9-11 has wrought tremendous change in the thinking of average Americans, and in how they parse events they had previously ignored. 9-11 permanently revolutionized the conversation in the United States, exposing and deepening the fault lines which, prior to the Fall of the Towers, could be safely papered over.
That world is gone. We currently live in transition and concern. The future is not at all clear.
During this transition, there will occur many conversations about what constitutes the “reality” of this conflict and its future. This is just one of them.
I feel fortunate to have Eteraz as my interlocutor.
anne is the voice of the holocaust. to suggest that hitler ‘had’ her means that the jews were somehow complicit in the holocaust. or rather, ‘wanted it’ like anne does hitler. get it now?
this is one of the most disgusting pieces of ‘art’ i have seen in my life. wow, i’m actually having a physical reaction. don’t know why b/c i never even really read the diary of anne frank.
eteraz: If you were a practicing Christian you might have the same visceral reaction to “Piss Christ” as you describe here. For me, *any* bad art — say, a rusted car bumper mounted on a piece of lucite and given a *deep* and meaningful title — has that same visceral effect.
That’s why I put that ‘cartoon’ up: we were meant to respond to it and then to examine our responses…I keep thinking about Anne Frank’s book and how much courage it gave me as a young girl. To have both those people together is like matter and anti-matter.
It makes you wonder about the cartoonist’s mind, too.
I did not post that cartoon lightly. But it’s important to see because anti-semitism is on the rise in Europe and this time we *must* be prepared.
you say that anti-semitism is on the rise, but you have to also admit that islamophobia is also on the rise. i’m talking about specifically in europe.
a good number of muslims in europe are good people, who don’t deserve to be treated as europe once treated its jews.
eteraz, when you compare anti-semitism and Islamophobia in Europe you’re talking about two different phenomena.
1. Jewish schools in Britain now have structural protection against bombers. Is this true also for Islamic schools?
2. Jewish cemeteries are being desecrated in France and England. Do you have reports of desecration of Muslim cemeteries also? Some of these graveyards are historical places, and the destruction is savagely done.
3. Jewish girls are at more risk of rape in France. This may be also true of Muslim girls, but it is Muslim youths who invented the [gang-rape] game of retourné, not native French or Brits.
4. Synagogues in both places have been torched, covered with graffiti and have needed police protection on Holy Days. Is this true for Muslims during, say, Ramadan? Are the Christians, Jews, and atheists out hassling the Muslims?
5. It is hard to imagine Burger King apologizing to Jews because one of them complained that their ice cream cup vaguely resembled a sacred Hebrew letter. It is hard to imagine a Jew complaining about it in the first place.
Islamophobia is on the rise because Islamists are volatile, supremacist, and very much loose cannons in the public sphere. Islamophobia is the result of Muslim behavior. It wasn’t a bunch of yeshiva students who set off bombs in London or Madrid.
Unless Islam can shed its present violent acting-out, Islamophobia will continue to rise. Bombs, hate talk, demands for special treatment, and contempt for the country in which they live will endear them [Muslims] to no one.
As you said, there are two choices for Muslims: passivity and arrogance. Until they find some tertium quid, things will continue to deteriorate.
One more: the Danish imam (who is a Danish citizen) who toured the Middle East stirring up trouble with the cartoons of Mohammed (plus a few really ugly ones that he made up and included with the others to aid the incitement) is a traitor to his country, Denmark. He betrayed his people. But he doesn’t see it that way. Denmark is simply where he lives. His people are those he incited to riot and boycott.
Denmark feels hurt and betrayed by this man, and their hurt is translated into Islamophobia. [From the Muslim point of view, this imam was simply practicing taqiyya.]
And I’ll be darned if I can think of a Jew who has done what he did, either now or in the past millennium.
The funny thing about Israel is that even though it’s a theocracy, many of its citizens are atheists. And some of them are Arabs. Meanwhile, the Muslims are killing off the infidels who infest their country. In Iraq there are two Jews left. In Yemen, a thousand year old Jewish culture was obliterated and the remnant moved to Israel.
Now the Middle East says their final solution to the Jews is to either kill them all or make Europe take them.
For me, anti-semitism and islamophobia are not on the same order of injustice at all. The Jews are hated and feared because they exist; the Muslims are hated and feared because they kill people at will and do not seem bound to the rule of law that the rest of us take for granted. That cartoon of Hitler and Anne Frank was drawn and posted by European Muslims. Think about it.
A Hindu ashram moved into our area 20 years ago. I’ve never worried about them coming to do me harm. But if an equal number of Wahhabist Muslims moved in down the road, I’d sell my house.
That makes me Islamophobic, but it’s a recently acquired phobia which began to fester on 9/11/2001. So far I haven’t found a way to cure it.
Fair response. Just two points.
1 – The Europeans who were massacring the Jewry didn’t subjectively think that the Jews had not done anything. They had laundry lists of ‘reasons’ for their anti-semitism. In hindsight, its clear that most of their reasons were at worst, bull, and at best, hyperbole. So, simply because you give me a lot of reasons for why your phobia is justified, doesn’t mean that your phobia is justified. Why? See point 2.
2 – Just as with historical anti-semitism in Europe by Europeans, they could not distinguish between one Jew and another, so your “reasons” do not distinguish between one Muslim and another. Oh, sure, you might in your heart think that not all Muslims are complicit in destructive activities, but for a moment look at how you convey your message. You do it by lumping all Muslims together. “The Muslims are hated and feared because they kill people at will and do not seem bound to the rule of law that the rest of us take for granted.” It’s rhetoric like that which once led to Europeans killing Jews. That’s a very destructive “the.” I absolutely agree with you that there are destructive Muslims in Europe (and in other parts of the world including America). However, you seem to forget that at one point, there *were* Jews in Europe who were charging exorbitant interest and using their ability to extend interest in predatory activity. Also, Jews of that time were guilty (in the eyes of europeans) of another crime: of choosing to be Jewish over and above being European or French or German. (Something Muslims are also accused of). Not being an anti-semite, I obviously don’t believe that the European reprisal to such allegations was justified. No, it was inhuman. *However* just as the European reprisals against Jews simply because a handful of jews were unethical and did not consider themselves French enough were not ethical, so any European reprisal against “the Muslims” should be considered unethical. It’s a matter of consistency. I consider myself a component of the Western civilization. I believe that it should be consistent.
3 – With regards to Algerian rape and other evidences of specific crimes in Europe, I believe the solution is to take constructive action which will bring these people into the ambit of the mainstream. Economic stimulation might be a start. You may have heard today of Abu Hamza in Britain being indicted. I’m all in favor of using rational and judicial means to bring all Muslim perpetrators to justice. However, let’s leave the islamophobic rhetoric out of it. It makes you sound like a bigot. I think you’d concur that bigotry is what we’re fighting against and trying to remedy. Why should you fall to the level of people whose behavior should *not* be emulated.
Dymph: civilizational and social conflicts in a million ways. Before I got involved in trying to assist the Muslim-West divide, I was deeply involved in assisting the black-white divide in the U.S. Especially since I come from the deep south and have seen and lived some of the abject conditions that create it. I met many white american in this time who were simply unwilling to let go of their ‘phobia’ of black people. The cure, I’m afraid, I don’t have to give. The cure, actually, is our own soul; which asks us to be better than who we are. To strive to be a force of good in the world.
Ask yourself this: do you want to assimilate Muslims in the west because you wish to share with them the beauty of your society? if the answer is yes, then phobia will have to be remedied. If the answer is no, then might I ask you to have a bit more hope. I know it’s hard. But we’re in it together.
i realize that was far more than ‘just two points.’
Eteraz, I was delayed by illness in my response to your last two points. I have thought about them, and they are important. However, I don’t think you read me carefully, and I want to answer you, belated though my response may be.
Eteraz, you tell me, “…look at how you convey your message. You do it by lumping all Muslims together. ‘The Muslims are hated and feared because they kill people at will and do not seem bound to the rule of law that the rest of us take for granted.’”
I have not “lumped all Muslims together.” I did say, specifically, “A Hindu ashram moved into our area 20 years ago. I’ve never worried about them coming to do me harm. But if an equal number of Wahhabist Muslims moved in down the road, I’d sell my house.”
Perhaps I should have been even more specific: the lumpen Muslims I object to, and the ones which cause such harm, are the Salafists, Wahhabists, Deobandis, Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, Jamaat ul-Fuqra, Abu Sayyaf, Ansar Al-Islam, Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Mujahedin-e Khalq, and, of course, Al Qaeda. I would include here any other murderous, supremacist, utopian sects whose ultimate aim is the destruction of Western Civilization and its replacement by the Caliphate.
I also object to the third generation Muslim yahoos in Britain and France who are parasites on the welfare state and resent, even attempt to mangle, the hand that feeds them. I do not believe that Britain has systematically isolated its Muslim young. Perhaps that is not true in other parts of Europe. However, Britain has a fairly good record of assimilating its immigrant population. This assimilation has been less troublesome for other ethnic populations because they do not hang on to their differences and their grievances as have the third-generation Muslim youths. This Badge of Grievance, worn so proudly and so angrily, has some parallels with a sub-culture of aggrieved American blacks.
You spoke of “civilizational and social conflicts” and your role in ameliorating the racial divide in America. I will save that for a further dialogue.
I repeat: Islamophobia is a growing problem because of the easily-led and aggressively violent crowds of Muslims. Muslims are burning embassies, causing Europeans to flee the Middle East, and engaging in kidnapping, extortion, rape, murder, and general mayhem — all of it performed for an audience of appalled and frightened Westerners. As long as large groups of Muslims march, carrying signs that proclaim “Death to Liberty”, I will be an Islamophobe.
However, I reserve the right to pick and choose which Muslims make me paranoid. You’re not one of them.