So can liberal Tunisians expect any real Western help or sympathy? Well, as we’ve seen in Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria the answer is pretty much “no.” Why? Because the prevailing Western narrative—which is dominated by the far left— holds that it is the Brotherhood and not the liberals who are the “good guys” in the Middle East.
Think of how “unnatural” this is. There are leftists in the region and real liberals, too, who are the precise counterparts of the current Western elites in terms of ideas or of Western democratic societies in terms of goals. Shouldn’t all those academics, intellectuals, journalists, and government officials be cheering the liberals and booing the Islamists, including the Brotherhood? Marxists and Communists used to call the equivalents of the Brotherhood, “clerical fascists.”
Here’s a rare example today of old-fashioned leftism from the Communist Party of Great Britain’s newspaper, December 1, 2011:
“In 1979, a wave of euphoria for the uprising against the shah of Iran swept through the left, which failed to warn of the danger that was presented by other bourgeois forces, particularly the mullahs. The left adopted the attitude of ‘My enemy’s enemy is my friend’, rather than adopting the position, developed by Marx and Engels, and later by Lenin and Trotsky, that the working class should focus on defending its own interests, developing its own independent organisations and maintaining a strict separation from the bourgeoisie.”
Refreshing, isn’t it? Makes you yearn for the good old days. And the article continues:
“As Engels and Lenin, in particular, made clear, our aim is not bourgeois democracy, but socialism. We defend bourgeois-democratic freedoms not as an end in themselves, but only in so far as they facilitate the independent organisation and struggle of the workers.”
So Marxists aren’t supposed to support reactionary clerical regimes (said to be “bourgeois”) while Marxists only pretend to be for democracy in order to get Communism. But nowadays most of the Western left does back the Brotherhood or at least serve as its public relations’ agency. Forget about ‘Islamophobia’. The real attitude of these circles can be called ‘Islamomania,” a belief that Islamist groups are the true revolutionaries of our time, the “progressives” of the Middle East.
Why should Western liberals, or leftists for that matter, support reactionary clerical regimes (totalitarians) that only pretend to be for democracy in order to get Islamist dictatorships (Iran, the Taliban’s Afghanistan, Hamas’ Gaza Strip, and coming soon to Egypt, etc.?)
Can you think of one liberal Muslim, in the West or in the Middle East, who has become a hero to Western onlookers? No. Such people remain small in numbers and obscure in terms of publicity. In a few cases, they are let into the Western media but only to argue that the Brotherhood is going to be their protector. This is what happened after the brief period of cheerleading for the Tahrir Square “Facebook kids.” If you are a liberal or secularist Middle Easterner or Western Muslim don’t expect any support from liberal secularist Westerners.
How do you make the bad guys into good guys while ignoring the good guys? By making the even-worse guys the apparent threat. Al-Qaida is evil and now so are the Salafists. In Egypt, that role is also assigned the army, which will soon be out of political power. But the “mainstream” Islamists then become the hero, even as they persecute the liberals.
The secret posthumous baptism of key Jewish figures by the Mormon church has caused outrage in the Jewish community and led to an apology by Mormon leaders.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the Mormon church for performing baptismal rites on the parents of Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Wiesenthal’s parents, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, according to the Associated Press. The baptisms took place in late January at temples in Arizona and Utah.
The proxy ceremonies are believed by Mormons to allow the deceased into the afterlife by giving them the Gospel. Names are submitted by Mormon Church members, and are then given baptisms without their presence, or the presence or even notification of their families.
After Jewish groups protested the practice of baptizing members of their faith without their consent or the consent of the families of the deceased, the Mormon Church issued a promise in 1995 not to continue the practice.
Yet records indicate Wiesenthal’s parents, Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal, were baptized in proxy ceremonies performed by Mormon church members at temples in Arizona and Utah in late January.
The Mormon Church has baptized many figures involved in the Holocaust – and not just Jewish victims, such as Anne Frank. Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun were also baptized by the Church in separate ceremonies decades apart, with Hitler being “bound” to his parents in a ceremony in 1993.
Other Jewish figures, such as the great Jewish sage and scholar Mamonides (Rambam), Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein, and author Elie Wiesel have also been baptized, as well as hundreds of Holocaust victims.
“We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement by the Associated Press.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints replied with an apology in a statement issued Monday. “We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the church led to the inappropriate submission of these names [of Wiesenthal’s parents],” Micharel Purdy, spokesman for the Church said. “We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records.’’
The discovery of many posthumous baptisms has been conducted by Helen Radkey, a former Mormon who has dedicated herself to uncovering this practice and the specific individuals who have been baptized. She also found that the family members of several US political figures – the mother of President Barack Obama and the atheist father of presidential candidate Mitt Romeny – had undergone the ritual.
Members of Congress have released some $40 million of frozen U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority, according to an Associated Press report.
The $187 million in economic and humanitarian assistance was frozen in September 2011 after the PA submitted a unilateral bid for UN membership.
The funds were released as a result of intense lobbying on the part of the Obama administration.