Heartening or traumatic?

A quote from Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the UK Islamic Human Rights Commission, commenting on the decision to allow women to wear the niqab [the full veil] in British courts, 24 April 2007

In the climate of Islamophobia we live in, it is heartening to see the courts base their guidelines on the merits rather than on intolerance and prejudice.


A quote from Bat Ye’or at FrontpageMagazine.org, 26 April 2007

Britain has become the barking dog of its protectors: both Islamists and Palestinians. This situation is not limited to Great Britain, but maybe because it was one of the proudest and most powerful countries in Europe, one of the three major victors of World War II, that this wilful decline and abasement are so traumatic.

In Response

In Reply to Sam Iqbal:

I agree that Gisèle Littman is biased against Islam, probably due to her experiences and those of her co-religionists in Egypt. I also agree that her aims are somewhat suspect and invariably involve support for Israel, ostensibly the latter's ethno-religious and territorial integrity. However, her work is of use as an alternate perspective to the Neo-Marxist drivel that ignores religion and culture and focuses solely upon socio-economic differences as the root of violence and instability. Moreover, although she essentializes Islam, such generalizations are not without merit when considering groups i.e. does it matter that many Germans in the 1930s and 1940s were opposed to the war? or that many Americans in the 1960s and 1970s wanted their soldiers out of Vietnam? or that many Americans believe Operation Iraqi Freedom is wrong? There are countless examples of groups pursuing specific paths at the expense of individual viewpoints within their collectivities. Islam is no different. While there are ethnic divisions within Islam (Palestinian, Arab, Pakistani, African, Uighur, etc.), Islam as a collective is on the warpath. Islam allows its most extreme and reactionary elements to assume a leadership role thus nullifying moderate voices or those of alternative Qu'ranic interpretation and scaring these into "submission" (no pun intended). However, I am not convinced that this state of affairs is for religious reasons; far from following true Islam, jihadists have merely referenced various Qu'ranic quotes as justifications for their thoughts and deeds. Indeed, Islamic incompatibility with Western civilization operates more on a cultural and ethno-racial level than it really does religious.


In Reply to Sangredo:


Firstly, despite their colorful history (see the Old Testament), the Jews were never afforded the opportunity to significantly expand, and thus after their dispersal throughout the Imperium Romanum had to abide as minorities by the customs of their hosts, be they pagans, Muslims or Christians. Thus, one cannot compare Jewish and Muslim treatment of minorities, especially as Israel was founded not only on Jewish but Western or European values. Secondly, it is interesting to note that during the early Middle Ages (and late also to a great extent), Muslim societies were more tolerant of minorities than Christian ones, as exemplified by the Thirty Years War and contradicted not by the West but by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which accepted Jewish refugees from all over Europe and tolerated denominational differences despite being staunchly Catholic and bordering religious strife in Germania and Bohemia. Just because I am of the opinion that Islam poses a threat to the West, does not mean that I am either ignorant of or attempting to whitewash history.

Reply to Captain Andre

Good evening Captain.

‘Islam as a collective is on the warpath.’

I disagree with this point.

In the Middlie Ages, Europe separated religion and state. The Church had misused its powers, had stood in the way of scientific progress, and the state had made religion a tool of oppression. This is a crude analogy of what is going on in the ME just now. Therefore, what we see now is the beginning of Islam’s reformation. Islam is trying to find its place in the modern world. There is a struggle between the regressive voices who believe that Islam will bring them glory once again and the progressives who want economic prosperity and modernisation. What is important though is hardcore Islamists are not stupid. They know they can never take on the West militarily and ‘win’. There are signs of rising anger amongst the silent majority and huge positive changes in civl society (as long as you keep your mouth shut and don't piss off the authorities). Downtown Cairo, Damasacus, Beirut, Tunis, Rabat is every bit as modern as Athens. I believe that things will change for the better but it takes time and it takes years to create a political culture that internalises the concepts of accountability, transparency, free media, and respect for human rights, civil society and loyal opposition. Little or none of that exists today in the Arab world.

Also, Arabs need to be able to benefit from Western advice, encouragement and funding in these areas so it is especially tragic, although understandable, that the US/EU boycott of the Palestinian movement Hamas - winner last year of the freest Arab election ever - has exposed what appears to be a double standard to the ‘Arab street’: democracy yes, but only if it produces the result that suits the West and Israel. This plays right into the hands of Islamists.

‘Islam allows its most extreme and reactionary elements to assume a leadership role thus nullifying moderate voices or those of alternative Qu'ranic interpretation and scaring these into "submission" (no pun intended).’

Agreed. This is the kind of Islam that causes Islamophobia to exist. That cannot be denied and I am at a loss to think what can be done about this.

Mr. Iqbal

How good it is to have Mr. Iqbal writing comments such as this one. Let us see if readers of this blog can help him, and compare, point by point, how the treatment of the Jews compares with that of the muslims, how each has forced their host peoples to observe their customs under pain of murder and beheading, what each is or has been contributing to World culture (do not even pro rate the contribution by population). Who can come up with all the specifics he has left out?

Who, with any education and any brain, gives credence to his equating Jews with Muslims in this respect? Frankly, the mere fact that statements such as his are being regularly made and repeated, suggests that they are far more effective than one could imagine.

As for his comments about Bat Yeor, he cites not one piece of evidence--not one. His main point is to insinuate that she is an instrument of Zionism which, of course seeks to , 'increase rather than decrease the hatred and strife in the world'.


Well, I did go to the URL you recommended. Unfortunately it said nothing about the topic of my message. It was all about why the population of France will not become Muslim!?

Nor btw was anything said about Bat Yeor?

Another way to obfuscate an argument, to avoid just those particulars which make an argument more than wild, unfounded, allegations: just bring in an irrelevancy.

No more homework assignments from you!

RE: Sagredo #1

The article in my mind addresses the Eurabia hypothesis put forward by Bat Ye'or as being fundamentally flawed. Further, as I have stated earlier, her main objective is to recruit Christians for the Zionist project. Similarly, Anti-Zionists could effectively come along, write some similar nonsense regarding N American Jewry, give it a catchy name like 'Jew York City' - and essentially draw the same kind of parralels.

I took this from a source a wee while back but can't seem to find the link now. It relates to a critical review of her book 'Islam & Dhimmitude - Where civilisations collide'

"Islam and Dhimmitude is an attempt to confute the concept of “protected
minority” under which Islamic civilization established what was, up to its time, the most
successful model of pluralistic society with the worst aberrations from that model. The
sub-title “Where Civilizations Collide” indicates how the author expects her polemic to
serve the current wave of neo-imperialism.

The first half of the book is devoted to proposing a paradigm in which Islamic
scripture in favor of human rights are ignored, official acts to the benefit of dhimmis are
brushed away as machinations to breed resentment between dhimmi groups, and
injustices against Muslims are figments of the imagination invented to whitewash the
Islamic master plan for the subjugation of the non-Muslim world into a state of
““dhimmitude”.” The second half works within this paradigm to vilify Christian anti-
Zionists (including Europeans as well as Arabs) as dhimmi pawns of Muslim oppressors.
(Curiously she does not attempt to dismiss Jewish critics of Israel in the same manner.)
The author declares, “the terms ‘religious minorities’ and ‘Islamic tolerance’
should be completely excluded from serious research in this field” (p. 22). She cuts short
quotations when the context undermines her thesis. Thus, “whoever obeys the messenger
obeys Allah” (p.36) is cut off from its essential conclusion “but if any turns away, we
have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds)” (Qur’an 4:80).

By omitting any evidence that would undermine her premise, the author turns a
collection of alleged persecutions into a claim of a persistent persecuted status. She forces
her discussion into a context of harbi and jihâdi (e.g., pp. 27, 38) stereotypes that might
delight Osama bin Ladin, but will leave knowledgeable scholars and the majority of lay
Muslims astonished at how she has alienated the discussion from mainstream Islamic
thought and the reality of Muslim practice. Contradicting both mainstream Islamic
jurisprudence and the Qur’an (e.g., 2:193), she defines jihâd as “inviting non-Muslims to convert to Islam, then, if they refused, to fight them until victory” (p. 38).
The author defines “dhimmitude” to include “Christian anti-Judaism” (p. 28).

RE: Sagredo #2


" She shows little respect for the historical record. In mentioning Muhammad’s (pbuh) conflict with the Jews of Madinah, she dismisses (without identifying them) the
accusations of treachery leveled against the Jews. The judgment against the Banu
Qurayza, taken from the Jewish Law by their erstwhile ally Sa`d ibn Mu`adh, whom they
insisted judge their case instead of Muhammad, is labeled as “part of a strategy of
conflicts or alliances with the Arab tribes, aimed at unifying them under Muhammad’s
command” (p. 37).
The author relies on context-dropping, cut-and-paste quotations from scholars
aimed at putting the most malicious spin on their arguments, the omission or glossing
over nuance that might require qualification of her claims, and a bias towards those
scholars with the harshest views on dhimmis. She considers An-Nawawi’s view that a
Muslim cannot be executed for the murder of a dhimmi a more representative statement
of Islamic law than the fact that Muhammad ordered a Muslim executed for just such a
crime (p. 75). She prefers Mawardi over Umar as the authority on Islamic law, and
asserts her indifference to the objections other Islamic authorities may have to Mawardi’s
views (p. 350).
The survival of dhimmi communities and the appointment of dhimmis to high
administrative positions is dismissed as “inevitable result of the Islamic conquests which
reserved the military sector to warlike Muslim tribes, and assigned the administration of
the vanquished Christian peoples to their coreligionists” (p. 75). She argues that the very
fact that Christians prospered under Islam was because they were collaborators and
traitors to their own faith community, playing on inter-Christian rivalry to serve personal
ambitions and attempting to blame the suffering of Christians on anonymous Jews (p.
110). She tops this off by claiming that European persecution of Jews became worse after
the rise of Islam both because Europeans learned new techniques of persecution from the
Muslims (p. 113 ff.) and because Jews were blamed for collaborating with Muslims
during the Crusades (p. 117).
According to the author, fedeyeen (which Wehr’s English-Arabic dictionary
defines as “one who sacrifices his life, especially for his country”) is “literally a fighter
against Christians for the triumph of Islam” (p. 319). She claims that “the enemies of
God [is] an expression very common in the Koran to describe Jews, Christians and other
non-Muslims” (p. 349), although the phrase is never used in the Qur’an to denote
Christians, and the only time it is used in connection with Jews is a reference to particular
Jews who identified themselves as enemies of Gabriel (2:98), no different in its use to
describe Muslims who engage in hypocrisy (63:1). She objects that the movement to
substitute the phrase “Abrahamic civilization” for “Judeo-Christian civilization” is
exclusive of Jews and Christians because Muslims think of Abraham as a Muslim.
Protests of Eastern Christians against the Vatican’s decision to remove the charge
of deicide against the Jews are blamed on a desire to please Muslims (pp. 272-2) despite
the fact that the author knows full well that the Qur’an rejects the claim of deicide (p.
272). As her agenda prohibits her from admitting that Palestinian Christians and Muslims
have a shared cause as victims of Israeli persecution, she claims that Arab Christian anti Zionism is dhimmi submission to Muslim masters. Even the Israeli murder of Christians
is the fault of Muslims (p. 278, 386).
At least the author documents her sources. Thus, anyone seeking to use her
allegations as a starting point for a serious study of this subject may go to original sources
to determine what actually happened and explore with sound research and a more
scholarly attitude whether the persecution was inspired by or in violation of Islamic
principles and the spirit of minority protection."

Apologies for the cut and paste job. This has been re-translated from an Arabic source.

RE: Bat Ye'Or

It's interesting that writers so alert to anti-Semitism have lent their names to an ideology that is so startlingly similar. In this theory, the Star of David has simply been replaced by the Islamic crescent. If the term has any meaning, this is authentic Islamophobia, treating virtually all Muslims as violent sharia-carriers.

Further, I pity the dense chunk of Western ‘liberals’ and Conservatives who adopt this mentality - unwittingly treating all Muslims as a homogeneous bloc represented by their most reactionary elements.

Also, Bat Ye’Or is a fraud. She does not give a shit about Europe or North America. Her ONLY objective is to recruit Christians (Westerners) to support the Zionist project.

She has nothing to offer serious political analysts or scholars of Islam or of world civilisations. However, she has much to offer propagandists who seek rhetorical ammunition to increase rather than decrease the hatred and strife in the world.