Fitna, the horror movie


by Sunny
31st March, 2008 at 9:06 am    

The Dutch politician/demagogue Geert Wilders has released an anti-Islam film or something called Fitna. After hyping it for so long as the event to generate a clash of civilisations, I’m rather disappointed that the whole thing is such a damp squib and, to boot, boring as fuck. I mean really – you can fall asleep watching that shit.

Unsurprisingly, the usual idiots are getting into a frenzy. OMG, the website which originally hosted it had to take it down!!!!!!!!!!!! Erm, its all over YouTube or Google Video if you want boys, that ‘censorship’ stuff looks like a PR stunt. Some people really have boring lives.

But here’s two points to consider. First, Wilders himself isn’t really as liberal as he claims to be because he wants Islam the religion itself to be banned from the Netherlands. Yes, only a complete bunch of dimwits would proudly stand shoulder-to-shoulder against censorship with an idiot politician who wants… erm.. censorship.

Second, guess who else loves the film? Omar Bakri! Yes! “On the contrary, if we leave out the first images and the sound of the page being torn, it could be a film by the [Islamist] Mujahideen,” he told the FT. Another journalist I spoke to yesterday said he actively praised it because he said it was much better quality than what the mujahadeen were producing it, but with the same message.

It’s not surprising if you think about it. Both Omar Bakri and the Melanie Phillips/Geert Wilders types think the ‘clash of civilisation’ is nearly upon us and went it to arrive asap. All of them are also united in wanting Muslims to become/look like nutcases. In other words, Omar Bakri and Melanie Phillips both appreciate it because it fits in nicely with their agendas. What better illustration that they’re all nutcases? They all deserve each other.


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  1. Avi Cohen — on 31st March, 2008 at 10:43 am  

    The good thing is that so far the reaction to the film has been mixed and there hasn’t been the response people expected.

    No doubt the very people you mention will whip up the masses.

    As I mentioned in another thread here this article is interesting perspective:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/129237/page/1

    For Mel and Omar it is a long overdue blessing to spout their lines which they have probably been dying to get in so the flames they are igniting catch fire.

    Best thing to do is for Muslims to open up and refute what is being said by reaching out to the communities.

    It is time for change and the mad worlds of Wilders, Phillips and Bakri to be consigned to history and for people of all communties to show these nutters for what they are.

  2. bananabrain — on 31st March, 2008 at 10:50 am  

    it reminds me a little of the US evangelists who hop up and down in glee every time richard dawkins says something particularly bigoted about religion – he’s their best recruiting-sergeant because of his lack of proportion.

    even so, i would be reluctant to equate mel phillips with omar bakri! that feels like purest relativism to me.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  3. Avi Cohen — on 31st March, 2008 at 11:48 am  

    BB – Oh please they are cut from the same cloth.

    Both rant and rave about their opinion.

    Both have media exposure.

    Both harp on about extremism in the other community.

    Both are sensationalist and slight detached from what goes on at ground level.

    Both are despised within their community.

    Both cause inter-community strife.

    etc.

    If anything Mel is more dangerous as she has a bigger following.

    BB – Go stand in the corner for misbehaving and supporting Mel ;-)

  4. Anas — on 31st March, 2008 at 12:33 pm  

    Second, guess who else loves the film? Omar Bakri! Yes! “On the contrary, if we leave out the first images and the sound of the page being torn, it could be a film by the [Islamist] Mujahideen,” he told the FT. Another journalist I spoke to yesterday said he actively praised it because he said it was much better quality than what the mujahadeen were producing it, but with the same message.

    LOL!!!!!!Omar Bakri usually has me in stitches, but that was just too much.

  5. Random Guy — on 31st March, 2008 at 1:28 pm  

    Never thought I would see the day when Bakri and Philips were spoken of in the same sentence.

    Watched the ‘movie’ on the weekend and it was such a dire piece of work that I almost feel sorry for Van Wilder or whatever his name is. If this is what passes for right-wing opinion in Europe these days I think I will sleep easier knowing the scale of its idiocy.

  6. sonia — on 31st March, 2008 at 3:11 pm  

    where can we download the film from to watch?

  7. Boyo — on 31st March, 2008 at 3:27 pm  

    Sonia – from PP, there was a link to it on a comment the other day.

    Um… Equating Mad Mel and Bonkers Bakri is a bit much – both may be extreme but to my knowledge Mel has never called for the persecution/ obliteration of gays, unruly women, non-pro-Zionist secularists, etc…

  8. Boyo — on 31st March, 2008 at 3:29 pm  

    I mean, you can’t necessarily cmpare two extremists and say they are the same?

    Peter Tatchell and Omar Bakri separated at birth? I don’t think so.

  9. Sid — on 31st March, 2008 at 3:43 pm  

    Peter Tatchell is an extremist?

    Omar Bakri = David Duke. natch.

  10. marvin — on 31st March, 2008 at 3:58 pm  

    Sonia, it’s on both youtube and google video

  11. Joolz — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:00 pm  

    Melanie Phillips doesn’t openly call for terrorist attacks to be carried out. That’s the difference between Melanie Phillips and Bakri. That you connect them in your fevered minds shows just how far the dementia has spread.

  12. Joolz — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:11 pm  

    Best thing to do is for Muslims to open up and refute what is being said by reaching out to the communities.

    If you had been doing that already we wouldn’t be in this situation, would we?

    We don’t want you to ‘reach out to the communities’. We want you to reach out to the maniacs who use the Koran and other Islamic texts to justify violence and terrorism against innocents. We’ve had enough of the equivocation, the weasel words, and the brainless blame-shifting. Go to the extremists, the bigots and terrorists and the apologists for extremism and bigotry and violence and prove to them that the Koran doesn’t preach violence, terrorism, anti-semitism, hatred and supremacism.

    Stop all your happy-clappy inter-faith circus, stop your ‘dawah’ and attempts to convert and ‘expand’ Islam, stop the hysterical claims of ‘Islamophobia’ whenever anyone points out the obvious. Focus all of your efforts not on ‘reaching to other communities’ but to reaching into the maniacs inside your own community. Stop denying there is a problem with extremism linked to your religion. And get your house in order. Do that and other people will just see you as normal, as normal as the Christians, the Jews, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Sikhs, the Rastafarians, the Hare Krishnas are. (Normal being that they don’t blow themselves up in crowded trains and rooms in 2008 in Britain and use their religion to justify this)

    Do that. Do what you have to do. Stop reaching out. We’ve had enough of that fluff and hippy dippy rhetoric and jamboree. Just reach inwards and deal with the link between your religion and violence. Stop screaming at those who point out the problem. Deal with those who are the problem, and are using your religion as an inspiration for violence.

    If it is such a direct violation of Islam then killing people in its name is the biggest BLASPHEMY there is. So act against your blasphemers with as much energy and resentment as you put into everything else.

  13. Avi Cohen — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:16 pm  

    I see the Mel Fan Club has arrived!

  14. Don — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:17 pm  

    Unless I’ve missed the news, no-one has so far risen to this tawdry bait. If Fitna is met by a wave of indifference and contempt, that would be the best result all round. No doubt the usual crew are beavering away to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    B’brain

    ‘that feels like purest relativism to me.’

    And comparing Dawkins to Wilders isn’t?

    Having said that, Bakri and Coulter might be a better match.

  15. Joolz — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:18 pm  

    Just deal with the issues and don’t be so immature. Slander is just about the only tool you have recourse to it seems.

    Of course, the problem is Melanie Phillips, not the extremist violent maniacs and those who shill and apologise for them.

  16. Joolz — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:18 pm  

    My above comment was to ‘Avi Cohen’

  17. Don — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:22 pm  

    Joolz,

    Foam-speckled, bug-eyed rants for infidel blood = news coverage.

    Reasoned refutation of spurious justifications = nada.

    http://www.muhajabah.com/otherscondemn.php

  18. Avi Cohen — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:37 pm  

    If you bothered to read what Melanie advocates in her approach in the Middle Eats then you’d realise why she is compared to people like Bakri.

    Try reading her opinions before spouting off. She has advocated the crushing of Palestinians and the total victory for Israel. That doesn’t come about by other than violence.

    Someone like you should read the editorial in the JP “Their Terrorism and Ours” then you may understand that even a right wing paper like the JP is calling some of Israel’s response as terror.

    Hence those that advocate even harsher responses can be bracketed with those from the other side.

    But then again your grasp on the entire situation is poor.

  19. Boyo — on 31st March, 2008 at 4:43 pm  

    Joolz, who’s “you”? My understanding was this was an Asian-orientated site. Many commentators are not Muslims.

    Avi Cohen doesn’t sound like a Muslim name?!

    Nor does Boyo…

  20. septicisle — on 31st March, 2008 at 6:42 pm  

    “Second, guess who else loves the film? Omar Bakri! Yes! “On the contrary, if we leave out the first images and the sound of the page being torn, it could be a film by the [Islamist] Mujahideen,” he told the FT. Another journalist I spoke to yesterday said he actively praised it because he said it was much better quality than what the mujahadeen were producing it, but with the same message.”

    Rubbish. The stuff the jihadists produce is about ten times the quality of Fitna, and at times more subtle with it. The 1920 Revolution Brigades, for instance, produced “Hidden Facts”, which is especially impressive: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=71e_1191027715

  21. Nyrone — on 31st March, 2008 at 8:48 pm  

    Talk about an anti-climax.
    I just couldn’t believe that this piece-of-shit stinker was the same thing people were hyping up to be some kind of God Delusion equivalent.

    I’m glad it’s out and people can see what a load of utter crap it is. I almost fell into a coma while watching it, it was like some pathetic student short film made on Adobe Premiere and still in rough-cut form. I thought I had downloaded the wrong film or something at first, some cheap amateur spin-off by some 15-year old racist poser…but nope, it was actually the real thing!

    Ultimately, the film ended with me feeling deeply sorry for Geert Wilders, who I can only guess is possibly retarded or just very, very stupid. All I could see whilst watching the film were recurring images of Geert sitting in his edit suite like a binary-thinking brainless muppet making his edit-decisions and ‘refining’ this turd of a ‘movie’.

    If this is the level of debate the far-right has on the issue, I think they are the only group set to explode in the near future.

  22. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 31st March, 2008 at 10:17 pm  

    Damn that’s one boring film, the only thing that makes it so controversial is the fact its a politician that has produced it. All the clips that are used in it can be found in “Islam: What the West Needs to Know” and “Obsession”.

    I wonder how many times he has revised this film since the news started to break about it? Considering that this film is a series of shorts taken from MEMRI placed back to back with what is effectively little more than powerpoint slides, one wonders what the man has been doing other than stoking the fire in advance of its release. How many versions of this film have been sitting on the cutting room floor?

    Considering that the clips used in the movie are the same as in each of the other films of its type, I’m disappointed that he has not managed to find new footage. Say one thing for “undercover mosque” say it was an original piece of work and journalism and brought the mainstream dark underbelly of populist Islamism under the harsh light of public discourse.

    Lastly, and I’ve gone on enough already, if he has had to withdraw the image of the cartoon due to copywrite issues with the author, one wonders if the TV channels that transmitted some of these revolting clips could do the same? Thus unraveling this and other movies like it.

    TFI
    (Hi Sonia!)

  23. bananabrain — on 1st April, 2008 at 10:51 am  

    avi:

    as you well know, i don’t support mel (as for her being “despised within her community”) i don’t think you’re really au courant – the left wingers don’t like her, of course, but the sort of people who would prefer for everything else to be someone else’s fault and not ours at all she is a recruiting-sergeant for complacency and arrogance; but that’s not the same thing at *all* as being a recruiting-sergeant for wholesale murder and mayhem, as i think boyo and even joolz have pointed out rather well. although i grant you that i find it hard to imagine how her presumed solution might be imposed by other than violence at this point.

    as for equivalence, i think sid is on the button, not so much with peter tatchell, but certainly with david duke. if you want a jewish equivalent of omar bakri, go with someone like the disgusting moshe feiglin, who fulfils all the requirements of your #3.

    for my money, it’s omid djalili who offers the most cogent critique: “and now, to represent the voice of the muslim community, it’s CRAZY ARAB WITH A HOOK!!! YA-ALLAH, KILL THE INFIDEL!!” – here’s a version of this routine:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClkBQEfxJ58

    don:

    i’m not saying anything about wilders, i don’t think. i haven’t seen the film. but dawkins has, in many quarters, precisely the opposite effect of that which he would presumably intend. i think i might compare mel to *him*, if not to complete and utter foaming nutters like bakri, david duke and the like.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  24. Avi Cohen — on 1st April, 2008 at 11:13 am  

    BB – With respect I know you don’t support Mel. However we are talking semantics here. Mel dresses up her language but essentially what she is advocating does call for violence as it is the only way her policy can be implemented. She just writes well to dress up what she is saying. At the end of the day in her scenario or Bakri’s people are liable to die. Its that simple.

    A harsh response to the point that Palestinains are scared can’t be done with prose it involves overwhelming force which equals violence.

    One says it out straight the other dresses up in eloquent prose but at the end of the day a harsh response of massive force involves violence in which it is inevitable that people will die.

    It isn’t about having a Jewish Equivalent, in my book and your book and Sid’s book and most other people’s book people who promote violence against people well we don’t like them.

    I don’t care if they are Jewish, Muslim or whatever these people are a stain on society and on that we can all agree.

    At the end of the day BB the right on both Muslim and Jewish sides are a very unsavoury lot and they are all anti-semitic to each other. This is an issue which needs to be tackled. By anti-semitism I include Arabs as semite. Both sides need to confront and tackle this issue.

  25. Avi Cohen — on 1st April, 2008 at 11:56 am  

    BTW – Regarding Fitna this is good to see the Dutch are distancing themselves from the film:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4560300

    Dutch people are going online to distance themselves from the Proxide King!

  26. Anas — on 1st April, 2008 at 12:57 pm  

    Melanie Phillips doesn’t openly call for terrorist attacks to be carried out. That’s the difference between Melanie Phillips and Bakri. That you connect them in your fevered minds shows just how far the dementia has spread.

    Fuck it, she is a terrorist sympathiser!Read my classic expose:
    http://anask.wordpress.com/2006/10/29/who-is-she/

  27. Raul — on 1st April, 2008 at 1:14 pm  

    Why should they apologize for someone else’s freedom of speech, they are not responsible for what every dutch person says or does. No one is daft enough to presume every dutch person support wilder or are they?

    That’s like saying muslims should apologize for the atrocities depicted in the film. I don’t see Cohen approving of this, infact he will become quite hysterical should he learn someone expects him to apologize for islamic violence.

    And who are they apologizing to? Muslims or islamic extremists? And why? Muslims have nothing to do with extremists, extremists have their own interpretation and are running a violent supremacist campaign which moderates have nothing to do with. Surely you don’t agree with this apology garbage, Cohen? That’s just senseless. Its not an apology, its an insult to Muslims who have nothing to do with extremist acts.

    And what are they apologizing for, the film depicts Quaranic verses that justify violence, and islamic extremist interpreting it that way to commit those acts. Surely this is not new information, everyone is aware of this. Should I expect every muslim to apologize for the Quranic verses that are violent and their extremist interpretors and there are many? Cohen, you think that’s ok?

    Everyone knows religious texts from thousands of years ago will have this, hardly surprising. But for modern societies or people to take that literally is something to apologize for? That I can accept, but these people are apologizing for freedom of speech. Yawn.

  28. bananabrain — on 1st April, 2008 at 2:07 pm  

    At the end of the day BB the right on both Muslim and Jewish sides are a very unsavoury lot and they are all anti-semitic to each other.

    and the left aren’t much better, if at all, as far as i can see.

    By anti-semitism I include Arabs as semite.

    oh, avi, don’t go down that road! the word “semite” is ONLY and has only ever been a SOCIOLINGUISTIC term. it has *no* ethnic connotation except for the sort of people who use it to support the wholly specious argument that “arabs can’t be anti-semitic, because they’re semites”, to which i always respond: “OK, let’s call it jew-hatred, then.”

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  29. Sunny — on 1st April, 2008 at 2:59 pm  

    Equating Mad Mel and Bonkers Bakri is a bit much – both may be extreme but to my knowledge Mel has never called for the persecution/ obliteration of gays, unruly women, non-pro-Zionist secularists, etc…

    I never said she was advocating persecution of gays. Although she’s happy to advocate the persecution of Muslims.

    No, my point was exactly what I’d made above. That is: Both Omar Bakri and the Melanie Phillips/Geert Wilders types think the ‘clash of civilisation’ is nearly upon us and went it to arrive asap. All of them are also united in wanting Muslims to become/look like nutcases.

    That is where the similarity is. See, English is not that difficult a language to learn.

  30. Avi Cohen — on 1st April, 2008 at 4:07 pm  

    BB – Come on you know I was refrring to the fact both are semtic from a language point of view hence semite.

    As regards the left they have lost influence and media attention but yes aren’t much better.

  31. Avi Cohen — on 1st April, 2008 at 4:33 pm  

    Oh yeah BB – look at this bile being put forth by Michael Gove, laughably in community cohension for the Tories and how he singles out Muslims with his biased, distorted approach:

    http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m12s114&SecId=114&AId=58948&ATypeId=1

    Does this help?

    This is atterly disgusting and the fact that noone from the community distanced themselves from this rubbish is sad.

    This nasty twits summary is Jewish Schools are all great, Christian Schools are cool, Sikh schools are going ok as are Hindu but we need to keep an eye on those Muslims.

    This nasty man has a senior postion in a political party and influences Cameron – so where is the twits community cohesion.

    There is good and bad in all schools but the way he always labels and blames Muslims makes him unfit for office. For a man who supposedly promotes free speech to say someone is not allowed to make certain comments is laughable even if people disagree with thoser comments.

  32. bananabrain — on 1st April, 2008 at 4:49 pm  

    BB – Come on you know I was referring to the fact both are semtic from a language point of view hence semite.

    i fail to see how that was even slightly obvious.

    Oh yeah BB – look at this bile being put forth by Michael Gove, laughably in community cohension for the Tories and how he singles out Muslims with his biased, distorted approach:

    ok, of course, it’s tendentious, he’s sucking up to the community big time and all he’s doing is reinforcing preconceptions. nonetheless, they don’t teach the kids at hasmo that muslims are pigs and donkeys, nor are they funded by religious nutbars from israel. they’re not teaching kids at jewish schools to hate the country they live in and undermine it. these are important issues and shouldn’t be ignored just because the tories are trying to score cheap political points – as if labour don’t do the same when it suits them!

    i must say that i think i am beginning to get really fed up with the idea that communities must “distance themselves” from x or y damfool statement. it’s all just PR anyway. far better for the extremists to get drowned out by other people saying “you don’t speak for us”. however, michael gove (is he jewish? i don’t actually know) has a clear political agenda and i don’t think he requires “distance” from the community any more than it ought to distance itself from ken livingstone.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  33. Derius — on 1st April, 2008 at 5:31 pm  

    Raul,

    Good Post. Your points about freedom of speech and the guilt by National association mentality are spot on.

    On top of your points, I would add:

    1) What is the point of those Dutch people apologising for something that they themselves haven’t done

    Or, if they are apologising on Gert Wilders’ behalf,

    2) What is the point of apologising on behalf of somebody who clearly isn’t regretting their actions at all

    I think it’s best if we just write it off as “with the best of intentions”!

  34. Avi Cohen — on 1st April, 2008 at 5:46 pm  

    BB – does livingstone get to write in the JC? Nope.

    Gove does hence he is given a platform within the community and hence that is why I’d like to see the comments distanced from the community.

    Communities don’t need to distance from every comment but where they take place on a community platform then yes it should distance.

    There woudl be uproar if The Muslim Weekly published an article saying that Muslims schools were great and we needed to keep an eye on Jewish Schools because of Israeli influence. One would be deemed anti-semitic and one by Gove barely elicits comment.

  35. Muhamad — on 1st April, 2008 at 6:54 pm  

    Is “fitna” an Hinglish compound word? As in “fit na?”

  36. Sid — on 1st April, 2008 at 11:31 pm  

    they don’t teach the kids at hasmo that muslims are pigs and donkeys, nor are they funded by religious nutbars from israel. they’re not teaching kids at jewish schools to hate the country they live in and undermine it.

    Normally I regard your comments highly bananabrain, but I can’t let this one go. Perhaps it was in haste, but its insinuates muslim schools are teaching their kids to hate their country and jews are pigs and donkeys. Did you really mean this and have some kind of knowledge to impart on this? Or am I just reading this the wrong way?

  37. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 12:41 am  

    Sid – I think the media whipped up this hype that Muslims are teaching children that Jews are pigs and monkeys when clearly this refers to a parable in the Qur’an about God’s punishment on a specific set of people.

    It is being manipulated by people falsely.

    Equally do Jewish schools teach people that Jews have a right in the Land of Israel above Palestinains? My impression is yes thus isn’t this also wrong but swpt under the carpet.

    As regards the loyalty question again simple nonsense being put forth sadly by BB from whom again I did expect better but who sometimes just gets caught up in the nonsense of the media. Occassionally sadly there is often a rose coloured view of one side over the other.

  38. Refresh — on 2nd April, 2008 at 12:41 am  

    What a coincidence- the other people I’ve noted use the term Judeo-Christian (often with some emphasis) have been Melanie Philips and Michael Gove. I would need to be convinced either of them have any interest in community cohesion.

    Avi, I am not that sure Philips uses flowery or eloquent language. She just knows the style and she knows how to tell the lie often enough. Add to that her weekly access to the nation on matters of morality.

    Compare that to the wild-eyed showman that is Bakri.

  39. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2008 at 10:58 am  

    avi:

    if livingstone was at all interested in cultivating the jewish community he’d be in there like a shot – plenty of labour MPs get in whenever they like. i know the people at the JC well enough to know they’d give him his say. the thing is, he restricts his contacts to wealthy property developers and self-declared movers and shakers like the london jewish forum. as far as the community itself is concerned he’s not even slightly interested, nor would it be worth his while given that he’s gone to such trouble to alienate us, plus of course he would immediately be accused of being an agent of zionism by the muslim press. his office helped fund the “simcha on the square” jewish music event in trafalgar square, but he wouldn’t bother showing his face somewhere where he’d get booed – he sent his stooge instead, nicky gavron, who gets wheeled out every time he has to justify his nonsense to the jewish community.

    Perhaps it was in haste, but its insinuates muslim schools are teaching their kids to hate their country and jews are pigs and donkeys. Did you really mean this and have some kind of knowledge to impart on this? Or am I just reading this the wrong way?

    i wasn’t insinuating it. i was saying it straight out. you know the saudis fund most of this country’s so-called islamic education, right? well, this is what it says in some of their textbooks (look up the furore at the king fahd academy!) and this is what they get taught in many (albeit not all) islamic schools, at least the private ones which don’t have the same level of oversight – this at any rate would be a good reason to publicly fund some islamic schools, because then at least their curriculum would get a bit of regulatory oversight – which is michael gove’s point, albeit he hardly needs to be making it in the JC, that’s preaching to the choir, as i already pointed out.

    i have noticed, avi, that you routinely characterise any criticism of islamic institutions or parts of the community as “hype” or “scaremongering” – the fact remains that there is an issue to be addressed here. it may not be as bad as the mel phillips of this world suggest (and, from my own knowledge of what my muslim friends tell me, in many cases it may be worse) but at least it ought to be investigated.

    clearly this refers to a parable in the Qur’an about God’s punishment on a specific set of people.

    yes – this is a central issue about muslim-jewish relations. the muslim theologians of my acquaintance are adamant that this stuff refers to *only* the jews of mecca and medina at the time of muhammad, but without exception almost every type of islamist, from maududis to saudis to hizbollah to al-qaeda takes every critical reference to “the jews” in the Qur’an as referring to all jews since the time of muhammad, everywhere and whenever. if you are unaware of this then you are not up to date with the issues. moreover, all the positive references to jews and to “ahle qitab” (people of the book) are considered to refer to jews *before* the time of muhammad and jews in the time of muhammad who became muslims. make no mistake about this because it is without a doubt *the* single most important issue in jewish-muslim relations.

    Equally do Jewish schools teach people that Jews have a right in the Land of Israel above Palestinians? My impression is yes thus isn’t this also wrong but swept under the carpet.

    jewish schools do not teach israeli politics. they teach about culture, geography and so on. i am not saying there isn’t a certain amount of implicit political assumption but they’re not teaching the kids to be settlers or arab-haters. also, not all jewish schools are the same; the hashkafa (worldview) of the more religious schools is mostly more or less inimical to zionism, whereas the more pluralist schools will tend to take a more left-wing view. somewhere like hasmo needs to stay away from israeli politics to satisfy its more religiously right-wing parents that they’re not teaching too much in the way of “secular” studies, which is something they’re far more concerned about (as well as the halakhic status of pupils, as we all know!) and, either way, they’re all inspected – go read the reports on the ofsted site! as a concerned parent myself, this is of great interest to me.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  40. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 11:10 am  

    BB – I’ll answer you in more detail later but yes I stand by what I say that the use of the apes and monkeys verse is scaremongering. This was debated on Newsnight and no less than Louise Ellman was there and this point was proven. The textbook refers to a parable and historic episode.

    As I said to you before I have checked this in detail and other verses – via Imams and Rabbis and the explanation is the same that they are in a historic context. So you are scaremongering.

    One leading Rabbi I was standing next to when this was discussed was actually giving an explanation of this and he said he went to a great deal of trouble to ensure what he had been told was correct.

    So in this case I have done my homework via both communities and I hold to my assertyion that this is scaremongering.

    Also BB I don’t disagree that there is an issue and I am rigth with you that it needs to be confronted but frankly where I am getting really annoyed is where the issue is diverted by people like you to areas where a clear explanation is being given. So rather than address the issue it is diverted to areas and thus the core issue isn’t being addressed.

    That is why I say scaremongering because people are going away from the very real debate that does need to happen. But by bringing up verses that have been explained adequetly by theologians the discussions that need to take place aren’t.

    With respect BB it is that simple the scaremongering about the same verses is leading us away from the real discussion.

    When you get back to that I back you fully.

    Again BB extremist groups do use verses and portray them falsely to ignorant people. But I’ll have you know that I have been shown explanations written by classical Islamic scholars and theologians and they do clearly show the meaning of these verses. So surely education needs to take place to expose the extremist groups rather than debating the verses again and diverting the very real discussion that needs to start.

    I feel that whilst what you say I back, when you divert the issue to verses we both know their meaning is distorted then we fail to push the issues that need to be dicussed.

  41. Sid — on 2nd April, 2008 at 11:22 am  

    i was saying it straight out. you know the saudis fund most of this country’s so-called islamic education, right? well, this is what it says in some of their textbooks (look up the furore at the king fahd academy!) and this is what they get taught in many (albeit not all) islamic schools,

    I’m against all faith schools, whereas you support them, or at least you do of jewish schools. And I’m certainly against wahabbi madrasas’s set up in dear old Bilat (Blighty). I don’t think all islamic schools are hotbeds of extremism for kiddies. Which is why I think you’re statement in #32 is a nasty generalisation. The kind you complain of when made of jews.

  42. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2008 at 12:00 pm  

    the use of the apes and monkeys verse is scaremongering. This was debated on Newsnight and no less than Louise Ellman was there and this point was proven. The textbook refers to a parable and historic episode.

    firstly, despite the fact that i have a lot of time for louise ellman, what she may or may not have done don’t signify. nor does the fact that it was “debated on newsnight” – my point is not what the parable says, but how it is used and, frankly, i fail to see how it can be in any way acceptable, especially given how it is very definitely used by every stripe of islamist. such so-called education has no place in british schools or in a liberal democracy, but then again, michael gove points out precisely what at least one of these headmasters thinks of liberal democracy, don’t we. to be honest, avi, i’m not feeling terribly generous about this, as you can probably tell.

    As I said to you before I have checked this in detail and other verses – via Imams and Rabbis and the explanation is the same that they are in a historic context. So you are scaremongering.

    avi, that is precisely what i am arguing – you and i and the imams and rabbis we’ve talked to agree about the explanation, but that isn’t the point – the point is that plenty of other imams and, more to the point, teachers are using the islamist, anti-jewish explanation; and it is not scaremongering to point it out. nor is it “scaremongering” when jewish schools and community institutions have to pay for private security to protect ourselves and our children from the people that have been taught by these lunatics. seeing the problem in proportion is an appropriate response. denying there is a problem at all, particularly post 7/7 and, moreover, when jews are being attacked in the streets for looking jewish, is quite simply cloth-headed and naive.

    That is why I say scaremongering because people are going away from the very real debate that does need to happen. But by bringing up verses that have been explained adequetly by theologians the discussions that need to take place aren’t.

    they may have been explained adequately, but not loudly, widely or for long enough. we are in a situation where islamic education has been outsourced to saudis and nutters for 20+ years and we are now dealing with the consequences.

    sid:

    I’m against all faith schools, whereas you support them, or at least you do of jewish schools. And I’m certainly against wahabbi madrasas’s set up in dear old Bilat (Blighty). I don’t think all islamic schools are hotbeds of extremism for kiddies. Which is why I think you’re statement in #32 is a nasty generalisation. The kind you complain of when made of jews.

    a generalisation perhaps and, even, perhaps, an over-generalisation. but i mean nothing nasty by it. what i am pointing at is a strain of education that is unacceptable to me personally, injurious to my safety and that of the community and, moreover, one that deserves to be exposed, debated and finally condemned as both unislamic, illiberal, anti-democratic and extremist. find me something equivalent in jewish schools and i will do the same without fear or favour. but you won’t, because this sort of thing doesn’t get taught in jewish schools. we are not a bunch of middle-class professionals for nothing. we expect our schools to prepare us for sending our kids to university, not to become beardy jihadi types. actually, sid, i think i’m against single-faith schools, not faith schools per se. unfortunately until there are more of them a faith school (at least at primary level) is the best way to get the basics done in school time and leave extra-curricular time free for things like sport and music. i support, for example, the new multi-denominational JCOSS school, as well as the idea, on reflection that faith schools should probably be forced to include quotas from outside the faith, at least as an experiment. i know it works at king david school in liverpool where jewish pupils may now be in the minority.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  43. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 12:21 pm  

    BB – I say again then that we need to address the issue of distortion of text by extremist and not continually keep bringing up does the text say this.

    Otherwise we spend all our time discussing the text and not the issue of how we educate people.

    Gove points out nothing of the sort all he is doing is limiting what someone says about Zionism which is a different topic. Gove is using this to smear Muslims.

    Also BB with respect yes Jews are being attacked but much of the hatred for Muslims being spoutred in the media is coming from Jewish Commentators so why are we not confronting that issue instead of saying ah its just so and so.

    I am happy to confront the issues but the approach isn’t getting the community anywhere as it diverts from the issue.

    The debate is always going back to the meaning of the verses instead of being about highlighting how they are being used by exteremists.

    Also BB it is about time you also didn’t take so lightly the gross and disgusting labelling going on by sections of the Jewish Community and which is brushed aside with such ease whilst the same in the Muslim community is demanded to be loudly resolved. Surely hate and smear are destistible whoever says them.

    Why do Mel and her like have such easy rides within the community when their impact is so great?

  44. Sid — on 2nd April, 2008 at 12:34 pm  

    what i am pointing at is a strain of education that is unacceptable to me personally, injurious to my safety and that of the community and, moreover, one that deserves to be exposed, debated and finally condemned as both unislamic, illiberal, anti-democratic and extremist.

    When you see the kind of comments on forums like Harry’s Place by, well, middle class jewish professionals, one wonders what kind of education did they receive to produce their illiberal, anti-democratic, extremist sentiments.

  45. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 1:54 pm  

    Thank you Sid – My point as well but what is more worrying is the Jewish Professionals like Melanie Philips who have power to influence via the media and do this and yet it goes by without any complaint. In the USA it is far worse.

    Indeed some regard her book as a good read when it is an open smear on an entire community.

  46. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2008 at 2:29 pm  

    BB – I say again then that we need to address the issue of distortion of text by extremist and not continually keep bringing up does the text say this.

    avi, if we are going to address the distortion of texts i find it difficult to understand how we are going to do this without in fact discussing the texts concerned. it is not my concern *how* islamic education is done, that is a matter for muslims; it is only my concern when *what* they are taught is something that may result in harm to me or someone else.

    Gove points out nothing of the sort all he is doing is limiting what someone says about Zionism which is a different topic.

    no, what he is doing is pointing out an extreme statement by a muslim headmaster, which is yet another example of the routine demonisation of the jewish right to national self-determination which appears to be so prevalent it is not even controversial. why should he not point it out when a headmaster uses his position to say “political zionism is a threat to world peace”? if the guy said it then why can it not be repeated. look, i’ve said that i agree with you that he’s clearly playing dirty politics and i disagree with that. i think people can see that for what it is.

    much of the hatred for Muslims being spoutred in the media is coming from Jewish Commentators

    OK, i get that you don’t like mel phillips, i don’t like her much either. i get that you don’t like michael gove and i think this is a pretty low piece of political game-playing, but who are these “jewish commentators”? where is “much of the hatred”? this is all beginning to sound a little scary.

    Also BB it is about time you also didn’t take so lightly the gross and disgusting labelling going on by sections of the Jewish Community

    give me an example and we’ll talk about it. however, i thought we were talking about the muslim community. can’t we talk about that without you bringing up the jewish community? isn’t this, in fact, an egregious case of whataboutery?

    Why do Mel and her like have such easy rides within the community when their impact is so great?

    clearly, because much of the community agrees with them and, if they are wrong, then clearly more work will have to be done by people who can demonstrate that they are wrong. personally, i don’t see that happening. i do my best in my own little way to try and build bridges and relationships, but even i have trouble arguing with mel phillips when she says that there are a lot of muslims out there who want me and my family dead. the fact that she may be right about one thing DOESN’T mean that she’s right about everything else and i constantly find myself making this point. but the fact that she’s wrong about a lot of things doesn’t mean that we automatically have to deny any validity or truth to any of her opinions. that is simply shooting the messenger. can’t you see that there are shades and nuances to opinion? it’s not just “muslims bad, jews good” any more than it’s “jews bad, muslims good”. unfortunately, you come across like you’re desperately maintaining there isn’t a fire while your trousers are beginning to smoke. let’s have a sense of proportion here.

    When you see the kind of comments on forums like Harry’s Place by, well, middle class jewish professionals, one wonders what kind of education did they receive to produce their illiberal, anti-democratic, extremist sentiments.

    i’m not talking about harry’s place here. and are any of these people teachers at jewish schools? isn’t this, too, whataboutery?

    you know, the more i hear from you people that i’m “scaremongering” and that it’s jewish people that are the “real problem” the more it seems to me that mel phillips has a point. no wonder the left has a problem appealing to much of the jewish community when it insists on refusing to take our concerns seriously.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  47. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 3:00 pm  

    BB – Yes we do this by referring to the text and saying this is what it actually means or refers to. What we don’t do is keep throwing it into the ring as a generalisation that Muslims call us Pigs and Monkeys when we know they don’t apart from a small minority.

    When you keep throwing it at them they then try to reply and we lose focus of what we are trying to achieve.

    The vast majority of Muslims wish you no harm just as the vast majority of Jews wish Muslims no harm. Issues are emmotional over the issue of I/P.

    “OK, i get that you don’t like mel phillips, i don’t like her much either. i get that you don’t like michael gove and i think this is a pretty low piece of political game-playing, but who are these “jewish commentators”? where is “much of the hatred”? this is all beginning to sound a little scary.”

    Oh come on Please – Try Richard Pearle, try Danile Pipes who laugably was put in charge of peace efforts by Bush and he makes Mel seem left wing for crying out loud. These people have regual appearances in the media even here.

    Then try Charles Krauthammer – though he has less apeal over here. Then try David Arranovitch but I’d say he isn’t as bad.

    Go take a look though I think you’ll come back and defend them but these people have some nasty views and wide access to media.

    “give me an example and we’ll talk about it. however, i thought we were talking about the muslim community. can’t we talk about that without you bringing up the jewish community? isn’t this, in fact, an egregious case of whataboutery?”

    Oh clearly this shouldn’t be discussed so we’ll carry on demeaning a part of the population we want to be freinds with and just stay quiet when we piss them off and pretend it doesn’t happen.

    As I said I am with you 100% on addressing the issue of text but I’d like to see the focus stay there not go so much to the text as we know it is being distorted so we need to highlight people who distort and show they are wrong.

    Also we need to stop pretending and saying the Qur’an teaches this when we know damn well it doesn’t.

  48. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2008 at 3:39 pm  

    What we don’t do is keep throwing it into the ring as a generalisation that Muslims call us Pigs and Monkeys when we know they don’t apart from a small minority.

    i didn’t say that. what i said was that it was being taught in schools – which it is, thanks to all those saudi textbooks. besides, as i have said before, i don’t think the minority is sufficiently small enough, particularly when 13% of the community (ooh, so small, but it’s still 120,000 people, remember) think suicide bombings are acceptable against people like myself.

    When you keep throwing it at them they then try to reply and we lose focus of what we are trying to achieve.

    i *don’t* “keep throwing it” at anybody. we wouldn’t even be talking about this if you hadn’t decided to indulge in whataboutery and started talking about michael gove’s article in the JC! so if anyone is responsible for the loss of focus, it is your good self!

    Oh come on Please – Try Richard Pearle, try Danile Pipes who laugably was put in charge of peace efforts by Bush and he makes Mel seem left wing for crying out loud. These people have regual appearances in the media even here.

    so, basically, you’re giving me daniel pipes, charles krauthammer and richard perle? i thought you meant in the UK. so now i’m supposed to be a supporter of and agree with every neo-con in the book? i don’t think so.

    as for david aronovitch – the guy is a big fat lefty, not in a million years could you describe him as anything else, let alone a neocon, but based on his growing sense of unease with the way people talk to and about jews, he’s now an islamophobe? blimey.

    Oh clearly this shouldn’t be discussed so we’ll carry on demeaning a part of the population we want to be friends with and just stay quiet when we piss them off and pretend it doesn’t happen.

    it is amazing how when this happens to jews, it is dismissed as “scaremongering” by yourself.

    Also we need to stop pretending and saying the Qur’an teaches this when we know damn well it doesn’t.

    i’m bloody not! i’m saying we need to be clear about what it does teach so we can avoid all this nonsense!

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  49. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 4:03 pm  

    BB – Look the Saudi Text books didn’t call all Jews pigs and monkeys. That much was established on Newsnight many years back so either accept it or go back to Paxman and present your evidence.

    The text books had references to the verses which contained these parables. In the Bible there are examples of God’s punishment and they are taught but we don’t say they apply to all people.

    To avoid this nonsense we need to stand up to idiots who use these verses incorrectly. I am all for that but all I am asking for is this to move forward so this stupidity of using verses out of context stops.

  50. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2008 at 4:48 pm  

    avi,

    seeing as i am unable to find the actual newsnight interview to view online, all i am able to establish is that the headmistress claimed they had never been taught (in contradistinction to the teacher who started the whole furore) and that *once people started complaining*, the “offending pages were removed”. so, in other words, they were left in for a goodly period of time for pupils to peruse at their leisure. these pupils, it should be noted, include two of the daughters of captain hook himself, abu hamza. as for the original verses, if you won’t take it from me, perhaps you ought to take it from the estimable ali eteraz:

    ..in America, I started noticing, especially in light of the rhetoric coming out of Palestine, that an astounding number of Muslims ascribed to the notion that Jews were the descendants of apes and pigs. On the grapevine I heard that Shaykh Tantawi, head of the Al-Azhar University, the purported fount of Sunni learning, had made public statements about the Jews being descendents of apes and pigs. I then found confirmation that other leading Muslim scholars were propounding this view, including none other than the designated Imam of the Holy Kaba in Mecca: Shaykh Sudais. An uneducated, sexually frustrated maulvi in Pakistan was one thing; heads of the house of learning (Azhar) and worship (Mecca) in Islam ascribing to such ideas were quite another.

    are you still maintaining that there isn’t a problem? that i’m still “scaremongering”?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  51. Sid — on 2nd April, 2008 at 4:57 pm  

    Yeah we know very well it exists BB, but the estimable Ali Eteraz isn’t suggesting that thats what they teach kids in Islamic schools in Britain, which is your original point. Although, you did qualify it and say “not all” which was very generous of you.

  52. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2008 at 5:09 pm  

    no, but the estimable avi cohen is suggesting that:

    a) i am scaremongering (which i’m not)
    b) that the texts don’t get interpreted like that (which they do)
    c) that anyway jewish commentators are being nasty to muslims (which i suppose is not entirely untrue espectially in the US, but isn’t particularly relevant)
    d) that i am supporting mel phillips (which i’m not, but in the case of the scaremongering, on this particular subject, see point a)) – all i was saying was that i think she’s got more in common with richard dawkins than omar bakri!

    and, again, the only reason we’re talking about this is because the estimable avi cohen decided to “whatabout” a completely unrelated michael gove piece in the JC – see point c). either way, this is turning into another one of those ideological cul-de-sacs, which is what happens whenever someone decides that because commentator X adheres to ideology Y, 100% of their comments on any subject must be 100% wrong. i am saying that this is a highly doctrinaire position to which i do not adhere.

    it is at times like this i am glad not to be a lefty, if this is the sort of thing you people do all day. oh, hang on a moment, *i’m* now doing it all day. curse you all, i must be a lefty after all…

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  53. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 6:20 pm  

    BB – You’ve said it a number of times now without much evidence that is what people are being taught with a small number of cases. You keep saying how much in danger you are but as far as I can tell you are ok – and long may it stay that way.

    So yes it is scaremongering. You’ve produced little factual evidence other than polls and incomplete references to reports.

    I saw the Newsnight interview and I know for a fact the Headmistress explained what was being taught and the meaning of the verses. Louise Ellman didn’t have much to say on this point and in fact through the interview as the points were explained.

    Where Loiuse Ellman did speak was concerning the issue you raised. But again she focussed on the need to highlight that extremists were twisiting words – which is exactly what I am saying.

    As regards Sudais – again I asked and was shown a transcript of the entire sermon and he didn’t say it the way Memri did. Memri’s translations have been brought into questions but that is a whole other debate. Sudais said it in the context of the verse if you want to portray that as applying to all Jews then that is unfair.

    As regards Tantawi – well he has made some pretty silly ruling even for Muslims. But that is an issue and it needs addressing.

    Also I didn’t say you supported Mel which you have asseretd that I did say.

    As I said I’d like to see this eradicated and like Sid I didn’t want to say much but I have stood up against people who spout this nonsense and when verses are explained they go red. This is why I get annoyed when people lose sight of what needs to be done.

    Anyway I am trying to comment on PP less and less.

    To often BB I think you excuse too much for the actions of some of the community instead of saying it is wrong. It happened with Rabbi Metzger, its happens with Philips and it happens with commentators who have nasty views.

  54. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2008 at 7:00 pm  

    avi –

    You’ve said it a number of times now without much evidence that is what people are being taught with a small number of cases.

    look, if people like tantawi and sudais say it, then a lot of other people are saying it. if ali eteraz says this is what a maulvi in pakistan tried to teach him as a boy it’s clearly fairly widespread. if saudi textbooks are widespread in british muslim schools clearly a lot of people are being exposed to this [incorrect] interpretation. i am surprised you’re being so obtuse.

    You keep saying how much in danger you are but as far as I can tell you are ok – and long may it stay that way.

    forgive me if i don’t find that especially reassuring when i know people are getting stabbed, mugged and threatened – and that’s just here.

    [quote]You’ve produced little factual evidence other than polls and incomplete references to reports.[/quote]
    i don’t see how you can really argue with the channel 4 poll, it was statistically valid and you can hardly accuse channel 4 of being a bunch of islamophobic scaremongers. as for the parliamentary report on anti-semitism, it is up there to read on the web in full.

    I saw the Newsnight interview and I know for a fact the Headmistress explained what was being taught and the meaning of the verses. Louise Ellman didn’t have much to say on this point and in fact through the interview as the points were explained.

    look, i didn’t see the interview so i can’t really comment further on it.

    As regards Sudais – again I asked and was shown a transcript of the entire sermon and he didn’t say it the way Memri did.

    ali eteraz is *not* relying on memri! nor am i!

    Sudais said it in the context of the verse if you want to portray it as applying to all Jews then that is unfair.

    avi, are you not listening to what i am saying? i have had numerous conversations with numerous knowledgeable fundamentalists who have made it abundantly clear that that is who *they* think it applies to. it doesn’t really matter what *i* think it means, or what liberal-minded western muslims think it means, while someone of the stature of sudais or tantawi is saying something else!

    Also I didn’t say you supported Mel which you have asserted that I did say.

    read #3. you said “BB – Go stand in the corner for misbehaving and supporting Mel”.

    To often BB I think you excuse too much for the actions of some of the community instead of saying it is wrong. It happened with Rabbi Metzger, its happens with Philips and it happens with commentators who have nasty views.

    i thought i’d been pretty clear that i think yona metzger is a fecking feathered eejit and that i disagree with mel phillips about what she thinks ought to be done both here and in the middle east, although i think she does a very good job of criticising the british government for falling asleep on the job over “londonistan”. i can’t really be much more clear than that. furthermore, this is *still* whataboutery of the first order. we started with my preferring to compare mel phillips to richard dawkins than omar bakri and suddenly you have me up against the wall to call me a scaremonger and demand that i distance myself from richard perle, when we weren’t even talking about that? it’s frankly ridiculous.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  55. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 7:16 pm  

    BB – The corner thing was a joke. I said clearly I know you don’t support Mel.

    As regards Sudais my own research and translations I have seen show me he didn’t say that.

    Most Pakistani’s don’t use Saudi Textbooks coming from different schools of thought.

    I don’t deny the issue exists but the way it is being handled is incorrect. Like I said I have held these debates and proven my point, but the issue at hand is that we need to address the distortion.

    Again you are twisting facts I didn’t ask you to apologise for Richard Pearle – for crying out loud I said there are issues in the Jewish Community which you often dismiss as insignificant – I want these highlighted and confronted.

    In JP there was an excellent article “Their Terrorism and Ours” and it questioned what kind of example Israel was setting. This is a rigth wing paper. All I am saying is that whilst we must – we must push for Muslims to get their house in order we also need to do the same. You dimiss that all the time by calling it whataboutery thus denying the issue even exists.

    I agree there are idiots in the Muslim community so lets confront what they say but lets keep a focus on the distortion and not get sidetracked by assertions that this is being taught in most Muslim schools – if you have the evidfence then give it to Ofsted. Otherwise stop the smear.

    Either the two communities work together to eradicate this or continue the smear trail. I kno which I prefer.

  56. Avi Cohen — on 2nd April, 2008 at 7:29 pm  

    Right BB as you keep saying this line about Sudais calling Jews Pigs and Monkeys – but as I said from the sermon translation I was shown Sudais said:

    “…Allaah cursed them and cast His wrath upon them. He turned some of them to monkeys and pigs and worshippers of creatures. They are worst in position and are astray from the right path… ”

    Now clearly he didn’t say all Jews which is your assertion he said some of them which is what the verse describes as punishment for disobeying the Sabbath.

    Even John Ware – a poor excuse for an investigative journalist said:
    “John Ware: Sheikh Sudais is a leading Imam from the great mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.

    He had one voice for his Western audience – another for his followers in Saudi. Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Al-Sudais: The worst … of the enemies of Islam are those… whom he… made monkeys and pigs,”

    Plenty of dots to get round the actual quote and imply what was said rather than what was said.

    It is this type of distrotion of what is being said that is causing problems.

    The school to which you refer passed an Ofsted inspection and the textbooks are available online and as far as I know refer to the verses and not to calling all Jews pigs and monkeys.

    So again I say that this type of whataboutery being employed doesn’t allow the issue to be addressed as the whole bleedin debate moves to claify what is being said and defeats the falming purpose of trying to combat what idiots are saying when they distort things.

    So lets confront them on the issue we need and not resort to whataboutery to try and get a result.

  57. bananabrain — on 3rd April, 2008 at 10:13 am  

    pointing out that you are indulging in whataboutery is not denying there is an issue. we just didn’t happen to be talking about that issue at the time and for you to turn it into a comparison of equivalence on the jewish side is the very definition of whataboutery. whatever the jewish community may or may not have done, THERE IS STILL AN ISSUE. that is my point and characterising it as scaremongering simply doesn’t make it as an argument.

    as for sheikh sudais, i am going, as i said quite clearly, on what ali eteraz said about it. are you accusing him of being unable to understand what was said?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  58. Avi Cohen — on 3rd April, 2008 at 12:16 pm  

    BB – I at least recognise there are similar problems in both communities. Most of the time you apologise or turn a blind eye to one and harp on about the other.

    As the Jewish Community feels under siege so does the Muslim community. So we need to recognise that disgusting potrayals by anyone are unacceptable. All sides need to clean their own houses and help others clean theirs. Not deny or be blind to problems in their own house and tell everyone else they need to spring clean.

    In fact this is an issue in the Arab world as they complain that the west keeps harping on about free-speech and then complains that somethign is anti-semtic which then doesn’t come under free-speech. So there is clearly work to do in explaining things.

    As regards Sudais I have shown you two quotes, one from Ware that despite the dodgy way presented clearly shows the man never called all Jews pigs and monkeys. He refers to the verse.

    Thus my point that the issue isn’t being addressed correctly.

    But again I repeat I am with you when you we need to address this but we need to be precise about what we say and highlight that this is religous distortion.

  59. bananabrain — on 3rd April, 2008 at 2:38 pm  

    the problem is, avi, that in being fair and balanced and all round the only result is “you’re both as bad as each other” and nothing actually gets changed or done, because both sides indulge in whataboutery. of course, by this logic, i as a jew should never criticise muslims and they as muslims should never criticise jews. frankly, i don’t see why certain lines of inquiry should be off limits, but i can also spot a red herring when i see one.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  60. Avi Cohen — on 3rd April, 2008 at 3:47 pm  

    BB – I didn’t say that, I said that both sides should help each other and also address problems within.

    No line of enquiry should be off limits. Your wahtaboutery is that you want one way change.

    Everytime anythign comes up which is even slightly critical within the Jewish community you try and deflect things to say either they aren’t that bad or noone really listens. But you never apply the same to other faiths.

    The Muslim community need to work on the distortion of passages but the hysteria against that community is crazy. See today’s latest from Blears.

  61. bananabrain — on 3rd April, 2008 at 7:15 pm  

    avi,

    i *don’t* want one-way change. i am working within my own community. but i feel i am entitled to ask what changes should be made within the muslim community, without demanding that i should be the one to make.

    there is plenty wrong with the jewish community, but i don’t agree with your set of analyses or your conclusions so far. i have my own criticisms to make and, insofar as i feel confident of saying that X or Y isn’t that bad or that nobody really listens to Z, i feel i know what i am talking about. i do not have the same confidence in *your* opinion of what is going on in the muslim community, as a) you are not in fact muslim and b) i have my own sources which say otherwise. so actually our disagreement is about muslims rather than jews. i’m sure we disagree about judaism too but it seems to me i’m a bit more engaged within the jewish community than you are at present.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

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