that the term was first used by Alexander McCaul in 1821 to refer to Christians of Jewish background. McCaul, whose own background was Irish, was a London clergyman and Professor of Hebrew at King’s College. He declined the Bishopric of Jerusalem, thinking that a Judaeochristian should – as duly happened – be appointed.

      • Mooser on August 20, 2019, 11:55 am

        “It seems that the term was first used by Alexander McCaul “

        I was thinking more of the first Judeo- Christian community in Jerusalem. (which the Acts of the Apostles give a glimpse of and call ecclesia). The “Hebrews” and the “Helenists”. Pre-Pauline. Before the mission was directed (as Paul saw it must be) to the ‘pagans’ and as a differentiated religion.

      • MHughes976 on August 23, 2019, 4:08 pm

        So much evidence about the emergence of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism and so little sense yet made of it. There is much reference in the Fathers to a group called the Ebionites, often taken to be a ‘Jewish Christian’ sect, but I think that that is part of a certain reconstruction of the Church as heroic struggle against heresy.

      • Mooser on August 24, 2019, 1:07 pm

        “a certain reconstruction of the Church as heroic struggle against heresy”

        Can’t let the Perfects become the enemies of good.

  2. Eva Smagacz on August 18, 2019, 6:47 pm

    “Judeo-Christian” usually applies to “values”, although I have never found what they are…..

    But I like the James’s observation. When we translate inshallah, we translate it as God willing.

    • RoHa on August 19, 2019, 1:27 am

      ‘“Judeo-Christian” usually applies to “values”, although I have never found what they are…..’

      As far as I can make out, they are whatever we thought was a good idea at the time.

      • Mooser on August 20, 2019, 12:20 am

        There was, for a short time, very early in the religion, an actual sect of “Judeo-Christians” before Christianity separated entirely from Judaism. ( “MHughes,” I think, would know about them.)

        As to why “Judeo” is added to “Christian values” today.
        The title of one article captures it perfectly: “Arguing in Bad Faith”

      • RoHa on August 20, 2019, 7:58 pm

        Thanks for that article, Mooser. Really informative. It adds additional perspectives to, but does not detract from, my own dark suspicions about the term.

  3. DaBakr on August 19, 2019, 5:01 am


    Um… A little hysterical nit picking, no? (I have silver prayer beads from a lebanese friend whose mother prayed to Allah using them along with a beautiful engraved small tray with the name of allah intricately carved.
    But then you have obviously succumbed to the brainwashing Edward Said perpetrated on so many far left socalled progressives in western academia in his seminal but highly flawed manifest Orientalism long ago.

    I don’t think I’ve met anybody (with a basic education at least) who doesn’t know muslims believe in one g-d and his name (among many others) is Allah

    • Misterioso on August 19, 2019, 9:14 am


      Sigh. When it comes to succumbing “to brainwashing,” you are a classic example!!

      To the issue at hand:

      “My God Is Your God” By JOHN KEARNEY

      Published: January 28, 2004, New York Times

      “Sunday is one of the most important holidays in Islam: Id al-Adha, the feast celebrating Abraham’s faith and willingness to sacrifice his son to God. It would also be a good occasion for the American news media to dispense with Allah and commit themselves to God.

      “Here’s what I mean: Abraham, the ur-monotheist, represents the shared history, and shared God, of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many Christians and Jews are aware of this common past, but seem to have a tough time internalizing it. Lt. Gen. William Boykin, a deputy under secretary of defense, made headlines last year suggesting that Allah is not ‘a real God’
      and that Muslims worship an idol. Last month in Israel, Pat Robertson said that today’s world
      conflicts concern ‘whether Hubal, the moon god of Mecca known as Allah, is supreme, or whether the Judeo-Christian Jehovah, God of the Bible, is supreme.’

      “Never mind that Hubal was actually a pre-Islamic pagan god that Muhammad rejected. Mr. Robertson’s comments, like those of General Boykin, illuminate a widespread misconception – one that the news media has inadvertently helped to promote. So here’s a suggestion: when journalists write about Muslims, or translate from Arabic, Urdu, Farsi or other languages,
      they should translate ‘Allah’ as ‘God,’ too. A minor point? Perhaps not.

      ‘Last August the Washington Post Web site posed this question to readers: ‘Do you think that Muslims, Christians and Jews all pray to the same God?” One Muslim respondent wrote yes, each of the three major monotheistic faiths ‘pray to the God of Abraham.’

      “Christian respondents, however, were equivocal or hostile to the notion. ‘Jews pray to Yahweh,’ one Virginia woman wrote. ‘As a Christian, I pray to the same God.’ But she insisted that ‘Muslims pray to Allah. Allah is not the God of Abraham.’ This woman might be surprised that Christian Arabs use ‘Allah’ for God, as do Arabic-speaking Jews. In Aramaic, the
      language of Jesus, God is ‘Allaha,’ just a syllable away from Allah.

      “Still, who can blame her? Earlier that month, NPR reported Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza City intoning, ‘there is no God but Allah.’ Last week, The Los Angeles Times mentioned mourners for a slain Baghdad professor reciting, ‘there is no God but Allah’ at the university campus. In September, The New York Times reported an assassinated Palestinian uttering, ‘there is no God but Allah’ before he died.

      “‘There is no god but God’ is the first of Islam’s five pillars. It is Muhammad’s refutation of polytheism.

      “Of course, there are distinctions to be made between religions, which the press shouldn’t shy away from. But there is no need to augment these differences artificially, especially at the cost of an accurate understanding of the origins of the Abrahamic faiths.”

      John Kearney is a student at the Columbia University
      Graduate School of Journalism.

      • Rob Roy on August 19, 2019, 3:47 pm

        There’s no god, but one created from 1) fear of death and the doctrine of life after death creates more stress than comfort, and 2) utter conceit…how can death just end me? when I’m so important, is the conviction of the arrogant.

        Silly, when you think about it.

      • MHughes976 on August 19, 2019, 4:36 pm

        As I remember, I grew up in the Church of England finding in it a sense of solidarity with others and of ‘light in darkness’. In later years I came, after some struggle, to think that the received ‘arguments for the existence of God’ are reasonably reasonable. (Some of the more modern arguments strike me as astonishingly incredible.). Such faith as I have does give me something to hold on to in the face of mortality, I admit, though I don’t think it’s an affirmation of my importance in the scheme of things but of my hope that there is some sort of a scheme of things somewhere or other. Perhaps that’s just silly but I hope not.
        I fully accept that the religious sense of solidarity can become a sense of angry alienation. The search for light in darkness can become an invention of very dark things. I’ve never that I can remember believed in demons, pace C.S. Lewis. I think that the idea that exponents of another faith pray to a different God is really a demonological idea, quite dangerous and maddening.
        The sense of different personalities or different levels of being within the divine unity – rather than different Gods – goes back to ancient roots, not necessarily angry or polemical. There is the mysterious pattern of the two names of God – El (with variations) and Yahweh in the OT – and the argument of Plato’s Timaeus, which was to be very influential.

      • RoHa on August 20, 2019, 2:00 am

        “There’s no god, but one created from 1) fear of death …”

        I’m not sure it’s as simple as that. There is no necessary connection between gods and life after death. Hindu reincarnation and Buddhist rebirth are simply the way the universe works, and require no gods to mediate it. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, descent into the underworld was pretty much also automatic.

    • CigarGod on August 19, 2019, 10:49 am

      How do you define basic education, DaBakr?

  4. gamal on August 19, 2019, 5:03 am

    “silently reciting the 99 names of Allah. . ”

    That has got to be one of the funniest lazy internet search transcriptions, 99 beads often divided into 3rds, with two little flat things I wonder if that’s significant, I’ve never known anyone to use them to recite the names, you could of course you can count whatever you want but it is not what people generally do and I very much doubt that that is what this lady is doing, perhaps it was too risky to beard a Muslim and ask them, dodgy fuckers that they are or perhaps they don’t know any, why would you.

    Isn’t Allah a moon god? blood soaked fiend that it is, just read the Koran or the Ahadith…etc ad infinitum

  5. John Douglas on August 19, 2019, 11:17 am

    I’m out of my range of competence here, but two points:

    Which word “Allah” or “God” is used by English speaking Muslims? My impression is that it is “Allah.”

    Second, I think I understand it right that “Allah” is not a name of a god, like “Zeus” is a name. “Allah” refers to a position like like “sculptor” or “president”, in this case a position that has only one Occupant, a position of Creator, Law-Giver, etc. So if “Allah” is translated into “God”, it should be “The God.”

    • gamal on August 19, 2019, 1:12 pm

      It is a contraction so God is fine as a translation. The definite article is used quite promiscuously in Arabic and flung around with gay abandon by one and all, that’s what I hear on the bush telegraph, damned unsettling business.

      As to English speaking Muslims varies I always used God when it came up it seemed best when I was speaking English, Allah is not a name, it is not a being or an entity of any kind but with 99 names and It does in fairness warn you about Its ineffable imminence.

      • John Douglas on August 19, 2019, 6:51 pm

        Thanks, gamal. As I wrote, I was writing beyond my expertise. As a descendant of Socrates, it’s important that I know what I don’t know.

      • gamal on August 19, 2019, 8:35 pm

        Socrates another one who had to drink up the cup, and so let us leave this topic with Aramaic in Jerusalem chanted by a copt who seems possessed by that allah ar-ruh al quds that they have along with the other two abi and ibni.

      • RoHa on August 19, 2019, 11:14 pm

        But how do you know that you know what you don’t know?

      • RoHa on August 19, 2019, 11:35 pm

        Gamal, I was told that “Allah” was a contraction of “al ilah”, meaning “deity” or “worshipful being”, so that “La ilaha il Allah” means “There is no god/thing to be worshipped except The God”.

        You will know more about that than me, though Allah knows best.

        The Arabs aren’t the only ones who overdo the definite article. The practice is found among other foreigners, and especially the excitable ones with thin moustaches, patent leather hair, and co-respondent shoes.

        The Arabs, like the Welsh, don’t have an indefinite article, so perhaps they are trying to make up for it . ( Also, both Arabs and Welsh like to start the sentence with the verb. I’m sure that, if we knew why, we would be able to solve many of the great mysteries of existence.)

        There are plenty of people who struggle along without any articles at all. These include the Russians, the Chinese, and the Japanese, poor things. When they learn English (as everyone should) they find the articles baffling. My wife has degrees from an American and an Australian University, and has lived in the US and English-speaking countries, with an English-speaking husband (turns out to be me!) for about thirty years, and yet she still sometimes asks me “a or the here?”

      • oldgeezer on August 19, 2019, 11:48 pm


        Donald Rumsfeld has an answer for that.

    • Mooser on August 20, 2019, 12:04 am

      I thought the idea is that the name of G-d is too holy to say, we’re not worthy of saying it, so we use a nick-name, or acronym. Or refer indirectly, like “He who…” (Wasn’t there a religious TV program by that name?)
      Of course, I only passed my Scripture Knowledge test by dint of a list ‘begats’ surreptitiously inscribed on my shirt-cuffs.

  6. bcg on August 19, 2019, 1:20 pm

    Maybe we should ask Jack Miles, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning “God: A Biography” about all this. He says….

    A friend asked me, what was the biggest surprise you discovered in writing the book? I said, Allah is more merciful than Yahweh. Understand, we’re talking about the same being, but the presentation (in the Quran) stresses not just Allah’s mercy, but also the themes of repentance and forgiveness. I should say, these episodes that involve biblical material probably are no more than a quarter or a fifth of the overall material in the Quran. So, my comment that Allah is more merciful than Yahweh is confined to that portion of the Quran…I’ll give two examples. Adam and Eve in the Quranic version immediately repent of their sin and throw themselves on the mercy of Allah and Allah forgives them on the spot. They do have to leave paradise, but if they live a good life then at the Last Judgment they will ascend to the heavenly garden. Adam and Eve in the Bible never do repent…Similarly, the Israelites, just after crossing the Red Sea, create the Golden Calf and God decides to exterminate them as punishment. Moses dissuades him from that, but still there’s horrendous violence imposed on them, a mass slaughter of the lead offenders. In the Quran, the Israelites immediately repent and Allah forgives them.

    And there we have it: apparently the Jews worship a nastier Supreme Being than the Muslims.

    • Sibiriak on August 19, 2019, 2:44 pm

      bcg: apparently the Jews worship a nastier Supreme Being than the Muslims.

      And by the same argument, “the Christians” as well. Whatever…

    • gamal on August 19, 2019, 4:17 pm

      “They do have to leave paradise, but if they live a good life then at the Last Judgment they will ascend to the heavenly garden”

      But in Islam Adam is a Prophet and Eve, never mentioned by name , Hawa from other sources, but they both stumble by eating the fruit no blame it seems kind of inevitable ” and lose their erstwhile state” how you gonna know Absolute Reality when you all self-conscious and stuff, it’s in 2:30-39, it’s a kind of “get out but call anytime darling” sort of ‘fall’ according to the Qurans that I have seen.

      It’s funny that the Quran can at once be sighted as an authority that grants Palestine to the Jews and at the same time be a Pagan tract, it makes sense Zionistically I suppose.

    • RoHa on August 20, 2019, 2:11 am

      The opening phrase “Bismillah Ar Rahmaan Ar Rahiim” is usually translated as something like “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”. gives “the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful” ( Burton idiosyncratically translates it as “the Compassionating, the Compassionate”.)

      But I recall reading (long, long ago) a study of the Quran which said that the most important characteristic of Allah was his insistence on justice.

      • Mooser on August 20, 2019, 11:22 am

        ” the most important characteristic of Allah was his insistence on justice.”

        Very similar. The most important characteristic of Jehovah seems to be His insistence on ‘just us.’

      • RoHa on August 20, 2019, 7:55 pm

        Aren’t you supposed to be stoned to death for using the J word?

      • Mooser on August 21, 2019, 1:38 pm

        “using the J word?”

        Right you are, I should have used the acronym JHVH. It’s been a long time since I was instructed in this.

        But ‘vengeance is mine’ saith the Lord: I just went outside and one of our chickens (a nice Buff Orpington) has died.

  7. RobertHenryEller on August 19, 2019, 1:29 pm

    The New York Times is not guilty of “Orientalism” in it’s Israel/Palestine coverage.

    The NYT is guilty of committed, consistent, lying.

  8. Hanna Kawas on August 19, 2019, 2:32 pm

    Palestinian Archbishop Atallah (gift of God) Hanna (John):
    “For us, Allah is not an Islamic term. This is a word used in Arabic to indicate the Creator who’s made the world we are living in. So when we say Allah in our prayers we mean the Creator of this world.
    In our prayers and pleas, in our Orthodox Christian religious ceremonies we use exactly this word. We say, glory be to Allah in all times. We say Allah a lot during our liturgy. It’s erroneous to think that the word Allah is only used by Muslims.
    We the Arab Christians say Allah in our Arabic language as a way to identify and address the Creator in our prayers. ”

  9. Mayhem on August 20, 2019, 4:08 am

    What lies at the root of Arab orientalism and is the real reason why the Arabs have resisted normalization with Israel is that their societies tend to opt for Islamic culture and reject Western civilization. The State of Israel is a civilized, democratic country, like those of Europe; sometimes even more so. The Arab world has been raised to detest this brand of civilization. Those calling to resist normalization with Israel often do not truly understand what they are protesting. They yearn for the benefits of European and Israeli civilization, but then spurn the genuine example of it in Israel.

    • eljay on August 20, 2019, 8:23 am

      || Mayhem: … The State of Israel is a civilized, democratic country, like those of Europe; sometimes even more so. … ||

      I believe you when you say that Israel is even more oppressive, militaristic, colonialist, (war) criminal and supremacist than the countries of Europe.

      || … The Arab world has been raised to detest this brand of civilization. … ||

      And you make a very solid argument for why they should detest this brand of “civilization”.

    • oldgeezer on August 20, 2019, 11:21 am

      “The State of Israel is a civilized, democratic country, ”

      No it’s neither civilized nor democratic. A democratic country is a country for all of it’s citizens and permits universal suffrage. Israel does not. It permits a subset of the minorities it rules over a vote, while claiming all of the land, and rules over the rest as a tyranny. Democracies do not support apartheid but Israel does, has been running one for quite some time and is now trying to get that apartheid formalized and accepted.

      Your claim is completely ludicrous.

      “this story of the oppression of LGBT activity in Palestinian society is widely reported.”

      That they aren’t LGBT friendly is quite well known. A lot of countries aren’t. And that’s wrong on all of them. Doesn’t justify the Israeli crimes against humanity inflicted on them.

      In addition they’ve spoken out on their own behalf and said they feel that fighting the occupation and Israeli abuse and oppression is a more important objective. They object to people using it as a some form of excuse against Palestinian autonomy.

      Hopefully once we can get rid of the terrorist idf forces then Palestinian society can address the issues it has on their own.

      “And try this one for size from Deutsche Welle US-Palestinian jailed for life over selling land to Jews.”

      Another lie. You’re falsely equating Israel with Jews. The crime was selling property to Israelis. Given Israel has been stealing their land for many decades and laughably Israel’s view that such acquisitions somehow imbue Israel with the right of sovereignty over the land it’s a totally sensible and practical law. They would be fools not to criminalize such transactions. Of course Palestinians face the same hurdles buying Israeli land and aren’t permitted the use of it even when they own it.

      ” where apparently the despicable UN forces in the area didn’t lift a finger to stop the terrorists or to put out the fires.”

      They aren’t firefighters and they aren’t there as enforcers but observers. The only despicable thing is you’re defaming them when they’re operating under rules of engagement essentially dictated by the US/Israel.

      “It’s quite extraordinary how Israel manages to exist with such repressive regimes and terrorists at its doorstep.”

      lol Israel is most repressive regime in the region. It oppresses millions of Palestinians every single day. And in violation of IHL.

      Israel is a rogue terrorist state.

      “They yearn for the benefits of European and Israeli civilization, but then spurn the genuine example of it in Israel.”

      The last thing this world needs is another state like Israel. We don’t even need Israel as it currently stands. It’s an egregious human rights abuser, a rogue state, an expansionist state. It’s a murderous state.

    • Mooser on August 20, 2019, 11:42 am

      “What lies at the root of Arab orientalism…”

      You don’t have the slightest clue what “orientalism” means, do you?

      • James North on August 20, 2019, 1:23 pm

        I always thought “Mayhem” was a real commenter, but this incomprehensible mention of “Arab orientalism!” makes me wonder if you haven’t been even more actively manufacturing sock puppets than I realized. “Steve Grover,” then “Emet” and now this sleeper commenter: “Mayhem.” Wheels within wheels. Once again, my hat is off to you.

      • eljay on August 20, 2019, 1:50 pm

        || James North: … “Steve Grover,” then “Emet” and now this sleeper commenter: “Mayhem.” Wheels within wheels. … ||


      • Mooser on August 20, 2019, 3:51 pm

        “James North”, as Randy Newman says “You Can Keep Your Hat On”.
        While they are undoubtedly sock-puppets, they’re not mine.

        They are much better than my one mawkish attempt. I can only imagine the deep grievances and disgust which might cause a person to present Zionists in this fashion.

    • oldgeezer on August 20, 2019, 12:12 pm

      The fiction of Israel as a democracy in a nutshell. There is nothing democratic about Israel.

      • mondonut on August 20, 2019, 1:35 pm

        Sure it is. Because the true test of a democracy is permitting non-citizens and non-residents to vote in national elections and elect leadership.

      • Bumblebye on August 20, 2019, 1:43 pm

        I had to laugh at what that was in reply to. “Benny” (Johnson), Chief *Creative* Officer at Turning Point USA, calling Ilhan an antisemite and liar for claiming israel is not an ally (so where’s the treaty?), for claiming israel occupies Palestinian land (he obviously is in denial of history), and saying it shouldn’t receive US aid.

        Chief liar of TPUSA fulfills job description by turning truth on its head!

      • eljay on August 20, 2019, 2:01 pm

        || mon donut: Sure it is. Because the true test of a democracy is permitting non-citizens and non-residents to vote in national elections and elect leadership. ||

        Israel permits its non-Jewish refugees, all Israeli non-residents and all non-Israelis under its military occupation (a.k.a. non-citizens) to vote in its national elections and to elect Israeli leadership? That’s news.

      • oldgeezer on August 20, 2019, 7:32 pm


        Typical bad faith argument from a lying zionist. Not worthy of any response beyond noting what it is.

      • mondonut on August 20, 2019, 8:34 pm

        @oldgeezer Typical bad faith argument from a lying zionist

        Tell us about all the countries you consider democracies that permit non-citizen, non-residents to vote in their national elections. As you consider that privilege to be a hallmark of democracy I am sure you can name dozens of them.

        I’ll wait.

      • oldgeezer on August 20, 2019, 10:27 pm


        I hope you do. I hope you hold your breath. I don’t waste my time with bad faith lying zionists. That’s you and times up.

      • Talkback on August 21, 2019, 6:04 am

        mondonut: “Tell us about all the countries you consider democracies that permit non-citizen, non-residents to vote in their national elections.”

        Tell us about all the countries YOU consider democracies that need to keep the native population expelled and denationalized to manipulate the outcome of an election in favour of one group of people which are legally considered to be the only nationals of this state contrary to the rest of its citizens.

      • mondonut on August 21, 2019, 4:07 pm

        oldgeezer Typical bad faith argument from a lying zionist.

        So the oldgeezer declares there is nothing democratic about Israel on the basis of not allowing non-citizen, non-residents to vote. And when pressed on which democracies permit this absurdity it immediately becomes a bad faith argument.

        As in it’s bad faith to to ask you to support your very own argument.

      • eljay on August 21, 2019, 6:23 pm
      • oldgeezer on August 21, 2019, 10:06 pm


        “it immediately becomes a bad faith argument.”

        Another lie. Only to be expected of you. I had already told you that you lie and argue in bad faith before you ask me to do so. Over an hour before for that matter.

        Thank you for proving my point. If you didn’t mean to then you can add “idiot” to the list of descriptors I have for you.

  10. amigo on August 20, 2019, 3:23 pm

    mondonut, is happy with his beloved rogue nation which has reached the dizzy heights of being a flawed democracy.

    Mondonut claims it is still a democracy but omits a few relevant facts.

    The so called democracy whose Nation state law endows the right to Self determination on its Jewish citizens only.

    The so called democracy whose 40 plus discriminatory laws were enacted to make the lives of non Jewish citizens so unbearable , they would leave.

    The so called democracy that demolishes Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem land and then grants building permits to illegal squatters to build illegal squats on said land.

    Democracy my a%%. It,s not even a flawed democracy.

    How much does HC pay to own your flawed soul , mondonutter.

    • Talkback on August 21, 2019, 6:10 am

      mondonut’s test for Jewish democracies is if they if a democracy is Jewish or not. If it is Jewish than it is “democratic”. If it isn’t Jewish it is “destroyed”.

  11. Nathan on August 20, 2019, 9:08 pm

    I would suggest to James North that he grab an English translation of the Quran. Already in the opening line he would read: “In the name of Allah…” Should we now assume that the implied subtext of the typical Quran translation is: “You can’t trust them, they don’t behave in the same way that the rest of us do… they are motivated by some primitive, irrational force, beyond our ability to understand”? No, there is no implied subtext. It’s a figment of the Mondoweiss imagination. Actually, the entire article is just absolute silliness.

    James North tells us that “Yahweh” is translated into English just like the French “dieu” or the Spanish “dios” (i.e. “God”). Well, no, that’s not so. It’s really quite a simple matter, so it’s really amazing that it’s not common knowledge even in an anti-Israel publication. The Hebrew word for God is “elohim”. The NAME of the Biblical God of Israel is “Yahweh”. I would suggest that the staff of Mondoweiss take a quick course in the abc’s of the cultures of the Middle East. It’s a good idea to comment about things that you actually know something about.

    • RoHa on August 20, 2019, 9:50 pm

      I hope you are not suggesting that the English phrase “in the name of X” implies that X is the name. It does not in the phrases “in the name of the King”, “in the name of the Law”, “in the name of God”, “in the name of love”, “in the name of all that is holy”, and so forth.

      I will let Gamal tell us what “bi ism” implies.

    • RoHa on August 21, 2019, 1:16 am

      And it depends on which translation you pick up. Most seem to use “Allah”, but there are several (translated by Muslims) which use “God”.

      Whether or not “Allah” is a name seems to be a matter of some disagreement. The

      site is quite firm that “Allah” simply means “God”.

      On the other hand, Maulana Muhammad Ali is similarly firm in declaring that “Allah” is a name, and not a contraction of al-ilah.

      (See footnote 2 of his translation in the 1951 edition.)

      It seems very odd to me that a single, unique, being would give himself a name for us to call him by. It is rather like the Universe saying, “Hi, I’m the Universe. You can call me Steve.”

      • RoHa on August 21, 2019, 6:49 am

        I’m working on the assumption that there is only one universe.

        If there are, in fact, multiple universes, it would make perfect sense for them to have names in order to keep their affairs in order. And they might as well be called “Bob” and “Ted”, and “Carol” and “Alice” for the lady universes. There probably are lady universes these days. There might even be gentleman universes who claim to actually be lady universes, but such matters are beyond the limits of my cosmological speculations.

      • Mooser on August 21, 2019, 1:40 pm

        “I’m working on the assumption that there is only one universe.”

        Linear or cyclical time in your one universe?

      • RoHa on August 22, 2019, 1:03 am

        The problem I have with linear time is that it is either unbounded at one or both ends (infinite past, infinite future, both) or bounded at one or both ends (first moment, last moment, both.)

        I am simply incapable of really grasping infinities. I know what the ideas are supposed to mean, but actually conceiving such a thing is beyond my mental capacities. Thus, I cannot hold the concept of unbounded time.

        But the nature of time seems to be such that a moment with no preceding moment, or a moment with no succeeding moment is impossible. Again, I cannot conceive of such things.

        It would, perhaps, be a mistake to assume that reality cannot exceed my mental capacities. Time may be linear and yet incomprehensible to me. But I must, necessarily, think within the limits of my powers.

        Circular time, in which the far distant past is also the far distant future, does not have these problems. It is both finite and unbounded. For this reason, I would accept the idea, if I did not suspect that it is totally crazy.

        Though what is one more crazy idea to add to those I already hold?

    • RoHa on August 21, 2019, 6:19 am

      Of course the translators of the Qur’an are not offering the subtext you suggest. They are trying to present a fair translation.

      But the NYT writer is not translating anything. Probably she did not consciously intend such a subtext. It was simply part of her basic assumptions.

    • Talkback on August 21, 2019, 6:32 am

      “Elohim” refers to “deities” and is also one name of G-d in the Hebrew bible. The others are Ehyeh, El , Eloah, Elohim, Shaddai, Tzevaot and YHWH. So each one of them would be simply translated to “God” and I have never read an non academic publication where one of the names were used instead of “God” or “the Hebrew God”.

      But if it is ok for you we simply could write that Jews are not praying to God, but to their “national God” or “Yahweh”. That would be an improvement, right?

      • Mooser on August 21, 2019, 4:41 pm

        “But if it is ok for you we simply could write that Jews are not praying to God, but to their “national God” or “Yahweh”. That would be an improvement, right?”

        Why, that would be just the thing to restore the relations between Jews and non-Jews to their good ol’ traditional footing!

      • MHughes976 on August 21, 2019, 5:36 pm

        John Day’s book ‘Yahweh and the Canaanite Gods and Goddesses’ is helpful. I’d concede to Nathan that most people who think on these things would say ‘Yahweh’ if asked ‘what is the Biblical name of God?’ – on the other hand it seems natural, though slightly inconsistent, to say that ‘El’ – also in its extended forms – is a name of God in the Bible. That is because of the rather mysterious, tantalising relationship between these terms of reference. Is their puzzling alternation just a matter of compilation from different sources or is a subtle theological point being made for those who attend carefully?
        I think that Jews would not be offended if an evangelical preacher cried ‘Jehovah was worshipped on the Temple Mount 3000 years ago!’ That’s because Jehovah would be a familiar version of the Name of God in his circles.
        I think it possible that the NYT was making a respectful reference to the lady’s faith, ‘Allah’ bring a familiar term in the West. We shouldn’t let ourselves get into the mood whereby every time the NYT opens its mouth we jump down its throat. We don’t want to resemble those who see anti-Semitism under every verbal bed.

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