Tag Archive for ‘Islam’
From 1920 to 1936, Syria’s Alawites enjoyed their own separate autonomous state in French-ruled Syria. First, it was known explicitly as the Alawite State and from 1930 to 1936, as Latakia Governorate. In response to pressure from the Sunni majority, France dissolved the Alawites’ state and forcibly incorporated it into the Sunni-dominated areas.
Needless to say, the Alawites (as well as the Christians and Druze) were appalled by France’s surrender to the Muslims and pleaded with the mandate authorities to protect them. In an eerie echo of today’s situation in Syria, 450,000 Alawites, Druze, and Christians signed a letter to the French authorities, part of which stated:
“The ‘Alawis believe that they are humans, not beasts ready for slaughter. No power in the world can force them to accept the yoke of their traditional and hereditary enemies to be slaves forever….”
Israel’s liberal Haaretz newspaper recently quoted part of another letter, sent by Alawite leaders to French Prime Minister Leon Blum in 1936. The French surrender to Arab Muslim demands was influenced by the bloody uprising of Muslims in British-ruled Palestine, led by the future ally of Hitler Haj Amin Al-Husseini. The Alawites alluded to the bloody revolt in their plea to the Jewish Blum:
“The condition of the Jews in Palestine is the strongest and most explicit evidence of the militancy of the Islamic issue vis-à-vis those who do not belong to Islam. These good Jews contributed to the Arabs with civilization and peace, scattered gold, and established prosperity in Palestine without harming anyone or taking anything by force, yet the Muslims declare holy war against them and never hesitated in slaughtering their women and children, despite the presence of England in Palestine and France in Syria.”
“Therefore we ask you to consider the dreadful and terrible fate that awaits the Alawites if they are forced to be annexed to Syria, when it will be free from the oversight of the Mandate, and it will be in their power to implement the laws that stem from its religion.”
One of the six signatories of that letter was Sulayman Assad, the father of Hafez and the grandfather of Bashar.
Of course, the Alawites’ desperate pleas fell on deaf years. And from then on, their leaders realized that they can no longer rely on the West, but have to use their tight-knit community’s influence and wealth to seize power in Syria, which finally came about in the 1960s. The unflinchingly brutal response of the Alawite-dominated regime to the violent Sunni Hama uprising in 1982 stems from the Alawites’ understanding that they could never expect any quarter from their “traditional and hereditary enemies”.
How ironic that France, by preparing to attack Syria on behalf of the Islamist rebels is repeating exactly the same betrayal of the Alawites – the most pro-French group in the Middle East, except the Maronites- as in the 1930s.
The really important news from Egypt is not the “martyrdom” of some hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and underage human shields set up for sacrifice by their leaders. It is not the brutality of the security forces fighting the emergence of a Khalifate within the state. It is the targeting of dozens of Christian churches, institutions and individuals all over Egypt by the MB, instigated by the leaders and eagerly carried out by the rank-and-file.
Twenty-seven-year-old Stephanie Bannister was running for office in Australia’s state of Queensland as a candidate for the rightwing One Nation party that takes an admirably strong stance against mass immigration. Several days into her political careers (48 hours according to some reports), Bannister gave an interview in which she made several statements that showed her utter unpreparedness for serious political participation.
Bannister said that she “doesn’t oppose Islam as a country”, but feels that “their laws [presumably she meant sharia] shouldn’t be welcome” in Australia. She then went on to confuse “haram” (acts forbidden by the Koran) with “Koran” by stating that “less than two per cent of Australians follow haram”. Finally, when asked if she’s opposed to kosher slaughter as she is to halal, Bannister replied: ”Jews aren’t under haram. They have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ.” Oy vey!
Needless to say, leftwing media all over the world swooped down on the story like vultures on carrion. The ill-advised interview quickly went “viral” on Youtube. The hapless Stephanie Bannister quit the race mere days later.
Stephanie Bannister’s remarks remind one of the numerous gaffes of Sarah Palin who uttered such howlers as “Paul Revere did warn the British”, “our neighboring country of Afghanistan”, “Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America”, and “[W]hat is it exactly that the VP does every day?”
This kind of embarrassing ignorance shows the acute need for nationalist, rightwing parties to have serious, knowledgable candidates that won’t get their feet stuck in their mouth at the very inception of their political careers. But all is not lost for Stephanie Bannister. She still has time to educate herself on Islam before her next foray into politics. Srdja Trifkovic’s “Sword of the Prophet” would be a good place to start.
After a show trial that lasted for five years and would’ve made Josef Stalin and Andrei Vyshinsky proud, 354 opponents of Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s Islamist regime have been found guilty. The main defendant, Gen. Ilker Basbug, who led Turkey’s armed forces in 2008-2010 was given a life sentence. The head of the socialist-secular nationalist Workers Party was also given a life term. Other opponents of Erdogan’s AKP party like Kemalist MP and journalist Mustafa Balbay were sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment.
Gen. Basbug and his co-defendants were accused of being part of the so-called “Ergenekon plot”, named after a mythical valley where the pre-Islamic ancestors of modern Turks sojourned before Asena, the Grey Wolf of Turkish lore, led them into Asia Minor. Interestingly, the seventy-year-old Basbug never openly expressed his opposition to Erdogan’s rapid Islamization of Turkey, but it was known that the distinguished general was a supporter of the moderately nationalist Kemalist CHP. Another reason for Basbug’s prosecution could be his insistence that the government guarantee the Kurds equal rights vis-a-vis the majority ethnic Turks. In short, Basbug is hardly the hardline secular Kemalist general that Erdogan’s regime painted him as.
The Ergenekon sentences come almost a year after more than 300 members of Turkey’s officer class were given prison sentences for their alleged parts in the so-called “Sledgehammer plot”. The scenario of Sledgehammer could’ve come straight from a low budget Hollywood movie: according to the prosecutors, the accused officers planned to blow up two mosques in Istanbul and shoot down a passenger airliner over the Aegean in order to spark an armed conflict with Greece. The laughable ridiculousness of this “plot” is apparent from the fact that an attack on a member of the European Union would result in armed conflict with France, Germany, and Britain, not to mention, the United States. And even the most rabidly nationalist Turkish officer would not plan anything this reckless.
What’s amazing is not the silence of the EU and the “international community” in the face of the Islamist decapitation of Turkey’s military and civilian elites, but the fact that Turkey’s military – long a bastion of secular Kemalism, allowed its leadership to be decimated by Erdogan’s Islamist regimes. In the face of the AKP’s assault, the grey wolves of Turkey’s military turned into meek lambs.
One can’t help, but compare this with Stalin’s destruction of the Red Army’s leadership in 1937-1940. Marshals and generals, famous for their exploits in the Russian Civil War and subsequent battles with the Japanese and Franco’s forces, not only went like lambs to the slaughter, but publicly pled guilty to the outlandish accusations of the NKVD and implicated other Soviet officers. Of course, then, as now, the Western commentariat stood silent in the face of the growing evidence of the ludicrous nature of the show trials.
Is anyone else weary of books promising to give us the “real Jesus”? You know, the Jesus before Christianity, the one stripped of all the superstitious varnish of the New Testament Gospels, leaving only a supposedly factual portrait of a 1st century Jewish peasant, inevitably re-imagined according to the preferences of the author? Well, there’s been another one written, and it’s climbing the best-sellers list: Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, and, yes, the mainstream media is fawning over its author and what has been labeled his biography of Jesus.
The truth here is simple: Aslan is presenting nothing more than the same tired old re-reading of Jesus so common in the skeptical writers of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. There’s nothing new to see here. In fact, you probably already know precisely how this story goes—the Gospels are unreliable, Jesus was merely a man later deified by his followers, his death was the result of his incendiary challenges to Rome, etc., etc. Never mind the mountains of prestigious scholarship that actually validates the historical accuracy of the Gospel accounts and confirms their traditional portrayals of Jesus.
The only new ingredient, perhaps, is Aslan’s professorship in Creative Writing, which, according to some reviews, serves him well in writing the book in the style of historical fiction. But this last comment is perhaps the best launching point for summarizing just how to assess what the author has given us—Zealot is a fictional account of Jesus, heavy on the author’s own imagination, selective in its historical evidence, confident in confessing error as fact, and rooted in a long-line of liberal scholarship that dismisses the Christian faith as a fairytale. No wonder the media is salivating over it. How could they possibly pass up a popularly packaged, old school denial of the Christian faith? The answer is, they simply can’t. But those of us who know better can.
Perhaps you’re wondering what would motivate a non-scholar and non-historian like Aslan to take on a subject beyond his academic competence and about which there is no shortage of books peddling similar theses? Could it be that his Muslim upbringing, his emotionally charged conversion to and subsequent rejection of evangelical Christianity, and his return to the religion of his childhood provide a backdrop for Zealot? He says such things are irrelevant to his depiction of Jesus offered in the book. I’ll leave you to ponder the more plausible alternative.
Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas passed away last week at the age ninety-two. The most noticeable aspect of her media persona was her life-long support for Islamic terrorists. She openly supported the Shiite terror group Hezbollah, even proclaiming to a CNN cameraman: “Thank God for Hezbollah” and said that Israeli Jews “should go back to Poland or Germany” (Imagine the howling outcry if a journalist dared to suggest that Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian Muslims “go back to Arabia”).
What’s ironic in light of her vehemently pro-Muslim views is that Helen Thomas is the descendant of Orthodox Christian immigrants from Lebanon, a community that was oppressed and victimized by Arab Muslims for hundreds of years. One thing is to criticize Israel’s behavior in Lebanon, which is often brutal and unwarranted. Another thing is to genuflect before the likes of Hezbollah and Hamas, whose followers massacred and abused Christians. I wonder if Ms. Thomas was aware of the number of churches desecrated, priests murdered, and Christian women raped by her beloved Palestinians and Shiites.
Unfortunately, many Lebanese Christians adopt not only the political positions of their conquerors, but even their identity. It is well known that Lebanese Christians: Maronite, Melkite, and Orthodox, are not Arabs. Rather, they are the descendants of Phoenician and Syriac natives displaced by the Arab conquerors. Yet, in this country, I’ve met numerous Lebanese and Syrian Christians who insist they’re “Arabs” and parrot the dumbest lines of Arab Muslim propaganda. The fact that this tragic self-denial persists several generations after their families left the Middle East, shows the power of dhimmitude and underlines its tragedy.
Looks like the British government will finally be able to rid its long-suffering citizens of the Muslim terrorist preacher (what a string of redundant adjectives!) Abu Qatada. After almost a decade of trying to throw out this troublemaker, who called for the murder of Jews and apostate Muslims and their families, Britain and Jordan have signed a treaty, which allows him to be deported to Jordan to stand trial.
This pleasant bloke, you see, arrived at the welcoming shores of Albion claiming “religious persecution” in Jordan. A Muslim preacher claiming religious persecution by a Muslim country – are British immigration officials really as dumb as their American counterparts?
The reason why a treaty had to be signed specifically to deport one individual is the scandalous leniency of British and EU judges. The jurists were afraid that poor Abu Qatada, whose stay in Britain cost the taxpayer over half a million pounds will be subject to torture in Jordan. Previously, the Bethlehem-born preacher complained that the house, which the UK government provided to him at the cost of £1,400 a month to British taxpayers didn’t have enough storage. I wouldn’t be surprised if some EU court or commission would consider it a violation of Abu Qatada’s human rights and order the British government to pay him thousands of quid in compensation.
Of course, when it comes to deporting Christians to Muslim countries, no such qualms exist in the warped minds of British authorities. The Coptic Christian Mansour family (husband, wife, and four small children) were seized by armed UK immigration officers and bundled on a plane to Egypt a few years ago. The father, Hany Ayoub Mansour fled Luxor after being tortured by Muslims and having his house destroyed. Apparently, there’s no place for Middle Eastern (or any?) Christians in Londonistan. An Arab saying comes to mind: “Better to be the Englishman’s enemy than his friend. If you’re his enemy, he will try to buy you. If you’re his friend, he will most certainly sell you.”
French police have arrested a suspect in the knife attack on a French soldier. The suspect is 22 year old male “fairly recently converted to Islam.” The attack in a Paris suburb recalls the recent beheading of an English soldier in the London suburb of Woolwich, where the attacker, again, appears to have been a recent convert to Islam.
“Truth and reason are eternal,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to Rev. Samuel Knox in 1810. “They have prevailed. And they will eternally prevail . . . ” Jefferson was wrong. His belief that “Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it” was naive. As Patrick J. Buchanan proves in a passing reference in his otherwise sound latest column, even men of generally sound understanding and good intentions end up the victims of the disinformation campaigns that pass for media reporting.
On March 20, Pastor Terry Jones, who heads a congregation of 30 at his Dove World Outreach Center church in Gainesville, Fla., conducted a mock trial of the Quran “for crimes against humanity.” Pronouncing Islam’s sacred book guilty, Jones soaked a Quran in kerosene and set it ablaze in a portable fire pit. Few noticed. But Hamid Karzai did.