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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Yusuf al-Qaradawi’

Wiesenthal Center’s Top Ten Anti-Semitic Slurs of 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has just released its top ten anti-Semitic/anti-Israel slurs for the year 2013.

The SWC saw the most extreme hatred exemplified by three Arab and/or Muslim leaders, a UN official, a Christian Canadian denomination, a far right-wing European party, an aging rock star, an aging formerly famous novelist, an overripe teenager, an American academic association, a small New York school district, and quite a few European athletes.

1. The very top of the list of outrageous insults comes from Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who referred to Israel as the “rabid dog” in the Middle East region. Successfully adding insult to injury, Khamenei also said that Israel’s “leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human.”

“The genocidal animus of Iran’s Supreme Leader against the Jewish state continued unabated throughout the secret and direct negotiations with the United States and the P5+1,[which] places him at the top of the list,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s Associate Dean.

2. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan placed second on the SWC’s most worst list. Erdogan achieved this dubious honor in a year characterized by a dramatic deterioration in relations between Turkey and Israel. Twice the Turkish leader blamed Israel – using the code word “interest rates lobby” for serious challenges to his authority by the citizens of his country.  First it was the Gezi Park uprising and most recently that same “interest rates lobby” was blamed for a huge, still ongoing corruption scandal that has profoundly affected his government, with more than a dozen ministers either resigned or being fired or reshuffled.

3. In third place is the first Jew on the list. It is the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Arab Territories, Richard Falk.  This year Falk described Israel has harboring Nazi-like genocidal intentions towards the Palestinian Arabs. The hatred he exudes towards Israel is, perhaps, summed up best in his justification of suicide bombings perpetrated against Israel as a legitimate means to inflict sufficient harm on Israel.  There is much more to make your blood boil on the SWC site.

4. In fourth place the SWC listed the economic and legal warfare against the Jewish state known as BDS.  BDS stands for the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel that is urged on by haters of the Jewish State.

In this BDS category, special mention is made of several practitioners. The first example offered is the American Studies Association.  Much has already been written on these pages about the ASA’s misguided effort to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

The good news, of course, is that the ASA appears to have done far more damage to its own organization than any harm that could possibly befall Israeli academic institutions because of the ASA’s stunt. With close to 100 universities condemning the ASA’s boycott and several withdrawing from the organization altogether, perhaps we should really place the ASA’s boycott on a list of efforts taken which resulted in nationwide solidarity in support of the Jewish State.  So, thanks, actually.

The other practitioners mentioned are Pink Floyd’s former frontman Roger Waters, and the United Church of Canada.Waters has also been the subject of several articles here at The Jewish Press. The United Church of Canada, however, merits special attention.

“As Christians suffer in Syria, ethnic cleansing in Iraq, and are threatened in Egypt, the United Church of Canada endorsed a boycott of Israel – the only Middle East state that guarantees full religious freedom and protection to all faiths,” is how the SWC describes the UCC’s folly.

5. The extreme far-right wing Hungarian party, Jobbik, is fifth on the list of most awfuls. The deputy leader of the Jobbik party called for a registry of all Jews in Hungary as a security measure last year.  He also alleges that Israel “runs a Nazi system.”

6. In sixth place is a meme that never seems to go away.  This is the “Hitler as Hero” meme, which was taken up by an alarmingly large and diverse group of Arabs and Europeans over 2013, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Iraqi cleric Qays bin Khalil al Kalbi, Saudi cleric Muhammal al Farraj, a famous Lebanese singer, and several Turkish immigrants in Holland.

7. Several particularly egregious Cartoons That Defame Israel are seventh on the SWC list of most anti-Semitic/anti-Israel Slurs for 2013.  In what passes as an art form that has been around for centuries, this year’s entries into the pantheon of dehumanizing depictions of Jews (and the Jewish State) are prize winners.  Check the SWC site to see this ugly art.

8. The small upstate New York school district of Pine Bush has permitted ugly anti-Semitic abuse of its Jewish students. Parents have sued the school district for allowing the ugliness to continue. One school official allegedly responded that the complainants’ “expectations for changing inbred prejudice may be a bit unrealistic.”  Really? Let’s hope that official’s hope to keep his job is a bit unrealistic.

9. Two American authors, one a has-been and the other a never-been, are in the 9th place “poison pen” position on SWC’ list. Alice Walker, who easily could have appeared in the fourth place as a practitioner of BDS, appears here because her most recent book, The Cushion in the Road, is described by the SWC as being approximately 25 percent “a diatribe against the Jewish state.”

Walker was the author of a hugely popular and powerful novel, The Color Purple, albeit that was 30 years ago.  The second person in the poison pen category is mostly famous for having a semi-famous daddy, Sidney Blumenthal, a speechwriter for Bill Clinton. Max Blumenthal seems to have spent the past 20 years of his life attempting to be an enfant terrible, but now he’s mostly just terrible. His new book, Goliath, practically takes anti-Semitism to pornographic heights.  He refers to Israelis as Judeo-Nazis, and blames the Arab-Israeli conflict on “Israeli society’s nationalistic impulses.” Blumenthal is at least nominally Jewish.  So sad.

10. The Wiesenthal Center describes various European Sports Venues as having been “Hijacked for Hate,” and placed them in the final slot of its 2013 list of most egregious anti-Semitic/anti-Israel slurs. Of particular note were European soccer stadiums as the stage where a great deal of ugly anti-Semitism played out over the past year. Italian, English, Polish, Hungarian, Latvian and Croatian teams or their members were cited for anti-Semitic activity this past year.

In a late-breaking addition to the list, the Wiesenthal Center included its request that NBA Star Tony Parker apologize for using a Nazi-like salute which is currently widely used by neo-Nazis in Europe. The gesture is called a quenelle, or a reverse Nazi salute.  It has been denounced by French authorities and leaders of the French Jewish communities.

The Wiesenthal Center asks readers to share with it incidents of anti-Semitic or anti-Israel slurs so that such incidents can be explored and exposed, and the perpetrators held accountable.

Hamas and Local Salafi Jihadist (Al Qaeda) Reconciling

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Abu Abdullah Al-Maqdis, a leader in Gaza’s Jihadi Salafist movement, affiliated with Al Qaeda, told the Asharq Al-Awsat  website that Hamas and the Salafist have been working towards a reconciliation in Gaza.

Al-Maqdis said the two will begin implementing their agreement over the next few months.

According to the site:

“The 8-point agreement reportedly includes clauses granting the Salafists freedom to operate in politics, the military, religious advocacy, and civil and social organizations. It also includes an explicit end to the phenomenon of political assassinations and the formulation of a joint committee to deal with any disputes that could lead to new crisis between the two groups.

In return for this, the jihadist Salafist factions will commit to the ceasefire and other decisions made by the ruling Hamas movement.”

Foreign intermediaries who helped arrange for the agreement include Islamic clerics from Kuwait and Qatar, as well as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, a popular Al Jazeera Islamic televangelist who has been barred entry from the UK and France.

Al-Qaradawi, who openly supports suicide bombings against Israel, is known for his quote stating that Muslims will continue Hitler’s work:

“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption…The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them…Allah Willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”

With the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas has been reaching out to other Islamic regimes for support, including Turkey and Iran.

How to Understand Islamism: Read What its Leaders Really Say

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

 To read Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s 1984 book, Islamic Education and Hasan al-Bana, is to get an Islamic education. Nobody should be allowed to talk about Islam or political Islamism without having read this or similar texts. Just as Marx claimed in the “Communist Manifesto” for his movement, the Islamists, too, disdain to conceal their aims. Yet those who don’t read their actual texts, speeches, and debates but only their public relations’ misinformation know nothing.

It’s easy to see why al-Qaradawi is the leading Sunni Islamist thinker in the world today, the spiritual guide behind Egypt’s Islamist revolution. He knows how to express his ideas clearly and persuasively. Here is his depiction of the Muslim world before the rise of revolutionary Islamism to power and prominence:

‘’Just imagine a waste land which has no sign of leaf or tulip or hyacinth far and wide, but which blossoms forth immediately with the first sprinkle of the rains of blessing, and fields of flowers begin to bloom. Lifeblood starts circulating in its lifeless body…..

“The condition of the Muslim nation was like a wasteland in the middle of the fourteenth century Hijri (mid-nineteenth century). The pillars of caliphate had broken which was the last display of unity under the flag of Islamic belief. Islamic countries were breathing their last under the talons of capitalist countries like Britain, France and others, so much so that Holland, whose population was [small] dominating over the ten million strong population of Indonesia with the help of force and weapon. It had spoilt the face of Islamic decrees and putting Quran behind was busily engaged in its disrespect. Blind imitation of self-made Western laws and appreciation of foreign values had set over the lives of Muslims. The youths and lovers of new culture who were bearers of the so-called modern culture were particular victims of this. Western domination upon the field of education and means of communication was producing heaps of Westernized `Khan Bahadur” (honorable people) whose names were no doubt Islamic but brains were West-bred.’”

There is a huge amount to analyze in this passage. Notice his different angle on what for the Western author would be a tale of Western imperialism and on the technological and organizational backwardness of Muslim peoples. Al-Qaradawi does not put the emphasis on Western strength or even injustice but on Muslim weakness. He does not flinch from facing the humiliations of the situation. He promises–as the Arab nationalists did sixty years ago–that his doctrine will bring rapid development and tremendous power. Like Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev once said, al-Qaradawi pledges to the West, “”We will bury you.”

Islamism is a formula to turn inferiority into superiority, to make the Muslim world number one in the world. It uses religion and is formed by key themes in Islam but ultimately it has nothing to do with religion as such. This is a political movement.

Al-Qaradawi is not upset by recent U.S. policy but by Western policy for well over a century. This bitterness is not going to be conciliated. The problem is not in Western actions—which any way cannot be undone—but with the interpretation of these actions. They are seen as rooted in a desire to destroy Islam, as being based on a permanent enmity, and no gesture by contemporary Western leaders can lead to the end of this view. On the contrary, such things will be interpreted through the prism of this view, as a trick or a sign of retreat and weakness.

Moreover, al-Qaradawi does not talk about the need for urbanization, the equality of women, modern education, and greater freedom as the solution. Indeed, his view is totally contrary to a leftist or liberal or nationalist Muslim who would stress the need to borrow any ideas and methods other than purely technological ones, from the West in order to gain equality and even superiority. Think of how Asia has succeeded–Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and now even China–through eagerness to blend borrowings, adaptation, and its own historic culture. No, for al-Qaradawi the issue is completely one of the abandonment of Islam.

Equally, while defeat in World War Two taught Japan to forget about military conquest and China’s decades of relative failure taught it to change course, al-Qaradawi favors blood and violence, revolution and totalitarianism.

Note, too, that al-Qaradawi is far more sophisticated than a demagogic firebrand. He does not criticize the Muslims who wanted to become Westernized. Rather he feels sorry for them, calling them “victims.” That’s how one builds a movement with a wider base of support, though the actual Islamists in the field rarely show such a tolerant pity.

Moreover, as a man of religion, al-Qaradawi feels no need—at least consciously so—to create a new ideology. Indeed, human action is not at all the fountainhead of their view of history: Nevertheless, al-Qaradawi refers to the movement as revolutionary. He knows that its goal is to seize state power and then use that position and the compulsion it offers to transform the society.

“When circumstances reached this limit, God’s will came into action. He took over the responsibility of the protection of Islam….To revive Islam, to put life in the dead spirit of the nation, and to carry it to the climax of success and development He chose Hasan-al-Banna who laid the foundation of the [Muslim Brotherhood] movement.”

This passage is notable for claiming that al-Banna was divinely inspired, literally a prophet. If Muslim Brotherhood supporters honestly believe that they certainly cannot deviate from diamond-hard hatred of Christians, Jews, and the West. Yet there is an important clue here, too. To say that al-Banna was divinely inspired implies that he altered Islam, moved it in a different direction. This would be an admission of heresy since Muhammad is supposed to be the last of the divinely-inspired prophets.

Here is a weakness of the movement. For a long time, conservative, traditional Muslims did view Islamism as heresy, but as it gains hegemony there are fewer and fewer such people. In Syria, for example, non-Islamist pious traditionalists in rural areas were transformed into Islamists. The combination of Westerners saying that Islam is merely plagued by a few extremists and those who say that Islam is inevitably radical keeps people from understanding this all-important reality.

Western observers often take for granted or discount the seriousness of a movement claiming that it is a direct instrument of God’s will. They are used to subverting far weaker contemporary Western religious impulses or look at those from the past that crumbled in a test of wills with rationalism, modernism, material interests, and personal hypocrisy.

Yet if it is sincerely and profoundly believed that one’s worldview is a product of divine will—an attitude that not a single leader or party in any industrialized state does—has profound implications. It means that you don’t sell out, get seduced  by materialistic lusts, or moderate your ideas and goals, except as a conscious, short-term tactical expedient that you reverse at the first possible opportunity.

The West has not dealt with such a situation of a sincerely held, radical ideology that motivates people  for a long time. Our contemporary memory of Communism is as a decayed, cynical movement. The favorite media story about Western religious figures is the expose of their sexual or financial deeds that betray their public beliefs. Even in regard to the Nazis, there were many Germans who didn’t back the movement, even if they never resisted it, and fascism, while rooted in Germany’s political culture, was also so shallowly hegemonic that it totally disappeared after 1945. Islamism doesn’t disappear after defeat, though perhaps it will do so after decades of Muslims experiencing Islamism in power.

Perhaps the last such true confrontation was with Japan in World War Two, a culture where almost everyone deeply believed in the ideology and was willing to give his life for it.  I am not saying here that all Muslims support Islamism or that Islamism is the “proper” interpretation of Islam. One can see how in Iran the fact of life under a Sharia regime for three decades plus has eroded the base of support there for that doctrine. Rather, my point is that Islamism must be taken seriously as a sincere movement and not just some rhetoric that nobody believes and is not led by people who are just looking for a bribe or a prostitute.

The suicide bomber has become the symbol of that characteristic which used to be called “fanaticism” and can now merely be summarized as people who really believe what they say and intend to do what they declare even unto death. Al-Qaradawi recognizes this point and writes, “If discourse is but verbal and the characters of such persons are free from those principles which he is propagating, then such invitations [to support these ideas] dash against the ears and become empty echoes.”(p. 4).

In other words, people will not follow leaders who prove to be corrupt hypocrites. And part of being a corrupt hypocrite is to compromise on such goals as creating a Shariah state, driving Western influence out of the region, and wiping Israel off the map. Of course, a leader is still free to set his course, pulling back at times when conditions are unfavorable, avoiding battles that would obviously be lost (though the Islamist might be too confident of winning despite the objective balance of forces), not antagonizing the masses unnecessarily, and forming alliances with others when necessary.

As with Lenin, the question is how well Islamist politicians this strategy. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has pushed too hard, too fast, though still it has come a long way. What is remarkable is that unlike the opponents of Communism, the opponents of Islamism have barely begun their attempt to understand and educate others on this ideology.

It should be stressed that the key challenge is not to cite passages from original Muslim theology to “prove” that Islam is always unchanging and inflexible—though understanding the roots of the radicals’ ideological appeal is important—or to ignore Islam as a factor completely but to look at the movement’s modern strategy and tactics. Almost thirty years after al-Qaradawi explained the movement’s ideas clearly the opponents of Islamism have barely begun their attempt to understand and educate others on this ideology.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/how-to-understand-islamism-read-what-its-leaders-really-say/2013/06/13/

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