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« Reply #250 on: April 27, 2011, 11:37:07 AM »

Saint Augustine’s cognite intrare (“force them to convert”). In fact the Qur’an says the exact opposite: There is no compulsion in religion ( 2:256 ).
Volume 9, Book 84, Number 58:

Narrated Abu Burda:

Abu Musa said, "I came to the Prophet along with two men (from the tribe) of Ash'ariyin, one on my right and the other on my left, while Allah's Apostle was brushing his teeth (with a Siwak), and both men asked him for some employment. The Prophet said, 'O Abu Musa (O 'Abdullah bin Qais!).' I said, 'By Him Who sent you with the Truth, these two men did not tell me what was in their hearts and I did not feel (realize) that they were seeking employment.' As if I were looking now at his Siwak being drawn to a corner under his lips, and he said, 'We never (or, we do not) appoint for our affairs anyone who seeks to be employed. But O Abu Musa! (or 'Abdullah bin Qais!) Go to Yemen.'" The Prophet then sent Mu'adh bin Jabal after him and when Mu'adh reached him, he spread out a cushion for him and requested him to get down (and sit on the cushion). Behold: There was a fettered man beside Abu Muisa. Mu'adh asked, "Who is this (man)?" Abu Muisa said, "He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism." Then Abu Muisa requested Mu'adh to sit down but Mu'adh said, "I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and His Apostle (for such cases) and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, "Then we discussed the night prayers and one of us said, 'I pray and sleep, and I hope that Allah will reward me for my sleep as well as for my prayers.'"
Andrew, do you understand the role of naskh in islamic theology and why the "verses of the sword" override the nicer verses like what you posted above? Can you tell me where in the muslim world there is the freedom of religion?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 07:20:43 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #251 on: April 27, 2011, 11:41:12 AM »

The Religion of Peace?
By: Andrew G. Bostom | Wednesday, June 28, 2006

During the discussion period after a recent talk by the courageous secular Muslim “apostate” Wafa Sultan, Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (who was barbarously murdered  by pious Muslim terrorists), alluded to the Koran’s “verses of peace”—which certain votaries of Islam uphold as the religion's exclusive legacy. According to an observer at the event, Judea Pearl derided Ms. Sultan’s critical view of Islam by further contending that the Koran's bellicose and brutal verses were mere “cultural baggage”, akin to “similar” pronouncements in the Old Testament. The comparison was naïve, if not absurd.

Naïve because the Koran’s “verses of peace”, frequently cited by both Muslim and non-Muslim apologists, most notably verse 2:256, “There is no compulsion in religion”, were all abrogated by the so-called verses of the sword. These abrogating verses of the sword recommend beheading or otherwise murdering and mutilating non-Muslims, and Muslim apostates. According to classical Muslim Koranic commentators verse 9:5 (perhaps the most infamous verse of the sword), “Slay the idolators wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush…”, for example, cancels 124 verses that promote patience and toleration.
The sacralized Islamic sources indicate that as the Muslim prophet Muhammad accrued political and military power, he evolved from a proselytizer and persuader, to a warrior (i.e., a prototype jihadist; see: The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model), and dictatorial legislator. Thus the sword and other similar Koranic verses—as per the linkage between Muhammad’s biography and the Koranic narrative—capture the Muslim prophet at his most dogmatic, belligerent, and intolerant. Muslims are enjoined to fight and murder nonbelievers—woe unto those who shirk these campaigns—but those who are killed fighting for the one true religion, i.e., Islam, will be rewarded amply in the afterlife. A sampling of such verses, which established these eternal injunctions, are included below:
47:4: “Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds”
9:29: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.”
4:76: “Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak.”
8:12: “When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
8:38-39: “Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.”
9:39: “If you do not go forth, He will chastise you with a painful chastisement and bring in your place a people other than you, and you will do Him no harm; and Allah has power over all things.”
4:74: “Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.”
9:111: “Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.”
As Ibn Warraq notes, aptly (p.69):

…“tolerance” has been abrogated by “intolerance”
And this doctrine of abrogation, necessitated by the many contradictions which abound in the Koran, originates as putatively taught by Muhammad, himself, at verse 2:106: “Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?”        . This verse, in combination with verses* 16:101, 22:52, and 87:6, was elaborated into a formal system of abrogation (naskh in Arabic) by the greatest classical Muslim Koranic scholars and jurists, which entailed (p.72),

…the suppression of a ruling without the suppression of the wording. That is to say, the earlier ruling is still to be found in the Koran, and is still to this day recited in worship, but it no longer has any legal force [emphasis added]
But it is only when viewed in the larger context of the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad war—which derives substantively from the abrogating Koranic sword verses—that Judea Pearl’s naïve equation to “similar” verses from the Old Testament, becomes entirely fatuous. From the bellicose verses in the Koran, expounded upon in the hadith (the words and deeds of Muhammad as recorded by pious Muslim transmitters), Muslim jurists and theologians formulated the Islamic institution of permanent jihad war against non-Muslims to bring the world under Islamic rule (Shari’a law).
Since its earliest inception, through the present, jihad has been central to the thought and writings of prominent Muslim theologians and jurists. The precepts and regulations elucidated in the 7th through 9th centuries are immutable in the Muslim theological-juridical system, and they have remained essentially unchallenged by the majority of contemporary Muslims. The jihad is intrinsic to the sacred Muslim texts, including the divine Koranic revelation—“the uncreated word of Allah”. The Old Testament sanctions the Israelites conquest of Canaan—a limited domain—it does not sanction a permanent war to submit all the nations of humanity to a uniform code of religious law. Similarly, the tactics of warfare are described in the Old Testament, unlike the Koran, in very circumscribed and specific contexts. Moreover, while the Old Testament clearly condemns certain inhumane practices of paganism, it never invoked an eternal war against all of the world’s pagan peoples.

Uninformed ecumenical zeal in search of a fantasy Islam yet to be created, does not excuse making intellectual, let alone moral equivalences, between the severely limited and contextualized war proclamations of the Old Testament, and the permanent proto-jihad war injunctions of the Koran. Staking out the presumptive “higher” moral ground by a thinly veiled (and ahistorical!) attack on a courageous secularist seeking profound, not cosmetic (and meaningless) changes in Islamdom, is unsavory and destructive, regardless of the misguided motivations.

* 16: 101: “And when We change (one) communication for (another) communication, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say: You are only a forger. Nay, most of them do not know.”; 22:52: “And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet, but when he desired, the Shaitan made a suggestion respecting his desire; but Allah annuls that which the Shaitan casts, then does Allah establish His communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise”; 87:6: “By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget”
The discussion of abrogation/naskh draws heavily upon the insightful analysis, here pp. 67-75, of my courageous mentor and colleague Ibn Warraq.


Andrew G. Bostom is a frequent contributor to Frontpage, and the author of The Legacy of Jihad, and the forthcoming The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 07:19:47 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #252 on: April 27, 2011, 11:43:40 AM »

"Thomas Aquinas, another key figure in Christian theology, has even perfected the concept of Just War."

Do you understand the concept of just war, or is it bad because it has the word war in it?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 07:19:17 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #253 on: April 27, 2011, 11:49:29 AM »

Then lets see, the Crusades. 10 of them including the Northern ones. The European armies were saying, as they slaughtered both Christian and Muslim Arabs: “Kill them all, God will know his own.”

And the crusades grew out of what? Let's try hundreds of years of islamic aggression, enslavement and occupation of europe before the first crusade happened. I'd think as a european historian, you'd know this. Cause and effect and linerar history, do you think the islamic brutality experienced by the europeans might have shaped how they then fought in the crusades?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 07:18:54 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #254 on: April 27, 2011, 12:00:03 PM »

"The African slave trade, that claimed the life of approx. 9 million souls."

And who were the first non-africans to take part in the african slave trade? Long before the europeans ever were involved.

April 12, 2005
The living legacy of jihad slavery
 By Andrew G. Bostom


A public protest in Washington,  DC, April 5, 2005 highlighted the current (ongoing, for centuries) plight of black Mauritanians enslaved by Arab masters. The final two decades of the 20th century, moreover, witnessed a frank jihad genocide, including mass enslavement, perpetrated by the Arab Muslim Khartoum government against black Christians and animists in the Southern Sudan,  and the same governments continued massacres and enslavement of Animist—Muslim blacks in Darfur.  These tragic contemporary phenomena reflect the brutal living legacy of jihad slavery.

Jihad Slavery
The fixed linkage between  jihad— a permanent, uniquely Islamic institution— and enslavement, provides a very tenable explanation for the unparalleled scale and persistence of slavery in Muslim dominions, and societies. This general observation applies as well to 'specialized' forms of slavery, including the (procurement and) employment of eunuchs, slave soldiering (especially of adolescents), other forms of child slavery, and harem slavery. Jihad slavery, in its myriad manifestations, became a powerful instrument for both expansive Islamization, and the maintenance of Muslim societies.

Juridical Rationale and Role in 'Islamization'

Patricia Crone, in her recent analysis of the origins and development of Islamic political thought, makes an important nexus between the mass captivity and enslavement of non—Muslims during jihad campaigns, and the prominent role of coercion in these major modalities of Islamization. Following a successful jihad, she notes:

Male captives might be killed or enslaved, whatever their religious affiliation. (People of the Book were not protected by Islamic law until they had accepted dhimma.) Captives might also be given the choice between Islam and death, or they might pronounce the confession of faith of their own accord to avoid execution: jurists ruled that their change of status was to be accepted even though they had only converted out of fear. Women and children captured in the course of the campaigns were usually enslaved, again regardless of their faith...Nor should the importance of captives be underestimated. Muslim warriors routinely took large numbers of them. Leaving aside those who converted to avoid execution, some were ransomed and the rest enslaved, usually for domestic use. Dispersed in Muslim households, slaves almost always converted, encouraged or pressurized by their masters, driven by a need to bond with others, or slowly, becoming accustomed to seeing things through Muslim eyes even if they tried to resist. Though neither the dhimmi nor the slave had been faced with a choice between Islam and death, it would be absurd to deny that force played a major role in their conversion. [1]
For the idolatrous Hindus, enslaved in vast numbers during the waves of  jihad conquests that ravaged the Indian subcontinent for well over a half millennium (beginning at the outset of the 8th century C.E.), the guiding principles of Islamic law regarding their fate were unequivocally coercive. Jihad slavery also contributed substantively to the growth of the Muslim population in India. K.S. Lal elucidates both of these points: [2]

The Hindus who naturally resisted Muslim occupation were considered to be rebels. Besides they were idolaters (mushrik) and could not be accorded the status of Kafirs, of the People of the Book — Christians and Jews... Muslim scriptures and treatises advocated jihad against idolaters for whom the law advocated only Islam or death... The fact was that the Muslim regime was giving [them] a choice between Islam and death only. Those who were killed in battle were dead and gone; but their dependents were made slaves. They ceased to be Hindus; they were made Musalmans in course of time if not immediately after captivity...slave taking in India was the most flourishing and successful [Muslim] missionary activity...Every Sultan, as [a] champion of Islam, considered it a political necessity to plant or raise [the] Muslim population all over India for the Islamization of the country and countering native resistance.
Vryonis describes how jihad slavery, as practiced by the Seljuks and early Ottomans, was an important modality of Islamization in Asia Minor during the 11th through the 14th century 3:

A further contributing factor to the decline in the numbers of Christian inhabitants was slavery...Since the beginning of the Arab razzias into the land of Rum, human booty had come to constitute a very important portion of the spoils. There is ample testimony in the contemporary accounts that this situation did not change when the Turks took over the direction of the djihad in Anatolia. They enslaved men, women, and children from all major urban centers and from the countryside where the populations were defenseless. In the earlier years before the Turkish settlements were permanently affected in Anatolia, the captives were sent off to Persia and elsewhere, but after the establishment of the Anatolian Turkish principalities, a portion of the enslaved were retained in Anatolia for the service of the conquerors
After characterizing the coercive, often brutal methods used to impose the devshirme child levy, and the resulting attrition of the native Christian populations (i.e., from both expropriation and flight), Papoulia concludes that this Ottoman institution, a method of Islamization  par excellence, also constituted a de facto state of war: [4]

...that the sources speak of piasimo (seizure) aichmalotos paidon (capture) and arpage paidon (grabbing of children) indicates that the children lost through the devşirme were understood as casualties of war. Of course, the question arises whether, according to Islamic law, it is possible to regard the devşirme as a form of the state of war, although the Ottoman historians during the empire's golden age attempted to interpret this measure as a consequence of conquest by force be'anwa. It is true that the Greeks and the other peoples of the Balkan peninsula did not as a rule surrender without resistance, and therefore the fate of the conquered had to be determined according to the principles of the Koran regarding the Ahl—al—Qit�b: i.e. either to be exterminated or be compelled to convert to Islam or to enter the status of protection, of aman, by paying the taxes and particularly the cizye (poll—tax). The fact that the Ottomans, in the case of voluntary surrender, conceded certain privileges one of which was exemption from this heavy burden, indicates that its measure was understood as a penalization for the resistance of the population and the devshirme was an expression of the perpetuation of the state of war between the conqueror and the conquered... the sole existence of the institution of devshirme is sufficient to postulate the perpetuation of a state of war.
Under Shah Abbas I (1588—1626 C.E.), the Safavid Shi'ite theocracy of Iran expanded its earlier system of slave razzias into the Christian Georgian and Armenian areas of the Caucasus. Georgian, Armenian, and Circassian inhabitants of the Caucasus were enslaved in large numbers, and converted, thereby, to Shi'a Islam. The males were made to serve as (primarily) military or administrative slaves, while the females were forced into harems. A transition apparently took place between the 17th and 18th centuries such that fewer of the slaves came from the Caucasus, while greater numbers came via the Persian Gulf, originating from Africa. [5] Ricks notes that by the reign of Shah Sultan Husayn,

The size of the royal court had indeed expanded if the numbers of male and female slaves including white and black eunuchs are any indicators. According to a contemporary historian, Shah Sultan Husayn (d. 1722) made it a practice to arrive at Isfahan's markets on the first days of the Iranian New Year (March 21) with his entire court in attendance. It was estimated by the contemporary recorder that 5,000 male and female black and white slaves including the 100 black eunuchs comprised the royal party. [6]
Clement Huart, writing in the early 20th century (1907), observed that slaves, continued to be the most important component of the booty acquired during jihad campaigns or razzias: [7]

Not too long ago several expeditions crossed Amo�—Dery�, i.e. the southern frontier of the steppes, and ravaged the eastern regions of Persia in order to procure slaves; other campaigns were launched into the very heart of unexplored Africa, setting fire to the inhabited areas and massacring the peaceful animist populations that lived there.  

Willis characterizes the timeless Islamic rationale for the enslavement of such 'barbarous' African animists, as follows: [8] the opposition of Islam to kufr erupted from every corner of malice and mistrust, the lands of the enslavable barbarian became the favorite hunting ground for the 'people of reason and faith'—the parallels between slave and infidel began to fuse in the heat of jihad. Hence whether by capture or sale, it was as slave and not citizen that the kafir was destined to enter the Muslim domain. And since the condition of captives flowed from the status of their territories, the choice between freedom and servility came to rest on a single proof: the religion of a land is the religion of its amir (ruler); if he be Muslim, the land is a land of Islam (dar al—Islam);  if he be pagan, the land is a land of unbelief (dar al—kufr). Appended to this principle was the kindred notion that the religion of a land is the religion of its majority; if it be Muslim, the land is a land of Islam; if it be pagan, the land is a land of kufr, and its inhabitants can be reckoned within the categories of enslavement under Muslim law. Again, as slavery became a simile for infidelity, so too did freedom remain the signal feature of Islam...The servile estate was hewn out of the ravaged remains of heathen villages — from the women and children who submitted to Islam and awaited their redemption...[according to Muslim jurist] al—Wanshirisi (d.1508), slavery is an affliction upon those who profess no Prophecy, who bear no allegiance to religious law. Moreover, slavery is an humiliation — a subjection— which rises from infidelity.
Based on his study and observations of  Muslim slave razzias gleaned while serving in the Sudan during the Mahdist jihad at the close of the 19th century, Winston Churchill wrote this description (in 1899): [9]

all [of the Arab Muslim tribes in The Sudan], without exception, were hunters of men. To the great slave markets of Jeddah a continual stream of negro captives has flowed for hundreds of years. The invention of gunpowder and the adoption by the Arabs of firearms facilitated the traffic...Thus the situation in the Sudan for several centuries may be summed up as follows: The dominant race of Arab invaders was increasingly spreading its blood, religion, customs, and language among the black aboriginal population, and at the same time it harried and enslaved them...The warlike Arab tribes fought and brawled among themselves in ceaseless feud and strife. The negroes trembled in apprehension of capture, or rose locally against their oppressors.
All these elements of jihad slavery— its juridical rationale, employment as a method of forcible Islamization (for non—Muslims in general, and directed at Sub—Saharan African Animists, specifically), and its association with devshirme—like levies of adolescent males for slave soldiering— are apparent in the contemporary jihad being waged against the Animists and Christians of southern Sudan, by the Arab Muslim—dominated Khartoum regime. [10]
Extent and Persistence
The scale and scope of Islamic slavery in Africa are comparable to the Western trans—Atlantic slave trade to the Americas, and as Willis has observed (somewhat wryly), [11] the former '...out—distances the more popular subject in its length of duration.' Quantitative estimates for the trans—Atlantic slave trade (16th through the end of the 19th century) of 10,500,000 (or somewhat higher [12]), are at least matched (if not exceeded by 50%) by a contemporary estimate for the Islamic slave trade out of Africa. Professor Ralph Austen's working figure for this composite of the trans—Saharan, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean traffic generated by the Islamic slave trade from 650 through 1905 C.E., is 17,000,000. [13]  Moreover, the plight of those enslaved animist peoples drawn from the savannah and northern forest belts of western and central Africa for the trans—Saharan trade was comparable to the sufferings experienced by the unfortunate victims of the trans—Atlantic slave trade. [14]

In the Nineteenth Century, slaves reached the ports of Ottoman Tripoli by three main Saharan routes, all so harsh that the experience of slaves forced to travel them bore comparison with the horrors of the so—called 'middle—passage' of the Atlantic.
This illuminating comparison, important as it is, ignores other vast domains of jihad slavery: throughout Europe (Mediterranean and Western Europe, as well as Central and Eastern Europe, involving the Arabs [Western/Mediterranean], and later the Ottoman Turks and Tatars [Central and Eastern Europe]); Muscovite Russia (subjected to Tatar depredations); Asia Minor (under Seljuk and Ottoman domination); Persia, Armenia, and Georgia (subjected to the systematized jihad slavery campaigns waged by the Shi'ite Safavids, in particular); and the Indian subcontinent (razzias and jihad campaigns by the Arabs in the 7th and 8th centuries, and later depredations by the Ghaznavids, during the Delhi Sultanate, the Timurid jihad, and under the Mughals). As a cursory introduction to the extent of jihad slavery beyond the African continent, three brief examples are provided: the Seljuks in  Asia Minor (11th and 12th centuries); the Ottomans in the Balkans (15th century); and the Tatars in southern Poland and Muscovite Russia (mid—15th through 17th centuries).

The capture of Christians in Asia Minor by the Seljuk Turks was very extensive in the 11th and 12th centuries. [15] Following the seizure and pillage of Edessa, 16,000 were enslaved. [16]  Michael the Syrian reported that when the Turks of Nur al—Din were brought into Cilicia by Mleh the Armenian, they enslaved 16,000 Christians, whom they sold at Aleppo. [17]  A major series of razzias conducted in the Greek provinces of Western Asia Minor enslaved thousands of Greeks (Vryonis believes the figure of 100,000 cited in a contemporary account is exaggerated [18]), and according to Michael the Syrian, they were sold in slave markets as distant as Persia. [19]  During razzias conducted by the Turks in 1185 and over the next few years, 26,000 inhabitants from Cappadocia, Armenian, and Mesopotamia were captured and sent off to the slave markets. [20] Vryonis concludes: [21]

...these few sources seem to indicate that the slave trade was a flourishing one. In fact, Asia Minor continued to be a major source of slaves for the Islamic world through the 14th century.
The Ottoman Sultans, in accord with Shari'a prescriptions, promoted jihad slavery aggressively in the Balkans, especially during the 15th century reigns of Mehmed I (1402—1421), Murad II (1421—1451), and Mehmed II (1451—1481). [22]  Alexandrescu—Dersca summarizes the considerable extent of this enslavement, and suggests the importance of its demographic effect: [23]  

The contemporary Turkish, Byzantine and Latin chroniclers are unanimous in recognizing that during the campaigns conducted on behalf of the unification of Greek and Latin Romania and the Slavic Balkans under the banner of Islam, as well as during their razzias on Christian territory, the Ottomans reduced masses of inhabitants to slavery.  The Ottoman chronicler A�ikpa�azade relates that during the expedition of Ali pasha Evrenosoghlu in Hungary (1437), as well as on the return from the campaign of Murad II against Belgrade (1438), the number of captives surpassed that of the combatants. The Byzantine chronicler Ducas states that the inhabitants of Smederevo, which was occupied by the Ottomans, were led off into bondage. The same thing happened when the Turks of Mente�e descended upon the islands of Rhodes and Cos and also during the expedition of the Ottoman fleet to Enos and Lesbos. Ducas even cites numbers:  70,000 inhabitants carried off into slavery during the campaign of Mehmed II in Mor�e (1460). The Italian Franciscan Bartholom� de Yano (Giano dell'Umbria) speaks about 60,000 to 70,000 slaves captured over the course of two expeditions of the akinğis in Transylvania (1438) and about 300,000 to 600,000 Hungarian captives. If these figures seem exaggerated, others seem more accurate:  forty inhabitants captured by the Turks of Mente�e during a razzia in Rhodes, 7,000 inhabitants reduced to slavery following the siege of Thessalonika (1430), according to John Anagnostes, and ten thousand inhabitants led off into captivity during the siege of Mytilene (1462), according to the Metropolitan of Lesbos, Leonard of Chios. Given the present state of the documentation available to us, we cannot calculate the scale on which slaves were introduced into Turkish Romania by this method.  According to Bartholom� de Yano, it would amount to 400,000 slaves captured in the four years from 1437 to 1443. Even allowing for a certain degree of exaggeration, we must acknowledge that slaves played an important demographic part during the fifteenth—century Ottoman expansion.  

Fisher [24] has analyzed the slave razzias conducted by the Muslim Crimean Tatars against the Christian populations of southern Poland and Muscovite Russia during the mid—15th through late 17th century (1463—1794). Relying upon admittedly incomplete sources (' doubt there are many more slave raids that the author has not uncovered' [25]), his conservative tabulations [26] indicate that at least 3 million (3,000,000) persons — men, women, and children — were captured and enslaved during this so—called 'harvesting of the steppe'. Fisher describes the plight of those enslaved: [27]

...the first ordeal [of the captive] was the long march to the Crimea. Often in chains and always on foot, many of the captives died en route. Since on many occasions the Tatar raiding party feared reprisals or, in the seventeenth century, attempts by Cossack bands to free the captives, the marches were hurried. Ill or wounded captives were usually killed rather than be allowed to slow the procession. Heberstein wrote... 'the old and infirm men who will not fetch much as a sale, are given up to the Tatar youths either to be stoned, or thrown into the sea, or to be killed by any sort of death they might please.' An Ottoman traveler in the mid—sixteenth century who witnessed one such march of captives from Galicia marveled that any would reach their destination — the slave markets of Kefe. He complained that their treatment was so bad that the mortality rate would unnecessarily drive their price up beyond the reach of potential buyers such as himself. A Polish proverb stated: 'Oh how much better to lie on one's bier, than to be a captive on the way to Tartary'
The persistence of Islamic slavery is as impressive and unique as its extent. Slavery was openly practiced in both Ottoman Turkey [28], and Shi'ite (Qajar) Iran [29], through the first decade of the 20th century. As Toledano points out, [30] regarding Ottoman Turkey, kul (administrative)/ harem slavery,
...survived at the core of the Ottoman elite until the demise of the empire and the fall of the house of Osman in the second decade of the 20th century.
Moreover, Ricks [31] indicates that despite the modernizing pressures and reforms culminating in the Iranian Constitutional Movement of 1905—1911, which effectively eliminated military and agricultural slavery,

The presence of domestic slaves, however, in both the urban and rural regions of Southern Iran had not ceased as quickly. Some Iranians today attest to the continued presence of African and Indian slave girls...
Slavery on the Arabian peninsula was not abolished formally until 1962 in Saudi Arabia, 32 and 1970 in Yemen and Oman. 33 Writing in 1989, Gordon [34] observed that although Mauritania abolished slavery officially on July 15, 1980, the government itself acknowledges, the practice is till alive and well. It is estimated that 200,000 men, women, and children are subject to being bought and sold like so many cattle in this North African country, toiling as domestics, shepherds, and farmhands.
Finally, as discussed earlier, there has been a recrudescence of jihad slavery, since 1983 in the Sudan. [35]
An Overview of Eunuch Slavery—the 'Hideous Trade'
Eunuch slaves — males castrated usually between the ages of 4 and 12 (due to the high risk of death, preferentially, between ages 8 and 12), [36] were in considerable demand in Islamic societies. They served most notably as supervisors of women in the harems of the rulers and elites of the Ottoman Empire, its contemporary Muslim neighbors (such as Safavid Iran), and earlier Muslim dominions. The extent and persistence of eunuch slavery — becoming prominent within 200 years of the initial 7th century Arab jihad conquests [37], through the beginning of the 20th century [38] — are peculiar to the Islamic incarnation of this aptly named 'hideous trade'. For example, Toledano documents that as late as 1903, the Ottoman imperial harem contained from 400 to 500 female slaves, supervised and guarded by 194 black African eunuchs. [39]

But an equally important and unique feature of Muslim eunuch slavery was the acquisition of eunuchs from foreign 'slave producing areas' [40] , i.e., non—Muslim frontier zones subjected to razzias. As David Ayalon observed, [41]

...the overwhelming majority of the eunuchs, like the overwhelming majority of all other slaves in Islam, had been brought over from outside the borders of Muslim lands.
Eunuch slaves in China, in stark contrast, were almost exclusively Chinese procured locally. [42]
Hogendorn [43] has identified the three main slave producing regions, as they evolved in importance over time, from the 8th through the late 19th centuries:

These areas were the forested parts of central and eastern Europe called by Muslims the 'Bild as—Saqaliba' ('slave country'), the word saqlab meaning slave in Arabic (and related to the ethnic designation 'Slav'); the steppes of central Asia called the 'Bilad al—Atrak' ('Turks' country' or Turkestan); and eventually most important, the savanna and the fringes of the wooded territory south of the Sahara called the country of the blacks or 'Bilad as—Sudan'.

Lastly, given the crudeness of available surgical methods and absence of sterile techniques, the human gelding procedure by which eunuchs were 'manufactured' was associated with extraordinary rates of morbidity and mortality. Hogendorn describes the severity of the operation, and provides mortality information from West and East Africa: [44]

Castration can be partial (removal of the testicles only or removal of the penis only), or total (removal of both). In the later period of the trade, that is, after Africa became the most important source for Mediterranean Islam, it appears that most eunuchs sold to the markets underwent total removal. This version of the operation, though considered most appropriate for slaves in constant proximity to harem members, posed a very high danger of death for two reasons. First was the extensive hemorrhaging, with the consequent possibility of almost immediate death. The hemorrhaging could not be stopped by traditional cauterization because that would close the urethra leading to eventual death because of inability to pass urine. The second danger lay in infection of the urethra, with the formation of pus blocking it and so causing death in a few days.
...when the castration was carried out in sub—Saharan West and West—Central Africa...a figure of 90% [is] often mentioned. Even higher death rates were occasionally reported, unsurprising in tropical areas where the danger of infection of wounds was especially high. At least one contemporary price quotation supports a figure of over 90% mortality: Turkish merchants are said to have been willing to pay 250 to 300 (Maria Theresa) dollars each for eunuchs in Borno (northeast Nigeria) at a time when the local price of young male slaves does not seem to have exceeded about 20 dollars...Many sources indicate very high death rates from the operation in eastern Africa.. Richard Millant's [1908] general figure for the Sudan and Ethiopia is 90%
Contemporary manifestations of Islamic slavery—certainly the razzias (raids) waged by Arab Muslim militias against their black Christian, animist, and animist—Muslim prey in both the southern Sudan and Darfur—and even in its own context, the persistence of slavery in Mauritania (again, black slaves, Arab masters)—reflect the pernicious impact of jihad slavery as an enduring Muslim institution. Even Ottoman society, arguably the most progressive in Muslim history, and upheld just recently at a United Nations conference as a paragon of Islamic ecumenism,  never produced a William Wilberforce, much less a broad, religiously—based slavery abolition movement spearheaded by committed Muslim ulema. Indeed, it is only modern Muslim freethinkers, anachronistically referred to as 'apostates,' who have had the courage and intellectual integrity to renounce the jihad,  including jihad slavery, unequivocally, and based upon an honest acknowledgement of its devastating military and social history. When the voices of these Muslim freethinkers are silenced in the Islamic world—by imprisonment and torture, or execution—the outcome is tragic, but hardly unexpected. That such insightful and courageous voices have been marginalized or ignored altogether in the West is equally tragic and reflects the distressing ignorance of Western policymaking elites.
Dr. Bostom is an Associate Professor of Medicine and author of the forthcoming, The Legacy of Jihad on Prometheus Books
1. Patricia Crone. God's Rule. Government and Islam. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004, pp. 371—72
2. K.S. Lal, Muslim Slave System India, New Delhi, Aditya Prakashan, 1994, pp. 46, 69.
3. Speros Vryonis, Jr. The Decline of Medieval Hellenism and the Islamization of Asia Minor, 11th Through 15th Century, 1971, Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 174—175.
4. Vasiliki Papoulia. 'The impact of devshirme on Greek society' in East Central European society and war in the prerevolutionary eighteenth century. Gunther E. Rothenberg, B�la K. Kir�ly and Peter F. Sugar, editors. Boulder : Social Science Monographs ; New York : Distributed by Columbia University Press, 1982,  pp. 555—556.
5. Thomas Ricks. 'Slaves and Slave Trading in Shi'i Iran, AD 1500—1900', Journal of Asian and African Studies, 2001, Vol. 36, pp. 407—418.
6. Ricks, 'Slaves and Slave Trading in Shi'i Iran', pp. 411—412.
7. Clement Huart. 'Le droit de la guerre' Revue du monde musulman, 1907, p. 337. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
8. John Ralph Willis. "Jihad and the ideology of enslavement", in Slaves and slavery in Muslim Africa— vol. 1. Islam and the ideology of enslavement, London, England; Totowa, N.J.: Frank Cass, 1985, pp. 17—18; 4.
9. Winston Churchill. The River War, Vol. II , London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899, pp. 248—50.
10. John Eibner. 'My career redeeming slaves', Middle East Quarterly, December, 1999, Vol. 4, Number 4, . Eibner notes:

...based on the pattern of slave raiding over the past fifteen years and the observations of Western and Arab travelers in southern Darfur and Kordofan, conservatively puts the number of chattel slaves close to or over 100,000. There are many more in state—owned concentration camps, euphemistically called "peace camps" by the government of Sudan, and in militant Qur'anic schools, where boys train to become mujahidun (warriors of jihad).

11. John Ralph Willis. Slaves and slavery in Muslim Africa, Preface, p. vii.
12. This controversial topic is discussed here: Philip D. Curtin, Roger Antsey, J.E. Inikori. The Journal of African History, 1976, Vol. 17, pp. 595—627.
13. John Ralph Willis. Slaves and slavery in Muslim Africa, Preface, p. x.
14. John Wright. 'The Mediterranean Middle Passage: The Nineteenth Century Slave Trade Between Triploi and the Levant', The Journal of North African Studies, 1996, Vol. 1, p. 44.
15. Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism, p.175, note 245.
16. Bar Hebraeus. The chronography of Gregory Ab�'l Faraj, the son of Aaron, the Hebrew physician, commonly known as Bar Hebraeus; being the first part of his political history of the world, translated from the Syriac by Ernest A. Wallis Budge, Oxford University Press, 1932, Vol. 1, pp. 268—273; Michael the Syrian, Chronique de Michel le Syrien, Patriarche Jacobite d'Antioche (1166—1199), translated by J—B Chabot, 1895, Vol. 3, p. 331.
17. Michael the Syrian, Chronique, Vol. 3, p. 331.
18. Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism, p.175, note 245.
19. Michael the Syrian, Chronique, Vol. 3, p. 369.
20. Michael the Syrian, Chronique, Vol. 3, pp. 401—402; Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, Vol. 1, p. 321.
21. Vryonis, The Decline of Medieval Hellenism, p.175, note 245.
22. M—M Alexandrescu—Dersca Bulgaru. 'Le role des escalves en Romanie turque au XVe siecle' Byzantinische Forschungen, vol. 11, 1987, p. 15.
23. Alexandrescu—Dersca Bulgaru, 'Le role des escalves en Romanie turque au XVe siecle', pp. 16—17.
24. Alan Fisher 'Muscovy and the Black Sea Slave Trade', Canadian American Slavic Studies, 1972, Vol. 6, pp. 575—594.
25. Fisher 'Muscovy and the Black Sea Slave Trade', p. 579, note 17.
26. Fisher 'Muscovy and the Black Sea Slave Trade', pp. 580—582.
27. Fisher 'Muscovy and the Black Sea Slave Trade', pp. 582—583.
28. Reuben Levy, The Social Structure of Islam, Cambridge University Press, 1957, p. 88.
29. Ricks, 'Slaves and Slave Trading in Shi'i Iran', p. 408.
30. Ehud Toledano. Slavery and Abolition in the Ottoman Middle East, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998, p. 53.
31. Ricks, 'Slaves and Slave Trading in Shi'i Iran', p. 415.
32. Murray Gordon. Slavery in the Arab World, New York: New Amsterdam, 1989, p. 232.
33. Gordon. Slavery in the Arab World, p. 234.
34. Gordon. Slavery in the Arab World, Preface, second page (pages not numbered).
35. Eibner, 'My career redeeming slaves'.
36. Jan Hogendorn. 'The Hideous Trade. Economic Aspects of the 'Manufacture' and Sale of Eunuchs', Paideuma, 1999, Vol. 45, p. 143, especially, note 25.
37. Hogendorn. 'The Hideous Trade', p. 137.
38. Ehud Toledano. 'The Imperial Eunuchs of Istanbul: From Africa to the Heart of Islam', Middle Eastern Studies, 1984, Vol. 20, pp. 379—390.
39. Toledano. 'The Imperial Eunuchs of Istanbul', pp. 380—381.
40. Hogendorn. 'The Hideous Trade', p. 138.
41. David Ayalon. 'On the Eunuchs in Islam', Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 1979, Vol. 1, pp. 69—70.
42. Hogendorn. 'The Hideous Trade', p. 139, note 5.
43. Hogendorn. 'The Hideous Trade', p. 139.
44. Hogendorn. 'The Hideous Trade', pp. 143, 145—146.
on "The living legacy of jihad slavery"
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 07:18:01 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #255 on: April 27, 2011, 12:16:26 PM »

Andrew, before you cite academics like Edward Said (Edward Sayid), you might want to examine their agendas and how the truth might not be one of them. Look up Ward Churchill as another academic who understood that as long as one is sufficiently post-modern and leftist, actually scholarship is not required.

Edward Said and Me

 A briefing by Justus Reid Weiner
 September 20, 2000

In September 1999, Commentary magazine published an article by Justus Reid Weiner, a scholar-in-residence with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which demonstrated that the autobiographical references of Edward Said, a University Professor at Columbia University, were fundamentally inaccurate. In a September 20, 2000 discussion at the Middle East Forum in New York, Mr. Weiner spoke about repercussions of his widely publicized exposé.

The Article

In my article, I showed that contrary to his depiction, Said was in fact not exiled from Jerusalem by the Haganah in December 1947. Nor was there any basis to his claim that he "spent most of his formative years" in Jerusalem and that he "left with [his] family for Cairo" by "the end of 1947." Similarly Said's assertion that he lost his "beautiful old house" in the Talbieh neighborhood was revealed to be false. Actually, this avatar of the Palestinian refugees was the scion of a wealthy Cairene family. His father was an American citizen who moved to Cairo from Jerusalem a decade before Edward was born. Living in Cairo until his departure to attend prep school in America in 1951, Edward Said resided with his family in luxurious apartment buildings in the exclusive Zamalek neighborhood where he was attended to by maids and a butler, he played with childhood friends in the manicured private gardens of the Aquarium Grotto, he attended private English and American schools, he was driven around in his father's large black American cars by a chauffeur, and he enjoyed the facilities at the exclusive Gezira Sporting Club as the son of one of its only Arab members.

In 1952 a revolutionary mob burned Said's father's flagship store (and a branch) to the ground, and several years later within a decade the nationalization program instituted by Egyptian president Nasser ultimately forced Said's father out of the country. Thus, the truly devastating financial losses suffered by Said's father were in no way connected to Israel, the country from which Edward Said demands reparations.

My Interest in Edward Said

Early on in the Oslo peace process, I was researching an article dealing with those who opposed the peace process, among whom Edward Said was an intellectual leader. In the course of my inquiry, I became fascinated with the way Said employed his childhood travails to advance his political argument, especially as I had lived in the Talbieh neighborhood of Jerusalem, a two-minute walk from the building Said had described as "my beautiful old house." Further, my former office overlooked the playground of Saint George's School in eastern Jerusalem, the very school Said said he attended before being driven out by Haganah forces in 1947.

Inquiring about Said's Past

To better understand Said's background, I began to conduct on-site research into his childhood. First, I went to St. George's School to inquire about Said's days as a pupil there. The headmaster showed me the pre-1948 student enrollment records, and I spent hours going through three leather-bound enrollment ledgers, page by page. To my astonishment, I found no mention of Edward Said. A second time page-by-page through the same records, and I found no evidence he was ever enrolled there.

This got me hooked. I located and interviewed six former residents of the "beautiful old house," none of whom had any recollection of Edward Said or his parents ever having lived there. Going through nine newspapers over a six-month period (November 1947-May 1948) I found that Said's claim of being driven out by a Haganah sound van in mid-December 1947 was without any support in these contemporaneous records.

I then located scores of who's who books, telephone directories, and business directories for Jerusalem and Cairo during the relevant years, which enabled me to ascertain that Edward Said and his parents had lived in Cairo, and where his father's business was located. I consulted the Jerusalem registry of deeds, sent Arabic-speaking researchers to interview Said's relatives, did researched in the declassified public records of the British Mandatory government in Palestine and the map and aerial photographs department at Hebrew University. I located Said's birth and baptismal certificates. I interviewed some eighty-five individuals. I discovered many interesting points: that Said was in fact "born in Jerusalem," but only because his parents feared hygienic conditions in Cairo hospitals after their previously born son died of an infection within days of his delivery. Thus, Edward Said's birth certificate bears no entry in the box marked "local address," but it does list a permanent address: "Cairo."

Several months of extensive research made clear that there was something fundamentally wrong with the picture Said presented of himself - that of a Palestinian exile/refugee deserving of reparations from Israel. When I began discovering discrepancies in Said's frequent autobiographic references, I telephoned his office at Columbia University to request an interview, but Said did not return the call.

Triggering a Media Controversy

The publication of my exposé detonated "one of the nastiest rows of its kind to rend New York's intelligentsia in years," according to the Observer of London. More than 150 articles appeared about my research, from Finland to India. A dichotomy emerged.

On the one side were dedicated journalists took the trouble to examine my evidence. On the other side were pro-Said responses by him and his network of friends (i.e., Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens, Alexander Cockburn); they did not refute my evidence but attacked me and my work, often in similar ways and even using the same words. But Said's supporters faced an unenviable problem - a month after my article was published, Said's memoir Out of Place arrived in the bookstores, confirming the essence of what I had uncovered. Perhaps the 85 interviews I conducted alerted him to the urgency of fixing the record about his Cairo childhood.

Repercussions of the Exposé

Said's fraud continues to be important a full year later because it raises larger questions than simply the myth-making and selective memory of one person.

First, Said is a leading intellectual light in left-wing and Palestinian circles. People who never saw fit to scrape at Said's teflon surface have now begun to question his credibility. In just the last two months, for example, six major articles appeared in the Columbia Spectator, the university newspaper, dealing critically with Said's shenanigans. One article, "Said's Shameful Summer: Rocks and Terrorists," noted Said's having met with Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah the same day he was photographed heaving a stone at the Israeli side of the Lebanon-Israel border. The Columbia Spectator's criticism of Said culminated inincluded a staff editorial entitled "Said's Affinity for Fiction."

Second, Said's Palestinian supporters remain in complete denial. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and other groups have only hugged Said tighter after his exposure. This suggests that such groups take a rather callous attitude towards truth when it concerns matters close to their hearts.

Third, Palestinians and the Israeli Left have urged Israelis to reevaluate their country's formative experiences. Said has been touting Israeli post-Zionists, or New Historians, and tries to make it seem as though they are all in full agreement with him, which is not true. Why, I wonder, as Israelis give up their historical myths in the interest of moving closer to the Palestinians, do the latter clutch their myths ever tighter.

The Intellectual and the Truth

Edward Said writes in his book Representations of the Intellectual that the goal of the intellectual is to speak truth to power. Although in some ways a post-modern figure, in matters of truth - at least with regard to himself - Said insists on holding to a traditional standard of truth. This is particularly ironic because Said conspicuously does not live up to his own standard. Worse, even when he does use actual facts, Said deploys them in a way intended to deceive the reader.

Thus, he mentions a number of dates - occasions when he was present in Palestine between his birth in 1935 and 1947, then repeats them endlessly, suggesting to the listener or reader that he was continuously in Palestine during this twelve-year period. As it turned out, however, Said spent his entire childhood - except for a few summers and other visits abroad - living in a prestigious neighborhood in Cairo, surrounded by butlers, maids and the like. This was his life, and it had almost nothing to do with Palestine.

Summary account by Assaf Moghadam, a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
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« Reply #256 on: April 27, 2011, 12:34:31 PM »

"And second of all, the horrors of Marxism here werent really horrors at all, and most certainly they werent Marxists horrors"

When I say marxist horrors, this is what I'm talking about:

I find it hard to understand anyone who wants to argue that the murder of 20 million is "preferable" to anything, but our culture still hasn't assimilated the genocidal equivalence between Stalin and Hitler, because, as Applebaum points out, we used the former to defeat the latter.*

Consider the fact that downtown New York is home to a genuinely likable literary bar ironically named "KGB." The KGB, of course, was merely the renamed version of Stalin's NKVD, itself the renamed version of the OGPU, the secret police spearhead of his genocidal policies. And under its own name the KGB was responsible for the continued murder and torture of dissidents and Jews until the Soviet Union fell in 1991 (although of course an ex-KGB man named Putin is basically running the place now).

You could argue that naming a bar "KGB" is just a kind of Cold War kitsch (though millions of victims might take issue with taking it so lightly). But the fact that you can even make the kitsch argument is a kind of proof of the differential way Soviet and Nazi genocides and their institutions are still treated. Would people seek to hold literary readings at a downtown bar ironically named "Gestapo"?

The full evil of Stalin still hasn't sunk in. I know it to be true intellectually, but our culture has not assimilated the magnitude of his crimes. Which is perhaps why the cannibalism jolted me out of any illusion that meaningful distinctions could be made between Stalin and Hitler.

Perhaps we've failed to assimilate what we've learned about Stalin, Soviet communism, and Mao's communism (50 million may have died in the Great Leap Forward famine and the Cultural Revolution's murders) because for some time the simmering argument had a kind of disreputable side. In the mid-'80s there were German historians such as Jürgen Habermas accusing other German historians such as Ernst Nolte of trying to "normalize" the Nazi regime by playing up its moral equivalence to Stalinist Russia, by suggesting even that Hitler's murderous methods were a response to Stalinist terror and genocide, which some saw as an attempt to "excuse" Hitler.

But the disreputable uses to which the argument has been put—normalizing Hitler by focusing on Stalin's crimes—should not blind us to the magnitude and consequences of those crimes.

There is no algorithm for evil, but the case of Stalin's has for a long time weighed more heavily the ideological murders and gulag deaths that began in 1937 and played down the millions who—Snyder argues—were just as deliberately, cold-bloodedly murdered by enforced famine in 1932 and 1933.

Here is where the shock of Snyder's relatively few pages on cannibalism brought the question of degrees of evil alive once again to me. According to Snyder's carefully documented account, it was not uncommon during the Stalin-imposed famine in Soviet Ukraine for parents to cook and eat their children.

The bare statement alone is horrifying even to write.

The back story: While Lenin was content, for a time anyway, to allow the new Soviet Union to develop a "mixed economy" with state-run industry and peasant-owned private farms, Stalin decided to "collectivize" the grain-producing breadbasket that was the Ukraine. His agents seized all land from the peasants, expelling landowners and placing loyal ideologues with little agricultural experience in charge of the newly collectivized farms, which began to fail miserably. And to fulfill Five-Year Plan goals, he seized all the grain and food that was grown in 1932 and 1933 to feed the rest of Russia and raise foreign capital, and in doing so left the entire Ukrainian people with nothing to eat—except, sometimes, themselves.

I've read things as horrifying, but never more horrifying than the four pages in Snyder's book devoted to cannibalism. In a way I'd like to warn you not to read it; it is, unfortunately, unforgettable. On the other hand, not to read it is a refusal to be fully aware of what kind of world we live in, what human nature is capable of. The Holocaust taught us much on these questions, but alas, there is more to learn. Maybe it's better to live in denial. Better to think of human history Pollyanna-like, as an evolution upward, although sometimes I feel Darwin spoke more truly than he knew when he titled his book The Descent of Man. Certainly one's understanding of both Stalinism and human nature will be woefully incomplete until one does read Snyder's pages.

Here is an excerpt:

In the face of starvation, some families divided, parents turning against children, and children against one another. As the state police, the OGPU, found itself obliged to record, in Soviet Ukraine "Families kill their weakest members, usually children, and use the meat for eating." Countless parents killed and ate their children and then died of starvation later anyway. One mother cooked her son for herself and her daughter. One 6-year-old girl, saved by other relatives last saw her father when he was sharpening a knife to slaughter her. Other combinations were, of course, possible. One family killed their daughter-in-law, and fed her head to the pigs, and roasted the rest of her body."

According to Snyder "at least 2,505 people were sentenced for cannibalism in the years 1932 and 1933 in Ukraine, although the actual number of cases was most certainly greater."

One more horror story. About a group of women who sought to protect children from cannibals by gathering them in an "orphanage" in the Kharkov region:

"One day the children suddenly fell silent, we turned around to see what was happening, and they were eating the smallest child, little Petrus. They were tearing strips from him and eating them. And Petrus was doing the same, he was tearing strips from himself and eating them, he ate as much as he could. The other children put their lips to his wounds and drank his blood. We took the child away from their hungry mouths and we cried."

"And appetite, an universal wolf/ So doubly seconded with will and power/ Must make perforce an universal prey/ And last eat up himself." So Shakespeare wrote, but note that he is speaking not just of the appetite for food, but for power. Stalin was the true cannibal.

How should one react to this? There may only have been a few thousand cases, compared with the millions Stalin starved or murdered, compared with Hitler's slaughters, but there is something in these accounts that forces one to realize there are depths of evil one has not been able to imagine before. Killing another human being, killing millions of human beings. Evil. But forcing parents to cook and eat their children—did one know this was in the repertoire of human behavior? Must we readjust radically downward our vision of human nature? That any human could cause or carry out such acts must mean many are capable of it.

The point of the controversy really should be not whether Hitler or Stalin was worse, but that there was more than one of them, more than two of course: There are also Pol Pot and the Rwandan killers, among others.

Even if those 2,500 arrests for cannibalism were dwarfed by the numbers of those 2 million or more starved to death, they have something unspeakable to say, something almost beyond words. In the light of these reports, can those such as Slavoj Žižek still defend Marxism for its utopian universalism and dismiss the cannibalism as unfortunate unintended consequences of too much zealousness in pursuit of a higher cause? Just a detour on the road to Utopia. Tell us, Mr. Žižek, please. (And by the way, to scorn Postmodern Marxism is not to defend the failings of Postmodern capitalism.)

Should we hold different kinds of genocide differentially evil? One would think brutal direct mass slaughter to be the worst form, but forcing human beings to descend to cannibalizing their children goes beyond physical torture and killing. It is spiritual torture, murder of the souls. In a way more vicious and wicked because the enforced self-degradation is unimaginable in its suffering.

We know what it says about Stalin and his henchmen, all too willing to be accomplices of this horror. But what about the cannibals? How should we regard them? Purely as victims, with no choice? Certainly they must have suffered mentally and spiritually more than we can imagine. But does that mean they didn't have a choice? If we accept they had a choice are we blaming the victims? Or is it clear they were driven insane by starvation—and cannot be held fully culpable by reason of diminished capacity? On the other hand not every family that starved to death turned to cannibalism; were they of stronger moral constitution?

Snyder is very careful about this. He concedes "cannibalism is a taboo of literature as well as life, as communities seek to protect their dignity by suppressing the record of this desperate mode of survival. Ukrainians outside the Soviet Union have treated cannibalism as a source of great shame."

This is an almost too carefully, thus confusingly, worded sentence. It seems as if he's saying that some communities haven't sought to suppress the facts, but feel shame—"Ukrainians outside the Soviet Union." But there is no more Soviet Union. What did or do the Ukrainians who now have their own nation feel? What are they supposed to feel? Victimized into being perpetrators?

These are not easy questions, the ones about how to evaluate degrees of evil. I spend probably too much time thinking about them. Sometimes there are distinctions without a significant difference. Here are some very preliminary thoughts:

—Even if the cannibalism was confined to a few thousand and the larger genocides involved millions, they are not irrelevant to the heart of darkness revealed in the "bloodlands" that lay between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

—There are some distinctions, but no real difference, between Hitler's and Stalin's genocides. Once you get over 5 million, it's fair to say all genocidal monsters are alike.

Finally, the only other conclusion one can draw is that "European civilization" is an oxymoron. These horrors, Nazi and Communist, all arose out of European ideas, political and philosophical, being put into practice. Even the Cambodian genocide had its genesis in the cafes of Paris where Pol Pot got his ideas. Hitler got his ideas in the cafes of Vienna.

"After such knowledge," as Eliot said, "what forgiveness?"

But marxism is great, it just hasn't been properly applied yet?
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« Reply #257 on: April 27, 2011, 12:56:47 PM »

I am enjoying the back and forth of others with Andrew.  No intent to pile on, but from my (American-centric) point of view I would add the small details that a) it was also a largely Christian nation ENDED slavery here and action from largely Christian countries that eventually ENDED the Bosnian atrocities.  Jews and Christians elsewhere were not applauding and supporting any of that violence to my knowledge.

Meanwhile both Iran and more recently Egypt have issued maps with Israel removed, while more moderate and 'peaceful' Arab-Muslim nations still call for the destruction of Israel in their charter.  The state press of Saddam's Iraq applauded bin Laden's attacks on America.  

The NATO/American intervention in Bosnia and other examples of America  and the west (with Jews, Christians, Muslims) helping Muslims are always conveniently absent from the rhetoric of bin Laden, militant Islamists and the propagandists.  Historians would never make those omissions.   smiley
The inference that at least at this point in time we are morally equivalent (or worse?) to those who call for our destruction I find preposterous but I am open to reading all that you can post to support that.
Sorry for the 'echo' effect, but this passage from GM sums up very well what I also see (and don't see) here and what also I see from here as happening in Europe, the London subway, Madrid, riots in Paris and Malmo, the Danish free speech attacks, etc.:

"A more accurate evaluation would be to compare the violence from Muslims globally vs. the violence from Christians. You see many honor killings in the Bible Belt? I know the Baptists are famous for suicide bombings. Everyone has of course seen where Lutherans flew planes into the WTC. Remember when Catholics butchered those kids in Beslan? So why are so many horrific acts done by those motivated by christian theology and so few by Muslim theology?

Or is it the other way around?"
There are nuts and psychos everywhere, whether we look at Timothy McVeigh or Hitler, but where in the teachings of the church does it call for what they did.  The current fight as far as I know is from one particular intolerant theology.

"Muslims will never associate this (atrocities committed by 'Christians') with the teachings of Jesus, peace be on him."

  - If they did, again, where in the teachings or life of Jesus would they point to justify the Bosnian atrocities?

Only in the churches that Obama has chosen have I seen hatred taught and disseminated and it is not from the teachings of Christ and it is not directed toward other religions or non-believers.  

I have been to quite a variety of churches and heard the expression 'Peace be with you' and a lot of praying for peace all across the world.  I have never heard the Judeo-Christian teaching: 'Peace only to those who follow the chosen path'.  
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« Reply #258 on: April 27, 2011, 01:17:38 PM »

"There are nuts and psychos everywhere, whether we look at Timothy McVeigh or Hitler, but where in the teachings of the church does it call for what they did.  The current fight as far as I know is from one particular intolerant theology."

Just a quick point Doug, as . McVeigh is often thrown out by islamic apologists (Not that you are, of course). McVeigh was motivated by a hatred of the US gov't, not christian theology.

In a letter to the Buffalo News daily in New York state yesterday, McVeigh used the word "sorry" for the first time, but instantly rendered it meaningless. "I am sorry these people had to lose their lives," he wrote. "But that's the nature of the beast. It's understood going in what the human toll will be."

There was anger in Oklahoma City yesterday after his claim that the bombing of a federal government building was a "legit tactic" in his war against the excesses of central government. Yesterday, his lawyer compared his role to that of a pilot who drops a bomb on a foreign country killing women and children. "He does feel for people but he doesn't feel like he did anything wrong," Mr Nigh said.

In his letter, McVeigh said he was an agnostic but that he would "improvise, adapt and overcome", if it turned out there was an afterlife. "If I'm going to hell," he wrote, "I'm gonna have a lot of company." His body is to be cremated and his ashes scattered in a secret location.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 07:33:17 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #259 on: April 27, 2011, 02:06:17 PM »

In politics, shoddy theories never die. In the Middle East, one of the oldest is that Palestine is the "core" regional issue. This zombie should have been interred at the beginning of the Arab Spring, which has highlighted the real core conflict: the oppressed vs. their oppressors. But the dead keep walking.

"The plight of the Palestinians has been a root cause of unrest and conflict in the region," insisted Turkish President Abdullah Gul in the New York Times last week. "Whether these [recent] uprisings lead to democracy and peace or to tyranny and conflict will depend on forging a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace." Naturally, "the U.S. has a long overdue responsibility" to forge that peace.

Writing in the Financial Times, former U.S. National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft intoned: "The nature of the new Middle East cannot be known until the festering sore of the occupied territories is removed." Read: The fate of democracy hinges on Palestine.

So do "Iran's hegemonic ambitions," he insinuated. This is why Tehran reaches for the bomb? Syria, too, will remain a threat "as long as there is no regional peace agreement." The Assad regime is slaughtering its own people for the sake of Palestine? And unless Riyadh "saw the U.S. as moving in a serious manner" on Palestine, Mr. Scowcroft warned, the Saudis might really sour on their great protector from across the sea. So when they sent troops into Bahrain, were they heading for Jerusalem by way of Manama?

Shoddy political theories—ideologies, really—never die because they are immune to the facts. The most glaring is this: These revolutions have unfolded without the usual anti-American and anti-Israeli screaming. It's not that the demonstrators had run out of Stars and Stripes to trample, or were too concerned about the environment to burn Benjamin Netanyahu in effigy. It's that their targets were Hosni Mubarak, Zine el Abidine Ben-Ali, Moammar Gadhafi and the others—no stooges of Zionism they. In Benghazi, the slogan was: "America is our friend!"

The men and women of the Arab Spring are not risking their lives for a "core" issue, but for the freedom of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria. And of Iran, as the Green revolutionaries did in Tehran in 2009.

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Associated Press
Syrian anti-government protesters march during a demonstration in Banias, Syria, on April 17.
.Every "Palestine-first" doctrine in the end comes down to that fiendish "Arab Street": The restless monster must be fed with Israeli concessions lest he rise and sweep away our good friends—all those dictators and despots who pretended to stand between us and Armageddon. Free Palestine, the dogma goes, and even Iran and Syria will turn from rabid to responsible. The truth is that the American and Israeli flags were handed out for burning by those regimes themselves.

This is how our good friends have stayed in power: Divert attention and energy from oppression and misery at home by rousing the masses against the enemy abroad. How can we have free elections, runs a classic line, as long as they despoil our sacred Islamic lands? This is why anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism are as rampant among our Saudi and Egyptian allies as among the hostile leaders of Iran and Syria.

The Palestinians do deserve their own state. But the Palestine-first strategy reverses cause and effect. It is not the core conflict that feeds the despotism; it is the despots who fan the conflict, even as they fondle their U.S.-made F-16s and quietly work with Israel. Their peoples are the victims of this power ploy, not its drivers. This is what the demonstrators of Tahrir Square and the rebels of Benghazi have told us with their silence on the Palestine issue.

So Palestine has nothing to do with it? It does, though not in the ways insisted by Messrs. Gul and Scowcroft. The sounds of silence carry a different message: "It's democracy, stupid!" Freedom does not need the enemy at the gate. Despots do, which is why they happily let the Palestinian sore fester for generations.

Israel, which has reacted in utter confusion to the fall of Mubarak, might listen up as well. If democracies don't have to "busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels," as Shakespeare has it in Henry IV, then Israel's reformed neighbors might at last be ready for real, not just cold peace. Mr. Mubarak was not. Nor is Mr. Assad of Syria, who has refused every Israeli offer to hand back the Golan Heights. If you rule at the head of a tiny Alawite minority, why take the Heights and give away a conflict that keeps you in power? Peace at home—justice, jobs and consent—makes for peace abroad.

Still, don't hold your breath. Yes, democracy is where history is going, but it is a long, perilous journey even from Tunis to Tripoli, let alone all the way to Tehran.

Mr. Joffe is senior fellow at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies and a fellow at the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford.

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« Reply #260 on: April 28, 2011, 08:14:32 AM »

Tzvi Freeman: Any Jew alive on the face of this planet today is a walking miracle. Our mere existence today is wondrous, plucked from the fire at the last moment again and again, with no natural explanation that will suffice.  Each of us alive today is a child of martyrs and miracles.

AB wrote: "And second of all, the horrors of Marxism here werent really horrors at all, and most certainly they werent Marxists horrors. I beleive you refer to Yugoslavia. All recent studies and polls show that a vast majority of people said life back then was a lot more lax, less stresfull, happier and freer. Almost 0% crime rate, no unemployment, free health care with one of the best surgeons and doctors in central europe, a solid school system, sure work after graduation, economical vertical mobility, great national spirit and cameradery..."

As GM has already clarified, his comments were directed to the entirety of Marxism, the over twenty million killed by Stalin et al, the 50-70 million killed by Mao, etc.  I would add a simple comment based upon my personal experience.  When I was 11 years old my family and I (liberal NYC Jews btw so we were not predisposed to a negative experience) went into what was then northern Yugoslavia for several days.  The oppression and fear in the air was palpable.  As you know, last year I was in Slovenia which seemed to me to be a fine, wonderful place.  Also, I went to Cuba for ten days in 1981, shortly before the Port Mariel exodus.  I speak Spanish at an adult level, and Latin America was my region of specialization for my degree in International Relations from U. of PA-- the point being I did go in with some education and the ability to talk to people independently of government provided guides.  Again, oppression in the air, and empty stomachs in a fertile tropical island.  As for your description of central Europe, I have a hard time squaring that with the fact of the Berlin Wall and Soviet and East German guards shooting people trying to escape.

AB wrote "So in short I cannot honestly answer you to the question : does Israel have a right to exist?  Does Israel have a right to self-defense? I mean of course from the basic context, there is no doubt that it does, but my pitch is, that the problem is WAY more layered and structured than this basic question."

I find your response here quite remarkable.  It is PRECISELY as simple as whether Israel has a right to exist and to defend itself or not!!!  Annale slice and layer all you want to concerning the etymology of the terms Palistine/Palestinian, Iran/Aryan, Jihad/Kampf but the simple facts are

a) that there are major strands of Jewish hatred in the Arab world today based upon portions of Islam;
b) that this hatred precedes the creation of Israel;
c) that almost as many Jews came to Israel to escape oppression in the Arab (and Aryan Iranian) world as came from Europe;
d) that the ASIs (Arabs Surrounding Israel) have tried to wipe it out various times;
e) that there are many, many ASIs currently dedicated to the destruction of Israel
f) Iran is building missiles and nukes that will give it the ability to wipe Israel out in a flash
g) that Israel gave the Sinai back to Egypt after it accepted Israel's right to exist
h) that this option was on the table for many years for the West Bank, though at this point many Israelis have decided to move on and keep land from which their security and survival has been attacked innumerable times and
i) those who would make peace and do business with Israel are killed
j) the rights of Arabs in Israel are far, far greater than the rights of Jews in Arab coutntries.

PS:  I have looked in vain for your statement of your guiding philosophy "Annales Marxism" was it?  I would like to read up on this a bit.  This is what I have found so far-- is this it?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 09:49:54 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #261 on: May 01, 2011, 09:22:38 AM »


man, I see you guys were productive. Anyway, my reply is in the works, but at the time I am too held back at work to finish it. Stay sharp !

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« Reply #262 on: May 01, 2011, 10:31:19 AM »

Looking forward to it.  smiley BTW, I leave tomorrow evening for a seminar in Israel. (First time for this American Jew).  I am very excited!
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« Reply #263 on: May 01, 2011, 02:17:17 PM »

The Eichmann Trial: 50 Years Later

The Eichmann Trial: 50 Years Later
by Leah Abramowitz
A prosecutor and key witness reflect back on the event that transformed Israel.

In May 1960, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer in charge of orchestrating the Final Solution – the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps – was captured by Israeli agents near Buenos Aires. Eichmann was given a choice between instant death or trial in Israel. He chose to stand trial, which began in Jerusalem on April 11, 1961.

During the trial, the Israeli public was exposed to the details of the Holocaust nightmare for the first time, as well as to the heroism and ingenuity of those who survived.

In his defense, Eichmann insisted that he was only "following orders." Yet scores of witnesses contradicted that contention – testifying to Eichmann's "fanatical zeal and unquenchable blood thirst." Throughout, Eichmann listened impassively to a translation of the entire trial from a specially-designed glass cubicle in the crowded Jerusalem courtroom.

One year later, after all the evidence was in and all appeals exhausted, the cold-eyed Nazi monster was hanged at a prison in the Israeli town of Ramla.

Former Supreme Judge Gavriel Bach – at the time an up-and-coming lawyer and deputy state attorney – was asked to join the team of prosecutors. Fluent in German, he conducted most of the interrogations of Eichmann. At a recent talk in Jerusalem, with the 50th anniversary of the Eichmann Trial approaching, Bach described the unforgettable influence that the trial left on him.

"We were three prosecutors. We gathered millions of pages of documentation and read a great deal of background sources. I don't think I slept more than three hours every night throughout the trial," Bach recalls. “The German government was very cooperative and sent us a great deal of material.” Despite that, chief prosecutor Gideon Hausner preferred to call up as many witnesses as possible rather than presenting his case via historical documents, because "it would be more shocking and have more impetus."

"Some of us thought that Eichmann may have experienced regret at the terrible things done to the Jews in Europe," says Bach. While in custody, Eichmann was shown part of a film that portrayed the horrible conditions of the camps and the crematoria. “We all waited to see how he would react to the emotional film,” says Bach. But when a German-speaking guard asked Eichmann for his reaction, he simply changed the subject and complained about not being allowed to appear at the trial in a Nazi uniform.

Instigator of the Crimes

Among the many documents that Bach found was an interview which Eichmann gave to a fascist Dutch journalist in 1956 while hiding in Argentina. Eichmann expressed satisfaction over the sight of continuous railroads cars arriving in Auschwitz. "It was a glorious sight," he said.

"Did you have any regrets at any time?" asked the journalist.

"Yes", answered Eichmann, "I'm sorry that I wasn't stricter in carrying out our goal. Look what happened," he declared angrily in 1956. "The State of Israel now exists and that cursed race continues."

A book written by the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Hoes, describes how up to a thousand Jewish children were gassed daily. "Occasionally a youngster would beg for his life on bended knees in front of me, and I have to admit, I sometimes felt weak myself. I have children of my own. But then I was embarrassed at my frailty. The Oberfuhrer (Eichmann) strengthened my resolve by explaining that we had to kill the accursed Jewish children above all; they represented the future, and the Jewish future had to be erased from the face of the world."

Prosecutors found several examples of Eichmann’s steadfast, even stubborn resistance to any show of lenience. One of the Nazi leaders in Poland sent a request to delay the deportation of a certain Dr. Weiss and his wife. Dr. Weiss was a world famous expert on radar, and the officer thought it would be useful for the Reich to obtain key information before annihilating him. Eichmann wouldn't hear of it "as a matter of principle," and the doctor and his family perished along with their entire community.

At one point during the war, Hitler himself, for political reasons, asked Eichmann not to touch 8,000 Jews left in Budapest. Yet despite his loyalty to the Fuhrer, Eichmann planned otherwise. (Only the war's progression prevented him from deporting this group.) These examples counter Eichmann's claim throughout the trial that he was merely a cog in the machine, carrying out orders.

"There were many dramatic incidents during the trial," says Bach, some which never came to the floor of the courtroom. "We received an important document from an anonymous source which detailed the number of arrivals at Auschwitz, the dates, and the numbers given to each Jew. We tried to verify the details and find the person who had sent us the valuable material, but couldn't make headway. We called in experts from the police department to examine the document and help us find its author. Then I had a brainstorm. Let's find survivors with the numbers mentioned in the document and ask them when they arrived at the camp. That will give us the proof we need to present the document at the trial.

"One of the policeman in the room, after some hesitation, rolled up his sleeve and showed us a number engraved on his arm. 'This number appears on the report; and indeed I arrived in Auschwitz on the date mentioned,' he said quietly. There was complete silence in the room. None of his police colleagues even knew that he'd been in the Holocaust. Like so many, he had hidden his past. We had our proof on the spot. But none of us could speak for several minutes."

Horror Stories

The Eichmann trial had the effect of creating huge public awareness about the Holocaust in Israel and worldwide.

"Nobody wanted to talk about their Holocaust experiences," says Yosef Kleinman, a survivor who arrived in Palestine in 1945 during the days when the tiny Jewish community was struggling to survive and prepare for statehood. There was neither energy, time nor patience to hear the newcomers out. “No one was interested in hearing our stories,” says Kleinman.

"They called us 'sabonim' (soapers),” he says. “They couldn't fathom why we hadn't stood up to the Nazis in the camps and fought back. In those days Israelis were taken up with the macho image of the ‘new Jew.’ They didn't understand what we were up against in Europe, and we ourselves didn't want to be reminded. We just wanted to get on with our lives and put that all behind us."

Indeed, the main drama of the Eichmann trial was the Holocaust survivors who appeared as witnesses. As first it was difficult to even locate witnesses, since they had gotten so used to not talking about that period in their lives. "I had a hard time convincing some people to come forth and tell their story," Bach recalls. “One man told me, ‘If I start talking, you won't be able to stop me for four or five days.’"

The prosecution team argued among themselves how much time to give each witness. "I was adamant that at least one witness should appear from every country that had been under Nazi rule," says Bach.

Kleinman, one of the youngest witnesses, described the selection process he endured as a 14-year-old. "First we were put into a ghetto, and several weeks later we were sent in cattle cars to the camp. For three days we had nothing to drink or eat.”

At Auschwitz, there was a selection table where the infamous Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele, sent the most able-bodied to the right for slave labor, and the weaker ones to the left for extermination. “My 13-year-old brother was held up for inspection,“ Kleinman recalls, “but in the end they told him to run along and join our parents to the left, which he did happily, not knowing what that meant. That was the last time I saw any of them.

”In the barracks, the old timers quickly filled us in and callously pointed to the smoking chimneys we could see through the window. 'That's where your parents are. They're all dead by now.' That's how we learned the terrible truth.”

At the Eichmann trial, Kleinman testified about an incident where Auschwitz guards called the prisoners out to see one young boy getting punished. Kleinman describes:

“Usually they'd give 25 lashes. This boy withstood the punishment and didn't let out a sound. That made the tormentor angry and he continued beating him – 30, 35, 40 lashes. And still the boy didn't cry out. We ourselves couldn't take it anymore. But the soldier continued hitting him all over – on his legs, face, stomach, wherever the whip landed.

“When he got to 50, and the boy was already on the ground, he threw away his whip and left in disgust. We ran over to the hero, picked him up and washed him off. 'What did you do to get this punishment?' we asked him. He could barely talk, but he said, “I brought siddurim (prayer books) to the barracks. It was worth it. I'm glad I did it.'"

This story had a deep influence in the courtroom. The court-appointed defense attorney wept openly, and the judges called for a break in the procedures.

Little Red Coat

At the trial, another witness who had been inside the gas chamber lived to tell about it. As a youngster, he arrived in Auschwitz together with 200 other children, after a horrendous three-day train trip. After the selection, he was pushed into a large dark room with shower piping, and the door was shut behind them. At first the children began to sing, to lift their spirits, but that soon gave way to wailing and screaming. Suddenly the heavy metal door swung open and a guard pulled out 20 of them into the bright sunlight. The Nazis needed workers to unload bags of potatoes and there weren't enough soldiers for the job. That's how this man was able to give a first-hand description of the insides of the crematorium.

At the trial, Dr. Martin Foldi, related how he and his family arrived at Auschwitz in the winter of 1944. As the bewildered Jews stumbled out of the cattle cars, they were hounded by dogs and Nazi soldiers with whips. He described being sent to the right with his 11-year-old son. His wife and two-year-old daughter were taken to the left. The little girl was wearing a little red coat. At the last minute, a guard sent Foldi's son with the crowd to the left. Dr. Foldi panicked thinking, how could this young boy find his mother and sister among the thousands there at the station. But then he knew... he could find his sister because she was wearing the red coat. It would be "like a beacon" for the boy. Then he states, "I never saw them again."

This testimony is likely to have formed the inspiration for the iconic red coat in Steve Spielberg’s classic film, Schindler’s List.

The horrible story shook the courtroom. But for prosecuting attorney Gavriel Bach, it was by far the most upsetting moment of the 16-week trial. Bach had just bought a red coat for his own daughter.

In the courtroom, Bach played with his papers and kept the whole court waiting for his next question while he conquered his emotions.

Historic Impact

The Eichmann trial made headlines all over the world, but in Israel the subject was the center of everyone's attention. The long-term effects of the trial were dramatic and many. The Israeli public understood at last what the survivors had undergone, and became much more empathetic. The enormity of the Holocaust was suddenly brought to the fore, through the witnesses who gave a personal voice and face to the 6 million victims.

Today, far from the days of Israelis “not wanting to acknowledge the tragedy,” there is a whole different attitude. Israeli universities have professors of Holocaust Studies; thousands of Hebrew books have been printed on the subject; government agencies grant special privileges to survivors; and every year on Yom HaShoah the media devotes an entire day to interviews with the nearly-extinct generation of survivors.

Half a century later, the Eichmann trial is not merely a historic event. It represents the turning point in Israel’s understanding of the Holocaust.

This article can also be read at:
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« Reply #264 on: May 01, 2011, 03:17:00 PM »

I inquire about the Christians. I try to avoid direct questions, but I ask Freij about the Christians' future prospects in a Muslim world. Are there any similarities between the endangered Copt minority in Egypt and Bethlehem's Christians? "None whatsoever," he replies. He insists that the Christian community is thriving and faces no threats. "Still, many Christians are leaving," he adds upon reflection, confirming my cabdriver's observation.

I know the story well. Christians are nervous. Whether or not Freij decides to run, it is quite possible a Muslim will become the next Mayor. This does not worry the Christians as much as the fact that Hamas and Islamic fundamentalist elements will inevitably make life difficult for them as a minority. Bethlehem University, which is partly supported by the Vatican, has been asked to build a place for prayer to accommodate Muslim students. Koranic words have been scribbled on church walls. A few years ago, a graffito in Beit Zahur, nearby, proclaimed, "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people." To illustrate the extent of Christian fears, a conservative Israeli essayist told me that since the announcement of the redeployment of Israeli soldiers from Palestinian territories, more than 10,000 Palestinians, many of them Christian, have applied for Israeli citizenship.
The writing on the wall is clear. There are Christian mothers who breathe easily once their children are safely abroad. Young Christian couples claim they cannot find adequate housing in Bethlehem and therefore leave. There are numerous Orthodox Palestinian communities in South America. Many Christians apply to emigrate.

I want to ask Freij whether a latter-day Joseph and Mary would come to Bethlehem or whether they would flee to South America instead. I know what he would say.
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« Reply #265 on: May 01, 2011, 08:57:12 PM »

Must be some of that "Islam, with its unique religious ontology" I've been told about.;contentBody

CBS News)  Logan: And I'm screaming, thinking if I scream, if they know, they're gonna stop, you know. Someone's gonna stop them. Or they're gonna stop themselves. Because this is wrong. And it was the opposite. Because the more I screamed, it turned them into a frenzy.

Someone in the crowd shouted that she was an Israeli, a Jew. Neither is true. But, to the mob, it was a match to gasoline. The savage assault turned into a murderous fury.

Logan: I have one arm on Ray. I've lost the fixer, I've lost the drivers. I've lost everybody except him. And I feel them tearing at my clothing. I think my shirt, my sweater was torn off completely. My shirt was around my neck. I felt the moment that my bra tore. They tore the metal clips of my bra. They tore those open. And I felt that because the air, I felt the air on my chest, on my skin. And I felt them tear out, they literally just tore my pants to shreds. And then I felt my underwear go. And I remember looking up, when my clothes gave way, I remember looking up and seeing them taking pictures with their cell phones, the flashes of their cell phone cameras.

Pelley: Ray reported that he found himself with the sleeve of your jacket in his hand. It had been completely ripped from the rest of the jacket.

Logan: I felt at that moment that Ray was my only hope of survival. You know, he was looking at me and I could see his face and we had a sea of people between us, obviously tearing at both of us, beating us. I didn't even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things, because I couldn't even feel that. Because I think of the sexual assault, was all I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again.

Pelley: Raping you with their hands?

Logan: Yeah.

Pelley: Nonstop. During this whole time?

Logan: From the front, from the back. And I didn't know if I could hold onto Ray. I'm holding on to him. I didn't wanna let go of him. I thought I was gonna die if I lost hold of him.

But in that moment Ray, a former special forces soldier, was torn away.

Logan: When I lost Ray, I thought that was the end. It was like all the adrenaline left my body. 'Cause I knew in his face when he lost me, he thought I was gonna die. They were tearing my body in every direction at this point, tearing my muscles. And they were trying to tear off chunks of my scalp, they had my head in different directions.

Pelley: Pulling at your hair?

Logan: Oh yeah, not trying to pull out my hair, holding big wads of it, literally trying to tear my scalp off my skull. And I thought, when I thought I am going to die here, my next thought was I can't believe I just let them kill me, that that was as much fight as I had. That I just gave in and I gave up on my children so easily, how could you do that?

Pelley: Your daughter and your son are one and two years old?

Logan: I had to fight for them. And that's when I said, "Okay, it's about staying alive now. I have to just surrender to the sexual assault. What more can they do now? They're inside you everywhere." So the only thing to fight for, left to fight for, was my life.
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« Reply #266 on: May 01, 2011, 09:05:32 PM »

The ‘Arab Spring,’ Israel and the Silence of the Academy

May 1, 2011, 11:46 am

By Jacques Berlinerblau

The Arab world is experiencing a series of convulsions resulting in the quotidian slaughter of citizens in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and elsewhere. Yet the reaction on American college campuses is comparatively muted.
Muted compared to what, you ask? Compared to the tragic shedding of one life in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Having directed Jewish Studies programs in universities for most of my career I can assure you of this: if Israel were to inflict the type of violence on Palestinians that Arab regimes (and Iranian ones) casually inflict on their own dissenting populations in the course of one day, many colleges across America would be virtually shut down.
Remember the “Jenin Massacre”? I do. The university where I taught at the time came to a near complete standstill because of the alleged Zionist atrocities committed in the West Bank.
During those days of rage I had the misfortune of wandering into a “teach in.” That gathering featured an overheated array of faculty members and “community activists” lecturing at an audience of students (and whether the students had been “urged” or forced to attend by their professors was subsequently a source of unresolved controversy).
Needless to say, the conversation on stage did not adhere to academic standards of disinterested inquiry, sober assessment, or rigorous adherence to the facts. I took up the microphone to point that out and was lustily booed and insulted by colleagues (many of whom had been nothing but friendly prior and, strangely enough, after as well). I was eventually escorted out of the auditorium by campus security for my own safety.
That was just the beginning. Appeals were made for faculty to integrate the theme of Israeli aggression into their class lectures. As such, everyone from the professor of evolutionary Biology to the specialist in Portuguese literature was asked to link his or her subject matter to the theme of Zionist aggression. Astonishingly, many of them were able to do so.
Efforts to psychologically, and even physically, immobilize the campus proceeded apace. “Zionist sympathizers,” were called out, lectures were disrupted, divestment initiatives were pursued, “die ins” were staged—these were the reflexive responses to highly complex problems in the Mideast in April of 2002.
Ditto for Israel’s wars with Hezballah and Hamas.
I am struck, however, by the relative calm on American campuses as each day brings forth fresh and repulsive evidence of civilian massacres in the Arab world. No demonstrations. No “teach-ins.” No “die-ins.” And there is less calling out of professors who support(ed) these regimes than I would ever have imagined possible.
This is not to say that faculty and students are unconcerned. It’s more as if they are speechless, unworded. They are not protesting, as much as they are trying to puzzle this catastrophe through (and let me be the first to say that this is precisely what people on college campuses should be doing).
Their speechlessness confirms a truism: the old dominant paradigm for explaining Mideast dysfunction is not working. It is hard to understand what the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has to do with Muammar el-Qaddafi strafing his own citizens or Bashar Assad unleashing his goons on protesters (though whether all of those protesters are offering more democratic alternatives is a conversation I will leave for another day).
« Reply #267 on: May 11, 2011, 12:06:48 PM »

A Lesson for Israel Advocates from the OBL Reaction
from The Volokh Conspiracy by David Bernstein
(David Bernstein)

The nonsense spewing from the various usual suspects–the European left, left-wing NGOs, leftist international law experts [update: here’s an excellent example from an Israeli commentator]–regarding the takedown of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces should provide an important lesson for advocates of Israel.

The hostility emanating to Israel emanating from these sources is not, primarily, a result of anti-Semitism or other Jewcentric mental maladies. Rather, it is a natural result of a cauldron of ideologies–pacifism, anti-liberalism, Third Worldism, hostility to the West, warmed-over Marxism, and so on, combined with a dash of naive human rights idealism–that dominates certain intellectual circles.

Israel receives more grief than almost anyone else from such circles for several reasons: (1) because of its precarious security situation, it uses military force more regularly than other potential targets; (2) because of its precarious political situation, it is far more vulnerable to such criticism than, say, the U.S. (which will studiously ignore criticism of the OBL operation); and (3) unlike in the U.S, Israel has a significant and influential domestic far left that encourages and magnifies such criticisms. Indeed, given universal military service among Jewish non-Haredi adults, Israel often faces criticism from its own leftist soldiers and reservists of the sort quite rare in the U.S.

That’s not to deny that some leftist critics of Israel are anti-Semites, and that an even greater number are content to play on anti-Semitic themes when they find it rhetorically useful. But let’s face it: if you can’t get the leftist Europeans, NGOs, etc. behind a surgical strike on Osama Bin Laden, they are hardly going to approve of much broader Israeli military action in Gaza or Lebanon.

Given that many Jewish supporters of Israel have left-wing tendencies themselves (though the hard leftist types have long abandoned Israel), it’s far more comfortable for them to identify anti-Semitism as the main source of anti-Israel hostility. But the first step in defeating an intellectual enemy is to identify that enemy’s underlying, motivating ideology, and, in this case, for the most part, anti-Semitism isn’t it.
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« Reply #268 on: May 11, 2011, 12:19:21 PM »

So what is it, then? A more bland sort of anti-western motivation?
« Reply #269 on: May 11, 2011, 12:30:56 PM »

I'm not in total agreement, but thought the author raised interesting points, liked his description of the amalgam of failed ideologies that condense around anti-Israeli breast beating, and thought he had some insights as to how those yo-yos manage to be so blithely inconsistent without necessarily having to be anti-semetic.
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« Reply #270 on: May 11, 2011, 12:38:05 PM »

A fair point it seems to me.
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« Reply #271 on: May 11, 2011, 12:40:59 PM »

Not every critic of Israel is an anti-semite, but if you wanted to find anti-semitism, that's a good place to start looking. Failed ideologies like to project their failures on the successful, nothing new there. Always easier than painful introspection.
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« Reply #272 on: May 12, 2011, 04:07:51 PM »

Dear Sheikh! As-Salam `Alaykum. What, according to the Qur’an, are the main characteristics and qualities of Jews?
 Answer: [...]

As regards the question you posed, the following is the fatwa issued by Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former Head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, in which he states the following:

“The Qur’an has specified a considerable deal of its verses to talking about Jews, their personal qualities and characteristics. The Qur’anic description of Jews is quite impartial; praising them in some occasions where they deserve praise and condemning them in other occasions where they practice blameworthy acts. Yet, the latter occasions outnumbered the former, due to their bad qualities and the heinous acts they used to commit.

The Qur’an praises them on the verse that reads: “ And verily We gave the Children of Israel the Scripture and the Command and the Prophethood, and provided them with good things and favored them above (all) peoples.” (Al-Jathiyah:16) i.e. the peoples of their time.

Among the bad qualities they were characterized with are the following:

1. They used to fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah. Allah Almighty says: “ That is because they say: We have no duty to the Gentiles. They speak a lie concerning Allah knowingly.” (Al-`Imran:75) Also: “The Jews say: Allah's hand is fettered. Their hands are fettered and they are accursed for saying so. Nay, but both His hands are spread out wide in bounty. He bestoweth as He will.” (Al-Ma`idah:64)

In another verse Almighty Allah says: “Verily Allah heard the saying of those who said, (when asked for contributions to the war): "Allah, forsooth, is poor, and we are rich! We shall record their saying with their slaying of the Prophets wrongfully and We shall say: Taste ye the punishment of burning!” (Al-`Imran:181)

2. They love to listen to lies. Concerning this Allah says: “and of the Jews: listeners for the sake of falsehood, listeners on behalf of other folk” (Al-Ma’idah: 41)

3. Disobeying Almighty Allah and never observing His commands. Allah says: “And because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them and made hard their hearts.” (Al-Ma’idah: 13)

4. Disputing and quarreling. This is clear in the verse that reads: “Their Prophet said unto them: Lo! Allah hath raised up Saul to be a king for you. They said: How can he have kingdom over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom than he is, since he hath not been given wealth enough?” (Al-Baqarah: 247)

5. Hiding the truth and standing for misleading. This can be understood from the verse that reads: “…distort the Scripture with their tongues, that ye may think that what they say is from the Scripture, when it is not from the Scripture.” (Al-`Imran: 78)

6. Staging rebellion against the Prophets and rejecting their guidance. This is clear in the verse: “And when ye said: O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah plainly.” (Al-Baqarah: 55)

7. Hypocrisy. In a verse, we read: “And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock.” (Al-Baqarah: 14) In another verse, we read: “Enjoin ye righteousness upon mankind while ye yourselves forget (to practice it)? And ye are readers of the Scripture! Have ye then no sense?” (Al-Baqarah: 44)

8. Giving preference to their own interests over the rulings of religion and the dictates of truth. Allah says: “…when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay?” (Al-Baqarah: 87)

9. Wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them. This is clear in the verse that reads: “Many of the People of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them.” (Al-Baqarah: 109)

10. They feel pain to see others in happiness and are gleeful when others are afflicted with a calamity. This is clear in the verse that reads: “If a lucky chance befall you, it is evil unto them, and if disaster strike you they rejoice thereat.” (Al-`Imran:120)

11. They are known of their arrogance and haughtiness. They claimed to be the sons and of Allah and His beloved ones. Allah tells us about this in the verse that reads: “The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones.” (Al-Ma’idah: 18)

12. Utilitarianism and opportunism are among their innate traits. This is clear in the verse that reads: “And of their taking usury when they were forbidden it, and of their devouring people's wealth by false pretences.” (An-Nisa’: 161)

13. Their impoliteness and indecent way of speech is beyond description. Referring to this, the Qur’anic verse reads: “Some of those who are Jews change words from their context and say: "We hear and disobey; hear thou as one who heareth not" and "Listen to us!" distorting with their tongues and slandering religion. If they had said: "We hear and we obey; hear thou, and look at us" it had been better for them, and more upright. But Allah hath cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, save a few.” (An-Nisa’:46)

14. It is easy for them to slay people and kill innocents. Nothing in the world is dear to their hearts than shedding blood and murdering human beings. They never give up this trait even with the Messengers and the Prophets. Allah says: “…and slew the prophets wrongfully.” (Al-Baqarah: 61)

15. They are merciless and heartless. In this meaning, the Qur’anic verse explains: “Then, even after that, your hearts were hardened and became as rocks, or worse than rocks, for hardness.” (Al-Baqarah: 74)

16. They never keep their promises or fulfill their words. Almighty Allah says: “Is it ever so that when ye make a covenant a party of you set it aside? The truth is, most of them believe not.” (Al-Baqarah: 100)

17. They rush hurriedly to sins and compete in transgression. Allah says: “They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do!” (Al-MA’idah:79)

18. Cowardice and their love for this worldly life are their undisputable traits. To this, the Qur’an refers when saying: “Ye are more awful as a fear in their bosoms than Allah. That is because they are a folk who understand not. They will not fight against you in a body save in fortified villages or from behind walls. Their adversity among themselves is very great. Ye think of them as a whole whereas their hearts are divers.” (Al-Hashr:13-14) Allah Almighty also says: “And thou wilt find them greediest of mankind for life and (greedier) than the idolaters.” (Al-Baqarah:96)

19. Miserliness runs deep in their hearts. Describing this, the Qur’an states: “Or have they even a share in the Sovereignty? Then in that case, they would not give mankind even the speck on a date stone.” (An-Nisa’:53)

20. Distorting Divine Revelation and Allah’s Sacred Books. Allah says in this regard: “Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands anthem say, "This is from Allah," that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby.” (Al-Baqara: 79)

After this clear explanation, we would like to note that these are but some of the most famous traits of the Jews as described in the Qur’an. They have revolted against the Divine ordinances, distorted what has been revealed to them and invented new teachings which, they claimed, were much more better than what has been recorded in the Torah. It was for these traits that they found no warm reception in all countries where they tried to reside. Rather, they would either be driven out or live in isolation. It was Almighty Allah who placed on them His Wrath and made them den of humiliation due to their transgression. Almighty Allah told us that He’d send to them people who’d pour on them rain of severe punishment that would last till the Day of Resurrection. All this gives us glad tidings of the coming victory of Muslims over them once Muslims stick to strong faith and belief in Allah and adopt the modern means of technology."
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« Reply #273 on: May 12, 2011, 06:34:48 PM »

Warning, mega post.

Cmon, GM why cant you write normal posts like everyone else ? It would be most appreciated if instead of an array of articles to prove your point, you would put together something of your own accord. It is only because of my infinite patience that I backtrace and dig up points you want to move across, from your post-al bombardment.


Andrew, do you understand the role of naskh in islamic theology and why the "verses of the sword" override the nicer verses like what you posted above? Can you tell me where in the muslim world there is the freedom of religion?


Rampant simplifications.

Naskh, or abrogation is a term used mostly in exegesis for contradictory material between the Qur'ān and the Sunna. In its historiographical use, naskh usually incorporates the replacement of an earlier tradition with a chronologically newer one.

Last 200 years give or take there has been serious objection to the idea of naskh within Muslim interpretatons themselves whereas many modern scholars even reject it.

Weiss-Asad one of the most influential muslims of the 20. century, outright refutates the very notion of abrogation.

The harshest argument counter abrogation is the sole fact that there are NO secondary sources within the Hadith literature on the problem of abrogation.  

You have a grave misunderstanding of not only how traditional religious texts are being read and interpreted on scholarly level but how history in general is being written today. I know for a fact Bostom is aware of the details because I remember reading some of hist stuff on tafsir a while ago, but obviously he has a similar urge to suddenly forget the things that may counterbalance his work.

The problem with bloggers like Bostom and amateur historians ala Menzies,Voronov, and others, while they do mostly work with generally good and credible data analysis and „facts“, they are (intentionaly or accidentally) clueless to the modern methods of historiography, theory and philosophy of history. In Bostoms case, the general tone of voice is strident and propostreously anti-Muslim. There isnt a problem with this per se, but it is coupled with selective works designed to pick out the worst examples of anti-Christian and anti Jewish behavior by Muslims, usually in time of war and threats to their own destruction, and this is what is greatly bothering me. To make things worse he demonizes the so-called Islamic threat to Western civilization all thedamn time and the final word is more times than not confusing and quite frankly, irritating.

Claiming, especially in humanistics, that ONE thing has all the answers dead stop, is silly and ignorant. Its not exact science, where gravitational pull is 9.82 no matter how many times you drop the stone. Like already said, there ARE scientific METHODS being used though, which most of the guys dont care to look at. These things are mega collages, and if you want an objective all around view, alot of the times you have to read what you think is propostreous and wrong. Then again, maybe at that point, its too late Smiley

You provide articles, I provide books. Heres one of the more important issues for the topic at hand, interpreting sources (primary, secondary, first hand, second al) in Islamic historiography :

The Sources of Islamic Law: Islamic Theories of Abrogation, John Burton

To also portray the other side of the coin, which often means diametrical opposites, read up on Montgomery Watt and Alfred Guillaume for example.

Do you understand the concept of just war, or is it bad because it has the word war in it?

War is bad, mmmmkay ? This alone could be a week long debate, again, there is no one, monographic answer to what Just war is. I wrote it as an example, just as there is no one monographic answer to what Jihad is. Like Guro crafty says, theres levels and then theres levels.

You have Ciceronian Bellum iustum concept, Augustinian, Aquinian, Skabimierz...itd. Since Grotius, Just war was replaced with international law, being codified and embraced in a set of rules. Before that though it was a very neat concept for waging war upon whoever you didnt like, or wanted something from, but didnt have a formal cassus belli. Something similar to the War on Terror.

all in all, my point was that throughout history Christians in this manner werent any different to Muslims, in fact they were far worse.

And the crusades grew out of what? Let's try hundreds of years of islamic aggression, enslavement and occupation of europe before the first crusade happened. I'd think as a european historian, you'd know this. Cause and effect and linerar history, do you think the islamic brutality experienced by the europeans might have shaped how they then fought in the crusades?

Simplifications, half truths.

While it is true the goals of the crusades were to take back lost lands, a great number of campaigns were  waged against pagans, Balts, Slavs, Jews, Greek and Russian Orthodoxy, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Waldensians, Old Prussians, and political enemies of the various popes. There were also situationary allegiances between and within sides, like the Christian alliance with the Rum sultanate during the 5th crusade for example. Some of theexpeditions were diverted, which in the 4th crusade even resulted in the sack of Christian Constantinople and the partitioning of the Byzantine Empire between Crusaders. Thank god for plenary indulgence.

The hundreds of years of aggression, enslavement and ocupation of Europe rings so horridly plastic its almost ripe for Hollywood.

Most of what we know from ancient Greek thought, came through Muslim scholars and literates, reevaluation of Aristotles thought and Neoplatonism, spherical trigonometric functions got its basic modern form, great advancements in astronomy, navigation on sea was highly developed by the predecessor of the sextant, it was only through early Arabic translations that medieval Europe rediscovered Hellenic medicine, Galen and Hippocrates.

And a word about non Muslim subjects under Sharia Law....I beleive I wrote about this already, but what the hell, Im sure it cant hurt.

Dhimmi is one of those incredibly misinterpreted and misused words for the topic. Basically, dhimma were provided rights in return for taxes. Dhimmi were excused from Muslim duties but otherwise equal under the laws of property, contract and obligation. Dhimma had more rights and freedoms than any other social and religious minority in Europe during the whole Middle Ages under any type of rule.

Sometimes they even allowed cases of behavior that Muslims found repulsive. One example was the Zoroastrian practice of incestuous "self-marriage" where a man could marry anyone from his kin, even males. According to Qayyim, the famous Islam Sunni scholar, non-Muslims had the right to engage in such religious practices even if it offended Muslims, under the conditions that such cases not be presented to Islamic Sharia courts and that these religious minorities believed that the practice in question is permissible according to their religion.  Dhimmis were even allowed to operate their own courts following their own legal systems in cases that did not involve other religious groups, capital offences, or threats to public order.

Not only is the enslavement comment ridiculous, its outright wrong.

Islamic law and custom prohibited the enslavement of free dhimmis within lands under Islamic rule in the time of the Caliphate. Pickup anything from Bernard Lewis, his insight on this particular topic is excellent. Then again, these things are not binary, nor simple.

So, an outline, as you can see, is far from the neatly sacked, half baked information you provided, to prove your point.

I offer you sources for the other side too, so you wont accuse me of only working from the other side of dogmatic belief, here are a couple of authors that not only refute the Islamic golden age, but write it off as a myth. Personally I hate the style with which the books are written, and the scientific apparatus is crumbling, but here you go anyway :

Srđa Trifković, Sword of the Prophet
Dr. Shoja-e-din Shafa, Rebirth

And then, heres two of the books from mandatory literature for my general medieval history exam.

Fernand Braudel, History of civilizations and Jacques le Goff, Medieval Civilization, 400-1500

Andrew, before you cite academics like Edward Said (Edward Sayid), you might want to examine their agendas and how the truth might not be one of them. Look up Ward Churchill as another academic who understood that as long as one is sufficiently post-modern and leftist, actually scholarship is not required.

Oh man, I kinda hoped you will have sprung that trap. Like all stories, this one too, has more sides.

Ok, lets begin. Weiner never interviewed Edward Said. Asked about this, he said that after conducting research that lasted three years, he saw no need to talk to Said about his memories or his childhood: „There was no point in calling him up and saying, 'You're a liar, you're a fraud.'" Wow, very investigating reporting like.

The  journal „Nation“ and Christopher Hitchens wrote that schoolmates and teachers confirmed Said's stay at St. George's.. Then New Republic editor Charles Lane said Weiner had offered to sell him the essay on Edward Said but that discussions over publication broke off when Weiner refused to "look at the galley of Said's memoir and take it into account."

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair of Counterpunch interviewed Haig Boyadjian, who reported telling Weiner that he had been Said's classmate at St. George's, a fact Weiner omitted mentioning.

Amos Elon, biographer of the founders of Israel, wrote in The New York Review of Books that Weiner failed to disprove that Said and his family sought refuge from the war outside Palestine, as did hundreds of thousands of other Palestinians at the time. The fact remains that shortly afterward the family's property in Jerusalem was confiscated. Said and his family became political refugees as the result of the Israeli government's refusal to allow them to return to the country of their birth.

Now, Its a fact, the family left Jerusalem when he was a kid, but the war and violence were so booming, that it became impossible for them to function. Like Holocaust survivor and Israeli human rights activist Israel Shahak says on Sayids refugee status : "This is like saying the Jews who escaped from Germany before the war were not kicked out. The main argument is that they were prevented from returning to their land. This is what it is about.“

In reply, Weiner accused Elon of dishonesty, and Hitchens of making himself into „ a poster boy for Palestine." Again, brilliant counter argumenting. Go get'em tiger. Said observed that several publishers of a conservative magazine, had attacked him in three long articles and that Weiner's was the third in the series. Said commented that the article about his early life was "undercut by dozens of mistakes of fact."

Even if all that were true or at least parts of it, I couldnt care less, to be honest. I dont care. Sayid could be a transsexual gay church pastor on crack for all I know. If his work has ground and value, Ill check it out. How can you jump to conclusions that if parts of his Bio are untrue, his whole persona is a compulsive liar ? His concept of Orientalism is stil a very burning one, with alot of debatable pro and contra points. Apart from Maria Todorova, Bernard Lewis and a few others, he is for me one of the better writers concerning the whole Orient-Occident polemic.

What kind of rhetoric is this GM ? So what, lets say that because Chomsky was part of several political (and otherwise) controversies, he surely is not a man of worth and should be discouraged to read ? And somehow his intent is not Truth but something else ? But still the fact remains modern linguistics could not stand if not for him, first coherent critiques of Skinners Behaviorism that shook ground of modern psychology, far reaching implications on cognitive sciences, and one of the first  noted critiques of post-modern and post-structuralist thoughts.

Man if you want to limit yourself and your horizons like this, go ahead.

Heres the sources :

Amritjit Singh, Interviews with Edward W. Said (Conversations With Public Intellectuals Series). Oxford: University Press of Mississippi, 2004: pp. 19 & 219.

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, Commentary: 'Scholar' Deliberately Falsified Record in Attack on Said, Counterpunch September 1, 1999, accessed February 10, 2006

Christopher Hitchens, The "Commentary" School of Falsification, The Nation, 2 September 1999. Accessed 6 February 2010.

aand for the other side, Weiners article that GM posted, with Craig Offman, Said critic blasts back at Hitchens,, 10 September 1999. Accessed 5 February 2010.

Make your own judgement to who is the scapegoat here.

And who were the first non-africans to take part in the african slave trade? Long before the europeans ever were involved.

I dont see how this partakes to the quoted number from me.  Islam views on slavery are VERY concise, and alot is said on the topic. The Qur'an, Muhammad, and majority of Islamic theologians, all stated that humankind has a single origin and rejected the idea of certain ethnic groups being superior to others. The legendary, Arnold Toynbee, british historian, said it nicely : "The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue."

Not to go into too much detail here, fact is alot of the views got distorted ESPECIALLY after huge influence of the great Western pillar Aristotle (whom many muslim scholars such as Avicenna and Averroes are credited that we even know of his existence and works) and his view that certain ethnic groups are slaves by nature, and also the influence of the highly ethnically discoherent Jewish Geonim academies.

Know this though, that a religious imperative was never the driver of the slavery impetus. Arab slave trade even started way before Islam ever began spreading. The status of „slave“ was completely different to what we may imagine under the meaning of the word now. They had to be dealt with in accordance of the Islamic law, especially during the Umayyad and Abbasid eras, slaves were allowed to earn their living if they opted for that, otherwise it was the masters duty to provide for that. They also couldnt be forced to earn money for their masters unless with an agreement between them both. If the slave agreed and he would like the money he earned to be counted toward his emancipation then this was written in the form of a contract. This contract is know as a „mukataba“. The slaves usually bought themselves to freedom. Although the owner did not have to accept the request for freedom, it was considered praiseworthy to do so.

Now Im not saying they wore jewels or held their POW and others with silk gloves. Im just saying, these things are not black, not white, nor grey, satin or infrared. They are f***g chaotic and all over the place, without one true, unwavering answer. You need to GRAVELY widen your horizon of knowledge if you want to make deeper connections here. You can pin point circumstantial evidence everywhere you want in the historic timeline, but sadly, that doesnt count for much.

@Guro Crafty,

I find your response here quite remarkable.  It is PRECISELY as simple as whether Israel has a right to exist and to defend itself or not!!!  Annale slice and layer all you want to concerning the etymology of the terms Palistine/Palestinian, Iran/Aryan, Jihad/Kampf but the simple facts are :........

Well to a point of course it is as simple. But then again, the answers are simplifications too.
Most of the facts are bound to the Arabian hatred towards Jews. Ok, when you are spending all this time about the resoltuion, spend at least a day thinking about the problem. The Arabian Exodus was a grave and tragic event, no doubt here, but treating the symptom will usually not get you very far. It will only sharpen the sword and deepen the hate gap.

I stand by my initial post here, the underlying problem is that of identity. Identity, whether its natural, or historical law, always searches for its roots, because of the ideological apparatus. Roots lead to ethnogenesis and ethnogenesis leads to history. Thats why they say history is an apparatus of the state, because it „formally“ places a nation and its tradition on the map. It is its door to existence. Sad thing is, like I already said, that both sides have grown so accustomed so fighting, it has become symptomatic, almost to a point, where sides have forgotten what the origin of the conflict is.

And this is where I chime my 2 personal cents. At this point, off the record, I blame the politicial noise gets intentionally very loud, because certain subjects do not want to settle the conflict, as turbulent West Bank is a very nice opportunity maker excuse. A Just War-like one. Also there is the fear of cascading, if any side gives in or settles for something, there will be swarms of similar uprisings from similar surrounding cases the next day all around the Globe.

As GM has already clarified, his comments were directed to the entirety of Marxism, the over twenty million killed by Stalin et al, the 50-70 million killed by Mao, etc.

And I write again, that the „entirety of Marxism“ is a dangerous misconstruct. Contrary to what you guys may think, or have heard overseas, Marxism is not a holistic, homogenous, ideologically coherent whole, where the State takes your candy. Far from it. In approx. 100 years of its scholary existence it has grown so divergently that by now you can hardly follow it. It has branches, sub branches, connections, ifluences, contradictions, structuralist, post structuralist incursions, addendums of critical name it. To just shrug it off and throw it all away into one barrel is somehow shortsited, not to mention incredibly ignorant. You can blame Marx for all you want that has the prefix „comm-“, but in effect you simply cannot equate the horrific doings of afore mentioned men, with incredibly subtle and deep reaching marxist ontology and philosophy of history.

If this „entirety“ holds true, then may we not say that St. Augustine is guilty for all the horrors done in the name of the Christ since he is the theological father of the Christian religion, and most other theologians and paters and mystics that evolved the dogma were deriving from him anyway ? Of course we cant, even though his influence is far more direct and more straightforward than Marx' ever was to his successors.

Unless,  the Christian notion of original sin is so embedded in your symbolic order. In that case I can accept this transferral of guilt to and from the „source“, but you must warn me of this earlier, because it inevitably enforces a very different kind of debate.

PS:  I have looked in vain for your statement of your guiding philosophy "Annales Marxism" was it?  I would like to read up on this a bit.  This is what I have found so far-- is this it?

I wrote Annales Marxism as a type of intern joke I like to say. Because the Annales school was the school that has generally replaced the marxist interpretation of history in most of Europe, and they consider themselves a purificated, perfected and most progressive historiographic school to date. Which arguably, they are, but I like to contradict, especially the french Cheesy Cheesy

If you would like to read up on some of that I strongly suggest : Fernand Braudel, A history of civilizations and Lucien Febvre, The Rhine: Problems of History and Economics. They should be rather easy to find.

Must be some of that "Islam, with its unique religious ontology" I've been told about.

The way you are limiting yourself in thought, I too, could not have seen it any other way. A bit less Jihad Watch, a bit more library.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 06:45:30 PM by AndrewBole » Logged
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« Reply #274 on: May 12, 2011, 06:56:24 PM »

Cmon, GM why cant you write normal posts like everyone else ? It would be most appreciated if instead of an array of articles to prove your point, you would put together something of your own accord. It is only because of my infinite patience that I backtrace and dig up points you want to move across, from your post-al bombardment.

I think it's important to see source documentation. We can then peel that apart, if need be.
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« Reply #275 on: May 12, 2011, 07:36:44 PM »

"Naskh, or abrogation is a term used mostly in exegesis for contradictory material between the Qur'ān and the Sunna. In its historiographical use, naskh usually incorporates the replacement of an earlier tradition with a chronologically newer one."

There are also conflicts within the quaran, so naskh was used to address those conflicts. A cynic such as myself would say that liars have a hard time keeping lies straight, and that sociopathic "prophets" get divine guidance that suits their needs from moment to moment.

Abrogation in the Qur'an
The Qur'an is unique among sacred scriptures in accepting a doctrine of abrogation in which later pronouncements of the Prophet declare null and void his earlier pronouncements.[9] Four verses in the Qu'ran acknowledge or justify abrogation:
 •When we cancel a message, or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with one better or one similar. Do you not know that God has power over all things?[10]
•When we replace a message with another, and God knows best what he reveals, they say: You have made it up. Yet, most of them do not know.[11]
•God abrogates or confirms whatsoever he will, for he has with him the Book of the Books.[12]
•If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to you. Then you will not find anyone to plead for it with us.[13]


Abrogation and Jihad
How does the theological debate over abrogation impact contemporary policy formulation? While not all terrorism is rooted in Islam, the religion is an enabler for many. It is wrong to assume that more extreme interpretations of religion are illegitimate. Statements that there is no compulsion in religion and that jihad is primarily about internal struggle and not about holy war may receive applause in university lecture halls and diplomatic board rooms, but they misunderstand the importance of abrogation in Islamic theology. It is important to acknowledge that what university scholars believe, and what most Muslims—or more extreme Muslims—believe are two different things. For many Islamists and radical Muslims, abrogation is real and what the West calls terror is, indeed, just.
During the lifetime of Muhammad, the Islamic community passed through three stages. In the beginning from 610 until 622, God commanded restraint. As the Muslims relocated to Medina (623-26), God permitted Muslims only to fight in a defensive war. However, in the last six years of Muhammad's life (626-32), God permitted Muslims to fight an aggressive war first against polytheists,[52] and later against monotheists like the Jews of Khaybar.[53] Once Muhammad was given permission to kill in the name of God, he instigated battle

Rather than go post-al, I'll let you address this before moving on.  wink
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« Reply #276 on: May 12, 2011, 08:27:15 PM »


Thank you for the kind pause. I take it as the calm before the deep plunge.  cheesy

Since I will not be online again for a while, do continue to write as you see fit after reading this.

A cynic such as myself would say that liars have a hard time keeping lies straight, and that sociopathic "prophets" get divine guidance that suits their needs from moment to moment.

I can agree with this. But this indirect reading of sacred texts is really, way more modern, than it is traditional. What you wrote above is true for basically all sacred texts. And more. Keeping lies straight, was a big thing at the time when most of these were written, beacuse transcedence wasnt the only thing that they were used for. Crowd control back then was way more literal, way more direct, to what it is today.

One of the biggest things in modern religious studies, which I think will greatly change the way we look on ancient ontology, is, and I am paraphrasing of course, not whether what for example Muhammad said is true or not, but rather what did it mean at the time. Of course you cant degrade all of the context to this zero level historicism, but at least you acheive the shift in hermeneutics, through which it is alot easier to understand where and why alot of the texts get so extreme.

I like this post. Bukay is a cool dude. Although I do not beleive in the Huntington bullshit he is trying to pull off (which is maybe a topic for some other time), his stance on Islam fundamentalism is extreme, but systematical and critical, which I like a lot.

Of course the compulsion quote above is not a be all counter balance to your radical opinions. And of course it is not ONLY radical neither. Just like Jihad is not internal struggle alone it is NOT ONLY holy war. Bukay says this in your quote anyway, I just wanted to bring it up more clearly. I also totally agree with his stance about actual extremism today, and the academia pun is also funny and true to an extent. Extremism IS an actual threat of course. But going overboard again and saying everything Muslim/Islam ever was, is and will be only evil and deserves our rightful hammer of Good is again, completely off. The problem of ALL sacred texts, Islam is no specialty here, its just more actual because it is all around media today, is that radical interpretation tend to get the best of it.

But other part of the problem lies also in the fact, that the great leap that the West did, where it shook of the shackles that still burden the East, are the social revolutions. So a comparison of a Muslim state against a Western state is unfair, to an extent. Because you arent comparing the same stuff. The very worst things that happen there, arent happening in our places anymore, but not because of religion being benign, or different, but because of the social struggle that brought us out of that dogmatic dialetic, and forcing religion into a different strata of society. See, Marx again Cheesy

Know that there are countless authors who are writing on the topic and there is no ONE author that knows the true answer. They all back their claims, their versions, their interpretations of facts. And one reads authors that have similarily aligned versions. Which is perfectly ok. But when such reading becomes automatic, you are becoming identically dogmatic like the very thing that you are trying to disprove. And here comes the point of most of my incursions on this forum, that to get a better perception on things, instead of reading authors that have similar claims like you, take a step back, read more than one author, especially from different sides of the polemic and then, create your own opinion.

Keep in mind again, that even though I may come across as a sympathiser of Islam, or Arabs or anything, in reality I am harshly against religion, as an organised institution. As a man of faith I fall somewhere in the famed Einsteinism „deeply religious non beleiver“. What I do have a problem with however is when things get taken out of context, and are being put across as overly simple and are used for means to some other end.
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« Reply #277 on: May 12, 2011, 09:16:26 PM »

Of course the compulsion quote above is not a be all counter balance to your radical opinions. And of course it is not ONLY radical neither. Just like Jihad is not internal struggle alone it is NOT ONLY holy war. Bukay says this in your quote anyway, I just wanted to bring it up more clearly. I also totally agree with his stance about actual extremism today, and the academia pun is also funny and true to an extent. Extremism IS an actual threat of course. But going overboard again and saying everything Muslim/Islam ever was, is and will be only evil and deserves our rightful hammer of Good is again, completely off. The problem of ALL sacred texts, Islam is no specialty here, its just more actual because it is all around media today, is that radical interpretation tend to get the best of it.

You and I might decide that "jihad" really means "rainbows and fuzzy kittens" rather than anything unpleasant. If Habib at my local Falaful Hut thinks "jihad" means he should be an extra-moral in a way that agrees with the modern, western view of moral, that's fine as well. The problem arises when the view of what is morally correct for observant muslims means "smite the infidels" and all the unpleasant verses that are referred to in the quaran and other islamic texts. You'll find that I have no beef with many different religions that I personally do not agree with on a theological level. As an example, I don't complain about hindus because I don't have any trying to kill me and wipe my civilization from the map, in fact, I see India as an important ally.

Those from within the muslim world who wish to reform it to a religion that can peacefully co-exist with the kufar have a bad habit of ending up dead, or in some cases, living like mob-informants under police protection. Who are they hiding from? When a muslim like Zuhdi Jasser advocates a modernist interpretation of islam, vocal muslims condemn him as not an islamic scholar and other less than pleasant terms. Where are the islamic scholars that teach a modernist islam? Where are the countries where sharia is practiced that do not punish apostates and cite "There is no complusion in religion" as justification for allowing religious freedom?
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« Reply #278 on: May 12, 2011, 09:47:05 PM »

all in all, my point was that throughout history Christians in this manner werent any different to Muslims, in fact they were far worse.

The idea that the pre-literate, brutal, pagan european cultures would suddenly become beacons of niceness because they started wearing crosses instead of pre-christian amulets is unrealistic. It took a lot of time, technological advancements (Like the Gutenberg bible) and the spread of literacy and thus the reformation to alter some unpleasant things in the west. Core values from christianity, like the concept of a secular government rather than theocracy took root in western thought. The movement to end slavery in the west grew out of activists motivated by their christian beliefs. The end of segrigation in the US was lead by christians as well. Still lots of slavery in the muslim world and I am unaware of any islamic William Wilberforces or Martin Luther King Jr.s
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« Reply #279 on: May 12, 2011, 09:54:26 PM »

Ok, lets begin. Weiner never interviewed Edward Said. Asked about this, he said that after conducting research that lasted three years, he saw no need to talk to Said about his memories or his childhood: „There was no point in calling him up and saying, 'You're a liar, you're a fraud.'" Wow, very investigating reporting like.

(*) To be completely fair, hints of the truth have also appeared in fugitive places over the years, including in a 1987 article by Said in of all venues, House & Garden. My attempts to verify the record with Said himself were unsuccessful; a request for an interview, made through his assistant at Columbia, Zaineb Istrabadi, met with no response.

Even if all that were true or at least parts of it, I couldnt care less, to be honest. I dont care.

There can be no doubt that a great deal of the moral authority accruing to Edward Said derives as much from his personal as from his intellectual credentials.(*) As a living embodiment of the Palestinian cause, he has made much in print and on film of his birth, childhood, and schooling in Palestine, telling a story of idyllic beginnings and violent disruption--of a paradise lost--that resonates with personal pain while also serving as a powerfully compelling metaphor for the larger Palestinian condition. As Salman Rushdie put it in lauding Said's After the Last Sky, in writing about his "internal struggle: the anguish of living with displacement, with exile," Said "enables us to feel the pain of his people."

 Both his personal pain and the pain he feels for his people are on especially vivid display in a 1998 BBC documentary that Said both wrote and narrated, In Search of Palestine. The film, aired around the world to mark the 50th anniversary of the Palestinian nakbah ("disaster") of 1948, and recently shown in New York on the local PBS affiliate, features extensive footage of Said standing outside his birthplace at what is now 10 Brenner Street in Jewish western Jerusalem.

But just the mention of that birthplace confronts us with a problem. Although Said has defined his own intellectual vocation as one of "tell[ing] the truth against extremely difficult odds"--he has sweepingly declared that the duty of the intellectual is "to speak the truth, as plainly, directly, and as honestly as possible"--it turns out that, in retailing the facts of his own personal biography over the years, he has spoken anything but the plain, direct, or honest truth. Instead, he has served up, and consciously encouraged others to serve up, a wildly distorted version of the truth, made up in equal parts of outright deception and of artful obfuscations carefully tailored to strengthen his wider ideological agenda--and in particular to promote the claims of Palestinian refugees against Israel.

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« Reply #280 on: May 12, 2011, 09:58:29 PM »

Farag Foda (Egyptian Arabic: فرج فوده, IPA: [ˈfɑɾˤɑɡ ˈfoːdæ]), also Faraj Fawda, (1946 - June 8 1992) was an important Egyptian thinker, human rights activist, writer, and columnist.
Based in Cairo, he was noted for his critical articles and sharp satires about Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt. In many newspaper articles, he demonstrated weak points in Islamic ideology. Among other things he exposed Egypt's most popular preacher, Abd al-Hamid Kishk, for "telling his audience that Muslims who entered paradise would enjoy eternal erections and the company of young boys draped in earrings and necklaces," and promising them "an eternity of blissful pederasty."[1]
He was shot to death in his office on 8 June 1992 by two Islamic fundamentalists from the Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya group. His son and other bystanders were seriously wounded in the attack.
Before his death, Farag Foda was declared an apostate and foe of Islam[2]. An Al-Azhar scholar, Mohammad Al-Ghazali, a witness before the court, declared it was not wrong to kill a foe of Islam. Al-Ghazali said: "The killing of Farag Foda was in fact the implementation of the punishment against an apostate which the imam (the state) has failed to implement (undertake)."
One of Foda's killers, Abd al-Shafi Ahmad Ramadhan, was sentenced to death on 30 December 1993 and executed on 26 February 1994]. The other was executed for another murder.
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« Reply #281 on: May 12, 2011, 10:03:32 PM »

Militants on Friday killed a prominent religious leader Moulvi Showkat Ahmad Shah,a liberal voice who had denounced stone-pelting and was engaged with Centre's interlocutors, by triggering an IED blast near a mosque here, drawing condemnation from separatists and political leaders.
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« Reply #282 on: May 12, 2011, 10:06:12 PM »

Salman Taseer was repeatedly shot at close range with a sub-machine gun

The influential governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, Salman Taseer, has died after being shot by one of his bodyguards in the capital, Islamabad.

Mr Taseer, a senior member of the Pakistan People's Party, was shot when getting into his car at a market.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the guard had told police that he killed Mr Taseer because of the governor's opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy law.

Many were angered by his defence of a Christian woman sentenced to death.
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« Reply #283 on: May 12, 2011, 10:29:08 PM »

Bomb wounds four at Indonesian Islam group HQ
(AFP) – Mar 15, 2011

JAKARTA — A bomb exploded at the headquarters of a moderate Islamic group in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Tuesday, wounding four people including a police officer whose hand was blown off.

The device was in a package sent to the office of the Liberal Islam Network (JIL), a grouping of religious intellectuals, in East Jakarta, national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told reporters.

"We suspected that it was a bomb. Our officers were trying to tame it when it went off," he said, adding that the police are investigating the motive.

A witness told local television station MetroTV that the package was addressed to the group's former director and liberal Muslim scholar Ulil Abshar Abdalla.

"Our office received a suspicious package containing cables with a strong smell. We called the police," Fia Anwar said.

"As the police were checking the package, it exploded. Four people were injured, including a policeman and our security guards," she added.
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« Reply #284 on: May 12, 2011, 10:32:58 PM »

It was the Jews from the bagel shop no doubt , , ,
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« Reply #285 on: May 12, 2011, 10:36:39 PM »

Scientist Imam threatened over Darwinist views

By Tom Peck and Jerome Taylor

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A prominent British imam has been forced to retract his claims that Islam is compatible with Darwin's theory of evolution after receiving death threats from fundamentalists.

Dr Usama Hasan, a physics lecturer at Middlesex University and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, was intending yesterday to return to Masjid al-Tawhid, a mosque in Leyton, East London, for the first time since he delivered a lecture there entitled "Islam and the theory of evolution".

But according to his sister, police advised him not to attend after becoming concerned for his safety. Instead his father, Suhaib, head of the mosque's committee of trustees, posted a notice on his behalf expressing regret over his comments. "I seek Allah's forgiveness for my mistakes and apologise for any offence caused," the statement read.
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« Reply #286 on: May 13, 2011, 07:55:03 AM »


Do you still wish to maintain this position? "Even if all that were true or at least parts of it, I couldnt care less, to be honest. I dont care." As an academic, isn't your devotion supposed to be finding the truth and sorting out falsehoods in your scholarly analysis? Or is the concept of truth just another form of western imperialism?

I'll say this about Said, at least his individually constructed "palestinian" identity is as bogus as the overall "palestinian" identity, so there is a form of authenticity in that.
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« Reply #287 on: May 15, 2011, 08:48:18 AM »

Very good conversation going on this thread and I hope to contribute to it in the next few days.  In the meantime here is this interesting article:

German grandchildren of Nazis delve into past

Saturday, May 14, 2011

(05-14) 12:23 PDT BERLIN, Germany (AP) --

Rainer Hoess was 12 years old when he found out his grandfather was one of the worst mass murderers in history.

The gardener at his boarding school, an Auschwitz survivor, beat him black and blue after hearing he was the grandson of Rudolf Hoess, commandant of the death camp synonymous with the Holocaust.

"He beat me, because he projected on me all the horror he went through," Rainer Hoess said, with a shrug and a helpless smile. "Once a Hoess, always a Hoess. Whether you're the grandfather or the grandson — guilty is guilty."

Germans have for decades confronted the Nazi era head-on, paying billions in compensation, meticulously teaching Third Reich history in school, and building memorials to victims. The conviction Thursday in Munich of retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk on charges he was a guard at the Sobibor Nazi death camp drives home how the Holocaust is still very much at the forefront of the German psyche.

But most Germans have skirted their own possible family involvement in Nazi atrocities. Now, more than 65 years after the end of Hitler's regime, an increasing number of Germans are trying to pierce the family secrets.

Some, like Hoess, have launched an obsessive solitary search. Others seek help from seminars and workshops that have sprung up across Germany to provide research guidance and psychological support.

"From the outside, the third generation has had it all — prosperity, access to education, peace and stability," said Sabine Bode, who has written books on how the Holocaust weighs on German families today. "Yet they grew up with a lot of unspoken secrets, felt the silent burdens in their families that were often paired with a lack of emotional warmth and vague anxieties."

Like others, Hoess had to overcome fierce resistance within his own family, who preferred that he "not poke around in the past." Undeterred, he spent lonely hours at archives and on the Internet researching his grandfather.

Rudolf Hoess was in charge of Auschwitz from May 1940 to November 1943. He came back to Auschwitz for a short stint in 1944, to oversee the murder of some 400,000 Hungarian Jews in the camp's gas chambers within less than two months.

The commandant lived in a luxurious mansion at Auschwitz with his wife and five children — among them Hans-Rudolf, the father of Rainer. Only 150 meters (yards) away the crematories' chimneys were blowing out the ashes of the dead day and night.

After the war, Hoess went into hiding on a farm in northern Germany; he was eventually captured and hanged in 1947, in front of his former home on the grounds of Auschwitz.

"When I investigate and read about my grandfather's crimes, it tears me apart every single time," Hoess said during a recent interview at his home in a little Black Forest village.

As a young man, he said, he tried twice to kill himself. He has suffered three heart attacks in recent years as well as asthma, which he says gets worse when he digs into his family's Nazi past.

Today, Hoess says, he no longer feels guilty, but the burden of the past weighs on him at all times.

"My grandfather was a mass murderer — something that I can only be ashamed and sad about," said the 45-year-old chef and father of two boys and two girls. "However, I do not want to close my eyes and pretend nothing ever happened, like the rest of my family still does ... I want to stop the curse that's been haunting my family ever since, for the sake of myself and that of my own children."

Hoess is no longer in contact with his father, brother, aunts and cousins, who all call him a traitor. Strangers often look at him with distrust when he tells them about his grandfather — "as if I could have inherited his evil."

Despite such reactions, descendants of Nazis — from high-ranking officials to lowly foot soldiers — are increasingly trying to find out what their families did between 1933 to 1945.

"The Nazis — the first generation — were too ashamed to talk about the crimes they committed and covered everything up. The second generation often had trouble personally confronting their Nazi parents. So now it is up to the grandchildren to lift the curses off their families," said Bode.

It was only during her university years — reading books about the Holocaust — that Ursula Boger found out her grandfather was the most dreaded torturer at Auschwitz.

"I felt numb for days after I read about what he did," recalled Boger, a shy, soft-spoken woman who lives near Freiburg in southwestern Germany. "For many years I was ashamed to tell anybody about him, but then I realized that my own silence was eating me up from inside."

Her grandfather, Wilhelm Boger, invented the so-called Boger swing at Auschwitz — an iron bar that hung on chains from the ceiling. Boger would force naked inmates to bend over the bar and beat their genitals until they fainted or died.

Boger, 41, said it took her several years of therapy and group seminars to begin to come to terms with the fact her grandfather was a monster.

"I felt guilty, even though I hadn't committed a crime myself, felt like I had to do only good things at all times to make up for his evil," she said.

Like Hoess, Boger never personally met her grandfather, who died in prison in 1977. After her father died five years ago, she found old letters from her grandfather begging to see his grandchildren in prison — something that never happened.

"It all just doesn't go together," Boger said. "He is the man who killed a little boy with an apple who came in on a transport to Auschwitz, by smashing his head against a wall until he was dead, and then picked up and ate that apple.

"At the same time, he put a picture of myself as a little girl over his bed in prison. How am I supposed to come to terms with this?"

Tanja Hetzer, a therapist in Berlin, helps clients dealing with issues related to their family's Nazi past. While there are no studies or statistics, she said, many cases indicate that descendants of families who have never dealt with their Nazi family history suffer more from depression, burnout and addiction, in particular alcoholism.

In one prominent case, Bettina Goering, the grandniece of Hermann Goering, one of the country's leading Nazis and the head of the Luftwaffe air force, said in an Israeli TV documentary that she decided to be sterilized at age 30 "because I was afraid to bear another such monster."

Some grandchildren of Nazis find a measure of catharsis in confronting the past.

Alexandra Senfft is the granddaughter of Hanns Elard Ludin, Hitler's Slovakia envoy who was involved in the deportation of almost 70,000 Jews. After Ludin was hanged in 1947, his widow raised the children in the belief their father was "a good Nazi."

In her book, "The Pain of Silence," Senfft describes how a web of lies burdened her family over decades, especially her mother, who was 14 years old when her beloved father was hanged.

"It was unbearable at times to work on this book, it brought up fears and pain, but at the same time I got a lot out of writing it all down," Senfft, a lively 49-year-old, explained during an interview at a Berlin coffee shop.

"If I had continued to remain oblivious and silent about my grandfather's crimes, I would have become complicit myself, perhaps without even being aware of it."

Senfft said she also wrote the book so her children could be free of guilt and shame, and that confronting family pasts is essential for the health of German society as a whole so that history does not repeat itself.

These days Rainer Hoess lectures schoolchildren about the Nazi era and anti-Semitism. A few months ago, he visited Auschwitz for the first time and met a group of Israeli students.

That day was "probably the most difficult and intense day in my life," Hoess said, but it was also liberating because he realized that the third generation of Jews after the Holocaust did not hold him responsible. One Israeli girl even gave him a little shell with a blue Star of David painted on it, which he now wears around his neck on a black leather necklace at all times.

Hoess was embroiled in controversy in 2009 when Israeli media reported he tried to sell some of his grandfather's possessions to Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial. But email correspondence seen by the AP backs up Hoess' assertion that he would have been just as willing to donate the items. Hoess eventually donated everything he owned from his grandfather — including a trunk, letters and a cigar cutter — to the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich.

Hoess acknowledges that his grandfather will probably never stop haunting him. After his visit to Auschwitz, he met Jozef Paczynski, a Polish camp survivor and the former barber of Commandant Hoess.

"Somehow, subconsciously, I was hoping that maybe he would tell me one positive story about my grandfather, something that shows that he wasn't all evil after all, that there was some goodness in him," Hoess confided.

Paczynski asked Hoess to get up and walk across the room — then told him: "You look exactly like your grandfather."
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« Reply #288 on: May 19, 2011, 12:23:35 PM »

May 11, 2011  Clip No. 2934 
Hamas MP and Cleric Yunis Al-Astal: The Jews Were Brought to Palestine for the "Great Massacre" through which Allah Will "Relieve Humanity of Their Evil" 
Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al-Astal, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on May 11, 2011:

Yunis Al-Astal: The [Jews] are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians – and the Islamic nation behind them – will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang.


All the predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews.


In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil.


When Palestine is liberated and its people return to it, and the entire region, with the grace of Allah, will have turned into the United States of Islam, the land of Palestine will become the capital of the Islamic Caliphate, and all these countries will turn into states within the Caliphate. When this happens, any Palestinian will be able to live anywhere, because the land of Islam is the property of all Muslims.

Until this happens, we must reject all the resettlement plans, naturalization, or even reparations prior to the return of the refugees.

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« Reply #289 on: May 19, 2011, 04:07:52 PM »

Good thing we Jews have them "surrounded", right AB?  evil cheesy rolleyes
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« Reply #290 on: May 19, 2011, 04:10:55 PM »

Hey, if Israel just returns to the 1967 borders, all this Jew-hatred will just evaporate.
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« Reply #291 on: June 23, 2011, 07:24:39 PM »

This is WND so read with care and search for confirmation:

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« Reply #292 on: July 03, 2011, 08:44:21 AM »

- Pajamas Media - -

Europeans Are Major Force Behind Second Gaza Flotilla

Posted By Soeren Kern On July 2, 2011 @ 4:36 pm In England,Europe,France,Germany,Greece,Spain,World News | 22 Comments

The so-called Freedom Flotilla 2, a convoy of about ten ships hoping to break an Israeli naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, has been off to an inauspicious start. With two vessels disabled due to alleged “sabotage” and other boats held up in a port in Athens by the Greek government, the flotilla will not set sail for at least another few days and may be called off altogether.
Whatever its fate, the flotilla has considerable public support in Europe, where opposition to Israel often crosses the line into anti-Semitism [1]. Although a handful of Americans, Canadians, and Middle Easterners (as well as a few Aussies and Kiwis) are among the 500 pro-Palestinian activists hoping to sail with the flotilla, the majority of its organizers, supporters and actual participants are from Europe, which has become “ground zero” in the global campaign of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
The Gaza flotilla is, in fact, an integral part of a growing European movement to delegitimize the state of Israel [2]. It is rooted in the program of political warfare to achieve the “complete international isolation of Israel [3]” that was launched at the UN conference against racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001.
European charities linked to left-wing and pro-Palestinian causes have raised an estimated €10 million ($14.5 million) to fund the flotilla. Many European politicians and members of the European Parliament as well as media outlets have expressed strong support for it in public. The flotilla has been organized from Britain and the main operational hub is in Greece.
Eight out of the ten vessels comprising the flotilla are European. They include the “Dignity” and the “Louise Michel” from France, the “Saoirse” (Gaelic for freedom) from Ireland, the “Stefano Chiarini” from Italy, the “Guernica” from Spain, the “Juliano” from Sweden, and two Greek cargo ships carrying 3,000 tons of supplies. The two other ships are the “Tahrir” from Canada and “The Audacity of Hope” from the United States.
The European Freedom Flotilla [4] website has pooled information on flotilla campaigns in the various European countries. Some of these include: Belgium to Gaza [5], Free Gaza Denmark [6], Ship to Gaza Greece [7], Freedom Flotilla Italia [8], Ship to Gaza Netherlands [9], Ship to Gaza Norway [10], Free Gaza Scotland [11], Ship to Gaza Sweden [12], and so on.
Other pan-European groups directly or indirectly involved in the flotilla include the Brussels-based European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine [13], the London-based Palestinian Return Center [14], and the Oslo-based European Network to Support Rights of Palestinian Prisoners [15].
Britain has hosted much of the organizing apparatus of the flotilla, which is being coordinated out of London by Mohammad Sawalha [16], a senior Muslim Brotherhood operative closely linked to Hamas and who was granted asylum by Britain in 1990.
Sawalha — together with Zaher Birawi, another Hamas activist living in Britain — is a director of Britain2Gaza [17], a coalition of left-wing and Islamist organizations participating in the flotilla that includes groups like: the British Muslim Initiative, the Friends of Al-Aqsa [18], the Palestinian Forum in Britain [19], the Palestine Solidarity Campaign [20], and the Stop the War Coalition [21]. Sawalha is also the vice chairman of the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza [22], a British-based group that coordinates the Miles of Smiles land convoys to Gaza.
Britain is also home to the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign [23], the Palestine Solidarity Campaign [24] (which is working to “build a mass anti-Apartheid movement for Palestine”), Interpal [25], Freedom for Palestine [26], A Just Peace for Palestine [27], Stop Arming Israel [28], Oxford-Ramallah Friendship Association [29], Reading-Palestine Solidarity Campaign [30],  Viva Palestina [31], Medical Aid for Palestinians [32], the Scottish-Palestine Solidarity Campaign [33], and many more.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague says the flotilla is unwise and has advised Britons not to participate in it. But he himself has contributed to the BDS campaign against Israel by his failure to honor a long-standing promise to amend British universal jurisdiction laws [34] in a way that would make it safe for Israeli leaders to visit Britain without the risk of detention on frivolous allegations of war crimes.
In France, a fundraising campaign called “A French Ship to Gaza [35]” collected more than €600,000 ($865,000) for the Gaza flotilla. The campaign was launched in October 2010 under the combined leadership of French NGOs for Palestine [36] and a “Red-Green Alliance” of leftists and Islamists called the “National Collective for a Just and Lasting Peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Nationwide, more than 70 French organizations [37] including political parties and trade unions have been involved in mobilizing activists and raising funds for the flotilla. Some 40 French nationals, including one French MEP, are on board the two French vessels that are participating in the convoy. More than 300 French politicians have signed a petition in support of the campaign.
Germany is sending more than 20 activists to participate in the flotilla, which is being coordinated by the German Initiative to Break the Gaza Blockade [38], a coalition of more than a dozen pro-Palestinian organizations, including: the Palestinian Community in Germany [39], the Palestinian-German Federation for the Right of Return, the German-Palestinian Union, the German Youth for Palestine [40], the Committee for a Democratic Palestine, and the Palestinian Society for Human Rights [41], which in May 2011 held the 9th Annual Conference of Palestinians in Europe [42] titled “The Return Generation Knows its Way.”
In Ireland, the flotilla is being coordinated by Irish Ship to Gaza [43] under the direction of Caoimhe Butterly, a pro-Palestinian activist who in April 2002 spent 16 days as a “human shield” in Yasser Arafat’s compound in Ramallah. Other pro-Palestinian activist groups in Ireland include: the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign [44], the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Alliance [45], and the Derry Friends of Palestine [46]. About 25 Irish nationals were planning on sailing with the “Saoirse,” including Irish MEP Paul Murphy of the Socialist Party and United Left Alliance. But the vessel dropped out of the flotilla after being “sabotaged” while docking in Turkey.
In Norway, which hosts the European Network to Support the Rights of Palestinian Prisoners [15], some $250,000 was raised to send 20 activists to Gaza. In neighboring Sweden, the campaign Ship to Gaza Sweden [12] has been selling “nautical miles to Gaza” for €100 ($145) each.
In Spain, the flotilla is being organized by “Rumbo a Gaza [47]” (Course to Gaza). Despite massive unemployment in Spain, the group managed to raise enough funds to send 45 Spanish activists to Gaza on a boat called the “Guernica,” which also happens to be the name of a small town in the Basque country that was bombed by Adolf Hitler during the Spanish Civil War.
In Switzerland, more than 200 NGOs are supporting the flotilla [48]. It is being coordinated by a Geneva-based group called Droit pour Tous [49] (Right for All), which in March 2011 sponsored ‘The First International Conference on the Rights of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees.” Three members of the Swiss National Council, the lower house of the Swiss parliament, want to sail with the flotilla.
If Gaza has become an obsession for many ordinary Europeans, so too for Europe’s political class, which rarely misses an opportunity to rebuke Israel for a blockade the latter says is necessary to prevent weapons for reaching Iran-backed Hamas militants.
Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger [50] visited the Gaza Strip in April 2011 and demanded that Israel lift its blockade. British Prime Minister David Cameron [51] said Israel has turned the Gaza Strip into a “prison camp” and at least 14 British parliamentarians [52] have publicly backed the flotilla. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as several members of her government, has insisted that Israel end the blockade and the German Bundestag [53] in July 2010 passed a resolution condemning Israeli policies in Gaza.
In Ireland, which recently needed a $113 billion bailout [54] to save it from financial collapse, Prime Minister Enda Kenny [55] is closely following the events in Gaza. “I have every sympathy with the people of Gaza,” Kenny told the lower house of parliament. Even tiny Luxembourg has something to say about Gaza: In February 2011 Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn [56] visited the territory and demanded that Israel lift the blockade.
In Spain, the kaffiyeh-wearing [57] Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, whose often toxic anti-Israel rhetoric has contributed to a notable rise in anti-Semitism in Spain [58], has called for a “strong, joint EU position” on Gaza and Israel’s blockade. Hamas militants recently gave European Union “Foreign Minister” Catherine Ashton an opportunity to do just that when they welcomed her to the Gaza Strip by firing a rocket into southern Israel [59], killing a man working in the Netiv Ha’assera kibbutz. Rather than condemn Hamas for the killing, the European Union, which takes pride in being the largest contributor of aid to the Palestinians, berated Israel instead.
A notable exception has been Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, whose government has prohibited eight boats participating in the flotilla from leaving Greek waters. Previously, Papandreou had described an Israeli commando raid on a similar flotilla in May 2010 as “condemnable and unacceptable [60].”
The irony of all the Gaza activism in Europe is this: The European single currency is on the verge of collapse. Many European countries are on the brink of bankruptcy. The European social welfare state is crumbling. Millions of Europeans are out of work and many are losing their homes. Europeans are losing the war they started with Libya. Muslim immigration to Europe is out of control. Islamic Sharia law is becoming increasingly common (here [61], here [62], here [63], and here [64]) in many parts of the continent. Considering all the problems besetting Europe today, the issue many Europeans care about most is … the Gaza Strip.

Article printed from Pajamas Media:

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URLs in this post:

[1] opposition to Israel often crosses the line into anti-Semitism:

[2] European movement to delegitimize the state of Israel:

[3] complete international isolation of Israel:

[4] European Freedom Flotilla:

[5] Belgium to Gaza:

[6] Free Gaza Denmark:

[7] Ship to Gaza Greece:

[8] Freedom Flotilla Italia:

[9] Ship to Gaza Netherlands:

[10] Ship to Gaza Norway:

[11] Free Gaza Scotland:

[12] Ship to Gaza Sweden:

[13] European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine:

[14] Palestinian Return Center:

[15] European Network to Support Rights of Palestinian Prisoners:

[16] Mohammad Sawalha:

[17] Britain2Gaza:

[18] Friends of Al-Aqsa:

[19] Palestinian Forum in Britain:

[20] Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

[21] Stop the War Coalition:

[22] the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza:

[23] Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign:

[24] Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

[25] Interpal:

[26] Freedom for Palestine:

[27] A Just Peace for Palestine:

[28] Stop Arming Israel:

[29] Oxford-Ramallah Friendship Association:

[30] Reading-Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

[31] Viva Palestina:

[32] Medical Aid for Palestinians:

[33] Scottish-Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

[34] amend British universal jurisdiction laws:

[35] A French Ship to Gaza:

[36] French NGOs for Palestine:

[37] more than 70 French organizations:

[38] German Initiative to Break the Gaza Blockade:

[39] Palestinian Community in Germany:

[40] German Youth for Palestine:

[41] Palestinian Society for Human Rights:

[42] 9th Annual Conference of Palestinians in Europe:

[43] Irish Ship to Gaza:

[44] Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

[45] Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Alliance:

[46] Derry Friends of Palestine:

[47] Rumbo a Gaza:

[48] more than 200 NGOs are supporting the flotilla:

[49] Droit pour Tous:

[50] Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger:

[51] British Prime Minister David Cameron:

[52] 14 British parliamentarians:

[53] German Bundestag:

[54] $113 billion bailout:

[55] Prime Minister Enda Kenny:

[56] Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn:

[57] kaffiyeh-wearing:

[58] notable rise in anti-Semitism in Spain:

[59] firing a rocket into southern Israel:

[60] condemnable and unacceptable:

[61] here:

[62] here:

[63] here:

[64] here:
prentice crawford
« Reply #293 on: September 05, 2011, 04:18:27 AM »

Sandor Kepiro, a former Hungarian policeman recently acquitted of Nazi-era war crimes, has died in hospital in Budapest at the age of 97.

His death was reported by his family and lawyer, who said he believed the trial this summer had contributed to his client's poor health.

A Budapest court dismissed charges he had ordered the execution of 30 people because of insufficient evidence.

Mr Kepiro once topped an international list of wanted war crimes suspects.

His acquittal in July caused outrage at the Simon Wiesenthal Center with its chairman, Efraim Zuroff, pledging to do "everything possible to see that it's overturned".

'Refused to shoot'
More than 1,200 Jewish, Serb and Roma civilians were murdered over three days by Hungarian forces in a notorious massacre in the Serbian city of Novi Sad in 1942.

Mr Kepiro was accused of rounding up 36 people during the raid. Thirty of them were put on a lorry, allegedly on the defendant's orders, and taken away to be shot.

The prosecution had demanded at least a prison sentence for Mr Kepiro, but he insisted he had not killed anyone.

He said he had been "the only person to refuse the order to use firearms", and that he had intervened to save five people about to be killed by a corporal.

Mr Kepiro was previously convicted of involvement in the killings in Hungary in 1944 but his conviction was quashed by the fascist government.

He returned to Hungary in 1996 after decades in Argentina, and was first accused in 2006 by the Nazi hunters at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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« Reply #294 on: September 15, 2011, 01:58:39 PM »

“Sorry, we thought you were a Jew”

Posted by William A. Jacobson   Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:44am

Here’s your “Arab Spring” and “Arab Street” for you.
From a BBC correspondent (h/t Daily Dish):

While walking in the street someone pushed me from behind with such force that I nearly fell over.
Turning around, I found myself surrounded by five men, one of whom tried to punch me in the face. I stopped the attack by pointing out how shameful it was for a Muslim to assault a guest in his country, especially during Ramadan.
Relieved that a seemingly random assault was over, I was appalled by the apology offered by one of my assailants. “Sorry,” he said contritely, offering his hand, “we thought you were a Jew.”
Shaking his head in disbelief on hearing the news, an Egyptian friend sympathised: “That’s stupid, you are obviously not a Jew.”
The chilling implication I was left with was that, had I been Jewish, the assault would have apparently been justified.
Just like the attack on Lara Logan, in the new Egypt and elsewhere, looking Jewish is a dangerous thing.
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« Reply #295 on: September 15, 2011, 02:02:01 PM »

Posted here because of its focus on the Jewish vote:

New York's special congressional election on Tuesday was the first electoral outcome directly affected by President Obama's Israel policy. Democrats were forced to expend enormous resources in a losing effort to defend this safe Democratic district, covering Queens and Brooklyn, that Anthony Weiner won last year by a comfortable margin.

A Public Policy Poll taken days before the election found a plurality of voters saying that Israel was "very important" in determining their votes. Among those voters, Republican candidate Robert Turner was winning by a 71-22 margin. Only 22% of Jewish voters approved of President Obama's handling of Israel. Ed Koch, the Democrat and former New York mayor, endorsed Mr. Turner because he said he wanted to send a message to the president about his anti-Israel policies.

This is a preview of what President Obama might face in his re-election campaign with a demographic group that voted overwhelmingly for him in 2008. And it could affect the electoral map, given the battleground states—such as Florida and Pennsylvania—with significant Jewish populations. In another ominous barometer for the Obama campaign, its Jewish fund-raising has deeply eroded: One poll by McLaughlin & Associates found that of Jewish donors who donated to Mr. Obama in 2008, only 64% have already donated or plan to donate to his re-election campaign.

The Obama campaign has launched a counteroffensive, including hiring a high-level Jewish outreach director and sending former White House aide David Axelrod and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to reassure Jewish donors. The Obama team told the Washington Post that its Israel problem is a messaging problem, and that with enough explanation of its record the Jewish community will return to the fold in 2012. Here is an inventory of what Mr. Obama's aides will have to address:

• February 2008: When running for president, then-Sen. Obama told an audience in Cleveland: "There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel." Likud had been out of power for two years when Mr. Obama made this statement. At the time the country was being led by the centrist Kadima government of Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Shimon Peres, and Prime Minister Olmert had been pursuing an unprecedented territorial compromise. As for Likud governments, it was under Likud that Israel made its largest territorial compromises—withdrawals from Sinai and Gaza.

• July 2009: Mr. Obama hosted American Jewish leaders at the White House, reportedly telling them that he sought to put "daylight" between America and Israel. "For eight years"—during the Bush administration—"there was no light between the United States and Israel, and nothing got accomplished," he declared.

Nothing? Prime Minister Ariel Sharon uprooted thousands of settlers from their homes in Gaza and the northern West Bank and deployed the Israeli army to forcibly relocate their fellow citizens. Mr. Sharon then resigned from the Likud Party to build a majority party based on a two-state consensus.

In the same meeting with Jewish leaders, Mr. Obama told the group that Israel would need "to engage in serious self-reflection." This statement stunned the Americans in attendance: Israeli society is many things, but lacking in self-reflection isn't one of them. It's impossible to envision the president delivering a similar lecture to Muslim leaders.

Enlarge Image

CloseRoll Call/Getty Images
Stuart Balberg of Brooklyn, New York, calls voters on behalf of Bob Turner, Republican candidate for the congressional seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner.
.• September 2009: In his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama devoted five paragraphs to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, during which he declared (to loud applause) that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." He went on to draw a connection between rocket attacks on Israeli civilians with living conditions in Gaza. There was not a single unconditional criticism of Palestinian terrorism.

• March 2010: During Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel, a Jerusalem municipal office announced plans for new construction in a part of Jerusalem. The president launched an unprecedented weeks-long offensive against Israel. Mr. Biden very publicly departed Israel.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton berated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a now-infamous 45-minute phone call, telling him that Israel had "harmed the bilateral relationship." (The State Department triumphantly shared details of the call with the press.) The Israeli ambassador was dressed-down at the State Department, Mr. Obama's Middle East envoy canceled his trip to Israel, and the U.S. joined the European condemnation of Israel.

Moments after Mr. Biden concluded his visit to the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority held a ceremony to honor Dalal Mughrabi, who led one of the deadliest Palestinian terror attacks in history: the so-called Coastal Road Massacre that killed 38, including 13 children and an American. The Obama administration was silent. But that same day, on ABC, Mr. Axelrod called Israel's planned construction of apartments in its own capital an "insult" and an "affront" to the United States. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs went on Fox News to accuse Mr. Netanyahu of "weakening trust" between the two countries.

Ten days later, Mr. Netanyahu traveled to Washington to mend fences but was snubbed at a White House meeting with President Obama—no photo op, no joint statement, and he was sent out through a side door.

• April 2010: Mr. Netanyahu pulled out of the Obama-sponsored Washington summit on nuclear proliferation after it became clear that Turkey and Egypt intended to use the occasion to condemn the Israeli nuclear program, and Mr. Obama would not intervene.

• March 2011: Mr. Obama returned to his habit of urging Israelis to engage in self-reflection, inviting Jewish community leaders to the White House and instructing them to "search your souls" about Israel's dedication to peace.

• May 2011: The State Department issued a press release declaring that the department's No. 2 official, James Steinberg, would be visiting "Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank." In other words, Jerusalem is not part of Israel. Later in the month, only hours before Mr. Netanyahu departed from Israel to Washington, Mr. Obama delivered his Arab Spring speech, which focused on a demand that Israel return to its indefensible pre-1967 borders with land swaps.

Mr. Obama has made some meaningful exceptions, particularly having to do with security partnership, but overall he has built the most consistently one-sided diplomatic record against Israel of any American president in generations. His problem with Jewish voters is one of substance, not messaging.

Mr. Senor is co-author with Saul Singer of "Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle" (Twelve, 2011
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« Reply #296 on: September 16, 2011, 03:03:18 PM »

Optimists Were Wrong About the Arab Spring
There's a reason that hatred of Israel played well on the Arab street

I wasn't alone, but the mea culpa is all mine. Like many, I thought that dawn was finally breaking over the Arab world when those nice, middle-class crowds thronged Cairo's Tahrir Square chanting "freedom" and "democracy" without burning American and Israeli flags. What a miracle, I mused: The dogs of hate are not barking. And what a wondrous moment of transcendence! Free the people, and they will free themselves from the obsession of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism their overlords had implanted to distract them from misery and oppression.

It was a false dawn—and not only because of the sacking of the Israeli embassy in Cairo last week. On my desk sits a Reuters photo dated May 13; the caption reads: "People burn an Israeli flag during a demonstration on Tahrir Square." There were no such symbols of "Arab rage" when the protests erupted in late January.

The demons of yore are back and presumably they have never left. The Friday demonstration on Tahrir Square was at first standard fare—yet another protest against the military regime. But at the end, several thousands armed with Palestinian flags, crowbars and hammers marched off to the Israeli embassy for a bit of deconstructionist work.

But there is more. For six hours, desperate Israeli leaders tried to contact the junta; its leader Field Marshall Tantawi refused to speak with either the Israeli prime minister or his defense minister. It took another seven hours before Egyptian security forces rescued the last Israeli—perhaps only because Washington had interceded in the meantime.

The moral of this tale is simple. The revolution isn't going anywhere, and life is as miserable as always. So how about a little pogrom? It wasn't the junta that invented this stratagem, but our good friend Hosni Mubarak now fighting for his life in a Cairo courtroom.

.How do despots stay in power amid poverty, hopelessness and repression? By feeding the people the heady brew of hatred against the "Other." But why Israel, a neighbor officially recognized by Cairo and granted 30 years of peace? An iron law of Arab politics cracks the paradox: the better state-to-state relations, the worse the anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism within.

Jew hatred? Isn't it just righteous anti-Israelism fed by the plight of the Palestinians? Go to a bookstore in Cairo, Amman or Riyadh—all quasi-allies of Israel—and you will find piles of anti-Semitic tracts. They are in Arabic, but a 100% import from yesterday's Europe—blood libel, world conquest and all. Ditto the TV fare and newspaper cartoons, which depict the Jew as bloodsuckers or cannibals.

Mubarak et al. had struck a devil's bargain with their peoples: I'll treat with the infidels, and you gorge yourselves on the fantasies that keep you in line. The mistake of Arab Spring optimists like me was to ignore the stubborn reality behind the well-worn tactic. We should have asked: Why would the despots call on those particular demons? Because they are an integral part of Arab political culture, hence so easy to rouse. The import of European anti-Semitism began in the '30s, long before Israel's birth, let alone its conquest of the West Bank.

To invoke "essentialism"—deep and enduring traits—when looking at a culture, is a tricky thing. Cultures do change, even profoundly—look at Germany's breathtaking leap from Nazism into liberal democracy. But the sad trajectory of the Egyptian revolution, going toxic only after a few weeks, confirms the depth of the loathing. Acceptance of the "Other" who is the Jew (or even a Copt) is not a pillar of Islamic culture. But the opposite—abhorrence—is such superb cement for societies rent by myriad conflicts: between sects, classes, tribes and nationalities, between modernity and tradition, city and country, devout and secular. To serve as target and unifier has been the fate of Jews in Europe, and it remains their fate in Arabia.

Nor does it help to apologize, as the hapless effort of the Netanyahu government demonstrated when it tried to soothe tempers after five Egyptian soldiers were inadvertently killed when Israeli troops were pursuing militants along the Sinai border last month. The message of the mob in Cairo was: The embassy must go, the peace must go, Israel must go.

Is there no way out? Sure there is. Happy societies don't need the barbarians at the gate. But Arab society is not happy, which is why the clash within drives the conflict without, spilling over into Europe and, on 9/11, into the United States.

When will it ever end? Not soon. Take Sweden, a nice Protestant place. In the 17th century, it was the scourge of Europe, conquering about half of the Holy Roman Empire's states. It stopped fighting in 1814, taking the slow road to development and democracy instead. Only in the mid-20th century did it become such an admirable model of tranquility. Would that history moves a bit faster in this century.

Mr. Joffe is editor of Die Zeit, a senior fellow of the Freeman-Spogli Institute, and a fellow of the Hoover Institution.

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« Reply #297 on: September 16, 2011, 03:07:41 PM »

I'm pretty sure the "victory" in Libya will give us the same results.
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« Reply #298 on: September 16, 2011, 04:57:31 PM »

"Cultures do change, even profoundly—look at Germany's breathtaking leap from Nazism into liberal democracy."

Well yeah, only after millions of dead Germans and the obliteration of their citiesand 3rd reich leaders all dead or chased around the world.

Perhaps that is the lesson we will eventually learn about what will "change" Islamic culture.  I hope not but it certainly seems that way from where I sit at this time in history.
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« Reply #299 on: September 16, 2011, 05:42:19 PM »

"Cultures do change, even profoundly—look at Germany's breathtaking leap from Nazism into liberal democracy."

Well yeah, only after millions of dead Germans and the obliteration of their citiesand 3rd reich leaders all dead or chased around the world.

Perhaps that is the lesson we will eventually learn about what will "change" Islamic culture.  I hope not but it certainly seems that way from where I sit at this time in history.

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