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Monday, August 23, 2010

Fisking the GZM Imam

You know, I will tell you the truth.  The shocking clips…  maybe I have been around too many liberals, but they are not very shocking.  His anti-americanism is actually kind of tired and stale.  It just strikes me as moronic conversion of the left and the islamofascist right, that speaks in quiet tones, but nonetheless is singing My Sharia More.  But I thought I would do something different and fisk his stupid talk, as kindly provided by Pamela Geller.  So here goes.

Now first there is a bunch of introductory crap.  I half expected him to make a crappy opening joke.  Okay.  And early on he gives this bit:

The Jewish prophets, Jesus Christ and John the Baptist and Mary are in fact religious personalities and prophets of the Islamic faith as well.  What divides us is less theology, to my mind, than history.

Yeah, what a bunch of smiley faced bullshit.  You deny that Christ is the son of God, and that is okay, but don’t then pretend you and I have much in common in our faith.  I don’t condescend to Jews that we share much of our faith, and neither should you.

And mind you, most of the world are “not Christians” and we get along just fine.  Seriously, knock yourself out.  But don’t bullshit me.

And isn’t that itself pretty exclusionary?  What about Buddhists, where do they fit in that?  The Taoists?  The Atheists?  The pagans of the DaVinci Code variety?

He goes on:

One of the challenges in engaging in this kind of debate in the public square in the West, the United States in particular, and perhaps more so in Europe, is the Western understanding, or perhaps misunderstanding in many quarters, of the separation of Church and State and what it actually means.

Got to warn you folks, he takes a long time to say a simple thing.  So strap yourself in and maybe mainline a few coffee rounds.

From the point of view of Islamic theology, Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic history, the vast majority of Islamic history, it has been shaped or defined by a notion of multiculturalism and multireligiosity, if you might use that term. From the very beginning of Islamic history Islam created space for Christians of various persuasions, of Jews and even of Muslims of different schools of thought within the fabric of society.

Ah the great myth of tolerant Islamic history, where the fact that Islam discriminated less than most societies made them pluralistic.  Sigh.  Mind you, back then no one was tolerant.  No one.  But again, happy faced bullshit.

The fomenting by the British of Arab Nationalism,

This is going to be a running theme.  Arabs or Muslims are never bad on their own.  Its always the West that is behind it.

For those of us who remember watching Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia, that was one of the incidents of the chapters in breaking apart the Ottoman Empire by arousing or rousing the flames of Arab nationalism.

Oh, right, so what the British should have done was support the strong men in Ottoman, right?  Keep that in mind as we go forward.

It goes on quite a bit, but the radical stuff is below the surface.  For instance, in response to one question about the moderates condemning terrorism, he says:

The broader community is in fact criticising and condemning actions of terrorism that are being done in the name of Islam. I just came from a conference in Jordan, Amman where there were over 170 leading Muslim scholars from almost every part of the Muslim world, including some of the most important names like Sheikh Tantawi of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, who is the Chief Mufti of Egypt, the Chief Mufti of Jordan, the Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, who is a very very well known Islamic jurist, highly regarded all over the Muslim world. They included fatwas obtained from people like ..... Istani who could not attend but also issued a fatwa condemning acts of terrorism and stating that the attribution of infidel to others is not something that should be done and is outside of the ethics of Islam.

Well, go over the Geller’s site and take a look at these figures and see just how moderate they really are.

Then he says this:

Islamic law, the text of Islam, the Koran is quite explicit on describing Christians and Jews as people of the book, and throughout Islamic history even Islamic scholars in India have actually included Hindus as being people of the book because Hindus were not yet involved - were not part of the society, of Arabic society, at the time of the prophet.

Okay, good enough, but what if you are “none of the above?”  What about atheists, or pagans, or what have you?  Terrorism is okay, then?

Later he says this, which is getting a lot of play:

We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims.

Now let’s unpack that.  Notice the comparison, how he stacks up the scales.  First he says precisely that the United States has “Muslim blood” on its hands.  Not the blood of innocent Muslims, mind you, just plain Muslim blood.  So for instance presumably if a United States missile paints bin Laden’s guts all over the back of a cave in Bumfuckistan, that counts.  Silly me I think there are some Muslims we should be downright happy to kill, but in his mind we should be killing no Muslims, I suppose.

And then against that, he says we should count the number of innocent non-Muslims against al Qaeda.  Isn’t that funny?  I thought this guy specifically wanted to build that mosque in order to honor the innocent Muslims killed on 9-11, and suddenly he doesn’t think that the Muslims murdered by al Qaeda count?

So for instance, Touri Bolourchi was a Muslim on Flight 175.  This is how her daughter, Neda, tells us about her murder, recently: [update: link broken and now fixed, hopefully]

On the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, I watched as terrorists slammed United Flight 175 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, 18 minutes after their accomplices on another hijacked plane hit the North Tower. My mother was on the flight. I witnessed her murder on live television. I still cannot fully comprehend those images. In that moment, I died as well. I carry a hole in my heart that will never be filled.

By the way, Neda is one of those awful anti-Muslim bigots who opposes the GZM.

So they don’t count, in his mind, in assessing the evil of al Qaeda.

And really, leaving them out does eliminate a lot of death, because the statistical ugly reality has been for a while that al Qaeda is actually more likely to kill innocent Muslims than anyone else.  I mean there is that.

He goes on:

You may remember that the US lead sanction against Iraq lead to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations.

The documentation consisting of Iraqi telling them that this has happened, and the UN believing them with slack-jawed credulity.  Really, I have been over this before, and most sane observers admit we have no reliable information on the subject.

By the way, why was it that we did this?  Well, you see at the end of the gulf war Bush Sr. wanted to just take the guy out.  But his allies, that being the Muslim world, were kind of concerned about that kind of precedent.  But Bush Sr. also knew you couldn’t just let the guy continue on.  So this was the compromise worked out.  So if Bush Sr. got his way, the suffering of the Iraqi people would have ended about 12 years beforehand, and we might have even skipped over steps like the cruelty toward the Marsh Arabs.  That is but for the Muslim world, those sanctions he is bitching about, wouldn’t have happened.  But the U.S. is the only one he blames for it.  Starting to notice a pattern?

How many of you have seen the documentary: Fahrenheit 911?

See what I mean about him sounding like your typical liberal in many respects?  Moronic convergence.

Collateral damage is a nice thing to put on a paper but when the collateral damage is your own uncle or cousin, what passions do these arouse? How do you negotiate? How do you tell people whose homes have been destroyed, whose lives have been destroyed, that this does not justify your actions of terrorism. It's hard. Yes, it is true that it does not justify the acts of bombing innocent civilians, that does not solve the problem, but after 50 years of, in many cases, oppression, of US support of authoritarian regimes that have violated human rights in the most heinous of ways, how else do people get attention?

Got that, he is no advocate of terrorism.  Nah, perish the thought!

So I'm not - I'm just providing you with the arguments that are happening intra Islamically by those who feel the emotion of pain. Half a million Iraqi - there's a sense in the Arab and Muslim world that the European world and Western world is just - does not care about our lives or human lives.

Well, maybe its because your imams, you know like you, tell them that instead of the truth which is that we go to ridiculous lengths to protect innocent life.

But that is a funny complaint from a guy who just two seconds ago showed absolutely no concern for the innocent Muslims killed by al Qaeda, and lamented the murder of al Qaeda members by the west.

And, indeed, that might lead you to question his entire thesis.  I mean if collateral damage creates terrorism, what about intentional murder, which is practiced regularly by al Qaeda, not to mention the dictators of various Islamic countries?  Iran guns down people for no other reason than that they are asking for democracy, and in his mind this is not a source of terrorism.

But remember, he doesn’t count the murder of innocent Muslims when stacking up al Qaeda’s body count.

There's a perception in much of the Arab world and the Muslim world that the issue is about race. That the Palestinian Israeli issue is less about religion than it is about race because about 25 per cent or more of the Palestinians or the Arabs are Christian.

Now the contradiction there isn’t immediately obvious, but let me explain something to Americans.  We in America have really screwed up a word: nation.  We think of it as being almost synonymous with country.  But in much of the rest of the world, nation = race.  Nationalism = racism.  So the rise of Arab nationalism he blamed on the British before, well that is a nice word for “Arab racism.”

So in fact he is more right than he thinks.  Much of this is racism.  The dirty secret of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle is that this really isn’t much more than jew-hate.  And ever since Hitler came along, to anti-semites, “Jews” are not just a religious group, but a race.  So it is racism that motivates them—that is racism toward a group that isn’t even a race.

He goes on.  He condemns suicide bombing, but you know, by now, I am doubting his sincerity.  He seems to be talking about of both sides of his mouth.

And he goes on and on (I am really, really doing you a favor by reading this for you—you’re welcome), and repeats the lie of a Koran being flushed down a toilet in Gitmo.  Sigh. 

Then he spins happy feminist bullshit:

It is in fact the case that the prophet was revolutionary in his time in according women parity and equality

Um, yeah, not quite.

and he pushed the envelope as far as he could.

Um, wait, you are saying that the Prophet Mohammed couldn’t get his way?  Really?

I mean to you dear reader it might be worth pointing out a little factoid you might not know about Islam.  Have you ever heard of Mohammed’s fourth wife Aisha.  Well, he was six when he married her.  Yes, you read that right.  Six.

Now of course Mohammed would never have sex with a six year old girl.  Nah, of course not!  No, he waited.  Until she was nine.

I have talked with many, many Muslims about this.  Some have learned of this and it broke their faith.  Others tried to employ moral relativism.  You know, as if Allah’s justice isn’t supposed to be infinite.  No one has denied these facts.  None.  At most they quibble and say she might have been ten when he had sex with her.  Oh, when I point out that as a matter of anatomical reality, this had to have been excruciatingly painful to her (compare my discussion of the facts in Kennedy v. Louisiana, here), they try to deny those ugly realities.  But they never deny he had sex with her.

And, by the way, that is why I could never be a Muslim: because I could never believe that a just God would let that happen.  Either God would have picked a prophet who would leave the children alone, or He would have so terrified Mohammed he wouldn’t have dared lay a hand on her, or He would have made the man suddenly impotent or hit him in the nards with a lightning bolt. I don’t know what God would do but He would do something to prevent the chief prophet of His faith from raping a nine year old girl.

So Mohammed (pedophilia be upon him) could obtain some seriously underage sex, but he couldn’t get everything he wanted?  Give me a break.  And certainly if God gave a crap He could be sufficiently persuasive.

He goes on.  On on.  (You guys really owe me.  I am really taking one for the team.)  He does use the n-word, but it’s not clear in context he meant that in a literally racist way.  Certainly those condemning Dr. Laura right now will be sinking in their seats, though.

So the issue really, people fight over those issues and when a husband and wife fight over: should we get a yellow rug or a blue rug or, you know, any kind of a disagreement, it is really about power.

Um, wow, there is an insight into you.  So when we argue about whether you put up a mosque at ground zero, its not really about that, its about power, right?

No, its not really, but its fun to hoist him on his own petard.

So if, for example, the Department of Biology, the head of the Department believes in the theory of evolution and you do not, you will not get tenure. You will risk the danger of not getting tenure because you're a threat to the system.

OMG, run and tell Charles Johnson.  He thinks evolution deserves equal stance with creationism.  Maybe then Johnson will give a crap about this guy.  I mean I haven’t been at LGF in a long, long time, but I am going to guess based on his last trajectory that Johnson is calling everyone who opposes this a bigot and telling us how moderate this knuckle dragger is.  So let me look.  And you can look, too.  [A.W.: lost the link and can't recover it now.]

Well, lets see here, you scroll down a little and get this: “yesterday’s Bigotry Parade at the Sacred Abandoned Burlington Coat Factory featured these creative floats, clearly a labor of ‘love.’”  Sigh, hate being right.

Anyway, I just sent Johnson a happy fuck you.  Nah, won’t change how he feels about anything, but its fun to do it.

Anyway, one point to mention is that he was portayed earlier as seeking a “one nation state” in Israel, meaning no more Jews.  I am happy to say he actually here is explicitly calling for Jews and Palestianian to live in one state, in peace.  I mean, good luck with that, but its not a clear call for genocide as depicted.

Then he was asked about the idea that some terrorists are told if they die in jihad they go to heaven and get 72 virgins.  Okay now, sir, your line here is to say “ridiculous!  Yes, I know those idiots are taught that, but that is not supported in the Koran because of ______________.”  I admit, I don’t know how to fill in that blank, but I figure you will think of something.  But the key thing is to deny your faith creates this divine murder incentive.  So…  go:

In fact, just about two months ago I was interviewed by Barbara Walters, who is doing a special on heaven and she's interviewed suicide bombers who are expecting the embraces of 72 virgins in paradise, and she asked me do women get the same privilege as well, and I answered her telling her: well, the Koran says you shall have whatever your heart desires.

Ah crap.  Not quite the answer I was looking for.  Nope, not even close.  In fact you kind of implicitly verified it.

He goes on to explain that suicide bombing, well, its all about a lack of parity:

Look, there have been people who have been encouraged to become suicide people. The kamikaze pilots in World War II, for instance. I mentioned earlier the Sri Lankan Tigers who commit suicide. Suicide is, again, suicide - people commit suicide for political purposes, for militaristic purposes, that usually happens by people when they don't have other means or they're losing the battle or they don't have parity in military hardware. It's very easy to find people who will give up their lives. I mean, it's not hard....  So there is always, at any given point in time, people who are in a sort of depression, who are upset about something in their lives, who are prepared, almost on the verge of taking their own lives. Give them a little bit of an incentive. You know, if you put an advertisement on the wall saying: if you're willing to give up your life we will give $100,000 to anyone you love or your family. There will be takers in Adelaide.

Yeah, that is not at all creepy.  And of course he said suicide bombing was 100% against koranic law.  But funny, he didn’t cite any passage.

And let’s tear this little piece of bullshit down.  Ever since 9-11 there have been some liberals who have said that the suicide bomber is the poor man’s cruise missile, and gee if it was planes v. planes, they wouldn’t do that.  Well, in both the Israeli war for independence and the six day war, it was planes v. planes, tanks v. tanks, and so on.  And yeah, no one committed suicide.  I mean the Arabs did so badly it might have looked like suicide, but it was not literal suicide.  But here is the thing: it was still terrorism.  Israelis did their best to hit military targets, but the arabs hit pretty much everything, with explicit plans to genocide the Jews in Israel.

And that is a little bit the dirty little secret of Israeli success in those wars.  I mean they sounded like those old testament battles where like 50 Jews take on 700 others, but the Jews have God on their side and commit unbelievable slaughter on their enemies—I mean crap that puts the 300 Spartans to shame.  But their victory had more to do with the fact that while the Arabs were bombing bus stations and hospitals, the Israelis were bombing air strips and fuel depots.  That combined with what I call “cornered rat syndrome”—that is when you have your back to the wall, it motivates you—and the unbelievable slaughter the Jews carried out in those 20th century wars make a lot more sense.

And really when it comes down to it, its not the suicide that bothers me so much as the bombing part.  I could give a rat’s ass about the bombers themselves, it’s the innocents they would murder that bother me.

And that is about it.  Is it the absolute smoking gun?  Actually no, although you can see I showed some creepy undertones.  But bluntly you have to wonder.  There is a long tradition of Imams who say “peace” in English and “jihad” in Arabic, when they don’t think we are listening.  I wonder what he says when he doesn’t think we are listening?

Update: Slight correction.