Saturday, February 23, 2008

Expert: Saudi Arabian Bankers Fueling Global Islamic Jihad

by Talia Zarbiv

Rachel Ehrenfeld, Director of the American Center for Democracy, said at the Jerusalem Conference Tuesday that Saudi Arabian bankers are the main financiers of global terrorism.

Corrupt "Sharia financing" banking practices - legal under Islamic law - are a fairly new phenomenon, Ehrenfeld said. They were first developed by the Muslim brotherhood in the 70s, following the financial power gained by Saudis during the oil boom.

"Saudis are using money in order to corrupt the West, to fund terrorism, and eventually to take over the West," said Ehrenfeld.  "For years, Saudi Arabia has been a main supporter of terrorism, both physically and financially, and their illegal activity is now causing many innocent investors to commit serious crimes without even the knowledge that they are doing so."

According to Ehrenfeld, Saudi Arabian bankers have roughly $1 trillion ready to be invested through means of what she terms "financial Jihad." The financial practices she refers to as "Sharia financing" are run according to Islamic law, governed solely by the Koran and with no distinction between public and private practices. "Legitimate financing goals are literally indistinguishable from immoral and illegal practices, causing unsuspecting companies and individuals to unknowingly fund terrorism."
 
"Sharia financing means complete and total submission to Islamic bankers," Ehrenfeld explained. "Investors give over all rights to choose what their money supports. They are virtually forced to divest from any company or concept that is not in agreement with Muslim ideology or belief, including any company that is even inconsequentially involved with Israel. Additionally, Saudi Arabian bankers have the right to list and delist companies as they please, without legitimate cause or legal course of action."

"Not surprisingly, these illegal banking practices do not have security, which comes at a very large price to investors, who are at great risk both of losing their money, endangering their shareholders, and being prosecuted by American banking laws, which strictly forbid the financial support of terrorism. Besides the money that is used to support Islamic agenda, 20% of funds are labeled 'mandated charity' and go directly to foreign companies in support of terrorism."

Ehrenfeld warns: "They are expanding fast, and are now in more than 80 countries, and more than 300 financial institutions around the world. This is really spreading like wildfire."

Talia Zarbiv

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Steyn on Britain and Europe.

 

 

My favorite headline of the year so far comes from The Daily Mail in Britain: "Government Renames Islamic Terrorism As 'Anti-Islamic Activity' To Woo Muslims."

Her Majesty's Government is not alone in feeling it's not always helpful to link Islam and the, ah, various unpleasantnesses with suicide bombers and whatnot. Even in his cowboy Crusader heyday, President Bush liked to cool down the crowd with a lot of religion-of-peace stuff. But the British have now decided that kind of mealy-mouthed "respect" is no longer sufficient. So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated "anti-Islamic activity." Britain's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, unveiled the new brand name in a speech a few days ago. "There is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief," she told her audience. "Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic."

Well, yes, one sort of sees what she means. Killing thousands of people in Manhattan skyscrapers in the name of Islam does, among a certain narrow-minded type of person, give Islam a bad name, and thus could be said to be "anti-Islamic" — in the same way that the Luftwaffe raining down death and destruction on Londoners during the Blitz was an "anti-German activity." But I don't recall even Neville Chamberlain explaining, as if to a five-year old, that there is nothing German about the wish to terrorize and invade, and that this is entirely at odds with the core German values of sitting around eating huge sausages in beer gardens while wearing lederhosen.

Still, it should add a certain surreal quality to BBC news bulletins: "The Prime Minister today condemned the latest anti-Islamic activity as he picked through the rubble of Downing Street looking for his 2008 Wahhabi Community Outreach Award. In a related incident, the anti-Islamic activists who blew up Buckingham Palace have unfortunately caused the postponement of the Queen's annual Ramadan banquet."

A few days ago, a pre-trial hearing in an Atlanta courtroom made public for the first time a video made by two Georgia Tech students. Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee went to Washington and took footage of key buildings, and that "casing video" then wound up in the hands of Younis Tsouli, an al-Qaeda recruiter in London. As the film shot by the Georgia students was played in court, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee's voice could be heard on the soundtrack: "This is where our brothers attacked the Pentagon."

"Allahu Akbar," responds young Ahmed. God is great.

How "anti-Islamic" an activity is that? Certainly, not all Muslims want to fly planes into the Pentagon. But those that do do it in the name of their faith. And anyone minded to engage in an "anti-Islamic activity" will find quite a lot of support from leading Islamic scholars. Take, for example, the "moderate" imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once observed that "we will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through the sword, but through da'wa" — ie, the nonincendiary form of Islamic outreach.

What could be more moderate than that? No wonder Mr al-Qaradawi is an associate of the Islamic Society of Boston, currently building the largest mosque in the north-east, and also a pal of the present Mayor of London. The impeccably moderate mullah was invited to address a British conference sponsored by the police and the Department of Work and Pensions on "Our Children, Our Future." And, when it comes to the children, Imam Qaradawi certainly has their future all mapped out. "Israelis might have nuclear bombs," he said, "but we have the children bomb and these human bombs must continue until liberation." As Maurice Chevalier used to say, thank heaven for little girls, they blow up in the most delightful way. The British Home Secretary would respond that not all moderate imams are as gung-ho to detonate moppets. Which is true. But, by insisting on re-labeling terrorism committed by Muslims in the name of Islam as "anti-Islamic activity," Her Majesty's Government is engaging not merely in Orwellian Newspeak but in self-defeating Orwellian Newspeak. The broader message it sends is that ours is a weak culture so unconfident and insecure that if you bomb us and kill us our first urge is to find a way to flatter and apologize to you.

Here's another news item out of Britain this week: A new version of The Three Little Pigs was turned down for some "excellence in education" award on the grounds that "the use of pigs raises cultural issues" and, as a result, the judges "had concerns for the Asian community" — ie, Muslims. Non-Muslim Asians — Hindus and Buddhists — have no "concerns" about anthropomorphized pigs.

This is now a recurring theme in British life. A while back, it was a local government council telling workers not to have knick-knacks on their desks representing Winnie-the-Pooh's porcine sidekick, Piglet. As Martin Niemöller famously said, first they came for Piglet and I did not speak out because I was not a Disney character and, if I was, I'm more of an Eeyore. So then they came for the Three Little Pigs, and Babe, and by the time I realized my country had turned into a 24/7 Looney Tunes it was too late, because there was no Porky Pig to stammer "Th-th-th-that's all, folks!" and bring the nightmare to an end.

Just for the record, it's true that Muslims, like Jews, are not partial to bacon and sausages. But the Koran has nothing to say about cartoon pigs. Likewise, it is silent on the matter of whether one can name a teddy bear after Mohammed. What all these stories have in common is the excessive deference to Islam. If the Three Little Pigs are verboten when Muslims do not yet comprise ten per cent of the British population, what else will be on the blacklist by the time they're, say, 20 per cent?

A couple of days later, Elizabeth May, leader of Canada's Green Party (the fourth largest political party), spoke out against her country's continued military contribution to the international force in Afghanistan. "More ISAF forces from a Christian/Crusader heritage," she said, "will continue to fuel an insurgency that has been framed as a jihad." As it happens, Canada did not send troops to the Crusades, mainly because the fun was over several centuries before Canada came in existence. Six years ago, it was mostly the enemy who took that line, Osama bin Laden raging at the Great Satan for the fall of Andalusia in 1492, which, with the best will in the world, it's hard to blame on Halliburton. But since then, the pathologies of Islamism have proved surprisingly contagious among western elites.

You remember the Three Little Pigs? One builds a house of straw, and another of sticks, and both get blown down by the Big Bad Wolf. Western civilization is a mighty house of bricks, but who needs a Big Bad Wolf when the pig's so eager to demolish it himself?

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

THE COMMUNIST ROOTS OF PALESTINIAN TERRORISM Part I

 

by David Meir-Levi

1st part of 2 

Although many Nazis found new and ideologically welcoming homes in Egypt and Syria after World War II, the Grand Mufti's Palestinian national movement itself, bereft of its Nazi patron, was an orphan. No sovereign state of any consequence supported it. On the contrary, most of the surrounding Arab states, all of them buoyed by postcolonial nationalism and looking for political stability, perceived the Palestinian cause, especially as embodied in the Muslim Brotherhood, as a threat. Egypt aggressively suppressed the Brotherhood. Saudi and Jordanian royalty watched the growth of radical Islam with suspicion. Syria and Lebanon, trying to move toward more open societies in the pre-Ba'athist era, feared the Brotherhood's opposition to western-style civil rights and liberties and its fierce condemnation of westernized Arab societies.

More to the point, each of these states coveted some or all of what was formerly British Mandatory Palestine and were no more enthusiastic about the creation of a new Arab state there than they were about the creation of Israel. As a result of these complex national ambitions and antagonisms, no state for the Arabs of British Mandatory Palestine was created. Even though Israel offered the return of territories gained in the 1948 war at the Rhodes armistice conference of February 1949, the Arab leaders (among whom there were no representatives from the Arabs of the former Palestine) rejected Israel's peace offers, declared jihad, and condemned the Arab refugees to eternal refugee status, while also illegally occupying the remaining areas that the United Nations had envisioned as a Palestinian state -- as Arafat himself tells us in his authorized biography (Alan Hart, Arafat: Terrorist or Peace Maker?). Egypt herded Palestinian Arabs into refugee camps in its new fiefdom in the Gaza Strip, assassinated their leaders, and shot anyone who tried to leave. Jordan illegally annexed the west Bank and maintained martial law over it for the next nineteen years.

Egypt was particularly conscious of the threat the Muslim Brotherhood posed to the westernized and increasingly secularized society it was trying to build, and both King Farouk and later Gamal Abdel Nasser took brutal and effective steps to repress the movement.

They also made sure that the 350,000 Palestinians whom the Egyptian army had herded into refugee camps in Gaza would develop no nationalist sentiments or activism. Egyptian propaganda worked hard to redirect the Palestinians' justifiable anti- Egypt sentiments toward an incendiary hatred of Israel. Its secret police engineered the creation and deployment of the fedayeen (terrorist infiltrators) movement, which between 1949 and 1956 carried out over nine thousand terror attacks against Israel, killing more than six hundred Israelis and wounding thousands. These fedayeen were mostly Arab refugees, trained and armed by Egypt.

As the conflict with Israel hardened throughout the 1950s, Nasser came to see that Palestinian nationalism, if carefully manipulated, could be an asset instead of just a threat and an annoyance. Although the fedayeen terrorism prompted Israel to invade the Sinai in 1956, the Egyptian leader saw the value in being able to deploy a force that did his bidding but was not part of Egypt's formal military; which could make tactical strikes and then disappear into the amorphous demography of the west Bank or the Gaza Strip, giving Egypt plausible deniability for the mayhem it had created. But Nasser's ability to support such a useful terrorist group was limited by the failed economy over which he presided; and so, in 1964, he was delighted to cooperate with the Soviet Union in the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
 


Brainchild of the KGB

As Ion Mihai Pacepa, onetime director of the Romanian espionage service (DIE), later explained, the PLO was conceived at a time when the KGB was creating "liberation front" organizations throughout the Third world. Others included the National Liberation Army of Bolivia, created in 1964 with help from Ernesto "Che" Guevara, and the National Liberation Army of Colombia, created in 1965 with help from Fidel Castro. But the PLO was the KGB's most enduring achievement.

In 1964, the first PLO Council, consisting of 422 Palestinian representatives handpicked by the KGB, approved the Soviet blueprint for a Palestinian National Charter -- a document drafted in Moscow -- and made Ahmad Shukairy, the KGB's agent of influence, the first PLO chairman. The Romanian intelligence service was given responsibility for providing the PLO with logistical support. Except for the arms, which were supplied by the KGB and the East German Stasi, everything, according to Ion Pacepa, "came from Bucharest. Even the PLO uniforms and the PLO stationery were manufactured in Romania free of charge, as a "comradely help." During those years, two Romanian cargo planes filled with goodies for the PLO landed in Beirut every week."

The PLO came on the scene at a critical moment in Middle East history. At the Khartoum conference held shortly after the Six-Day war, the defeated and humiliated Arab states confronted the "new reality" of an Israel that seemed unbeatable in conventional warfare. The participants of the conference decided, among other things, to continue the war against Israel as what today would be called a "low intensity conflict." The PLO's Fatah forces were perfect to carry out this mission.

The Soviets not only armed and trained Palestinian terrorists but also used them to arm and train other professional terrorists by the thousands. The International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (CPSU), the Soviet Security Police (KGB), and Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU) all played major roles in this effort. From the late 1960s onwards, moreover, the PLO maintained contact with other terror groups -- some of them neo-Nazi and extreme right-wing groups -- offering them support and supplies, training and funding.

The Soviets also built Moscow's Patrice Lumumba People's Friendship University to serve as a base of indoctrination and training of potential "freedom fighters" from the Third world. More specialized training in terrorism was provided at locations in Baku, Odessa, Simferopol, and Tashkent.

Mahmoud Abbas, later to succeed Yassir Arafat as head of the PLO, was a graduate of Patrice Lumumba U, where he received his Ph.D. in 1982 after completing a thesis partly based on Holocaust denial.

Cuba was also used as a base for terrorist training and Marxist indoctrination, part of a symbiotic relationship between its revolutionary cadre and the PLO.

The Cuban intelligence service (DGI) was under the direct command of the KGB after 1968. Palestinian terrorists were identified in Havana as early as 1966; and in the 1970s DGI representatives were dispatched to PLO camps in Lebanon to assist terrorists being nurtured by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In late April 1979, an agreement was reached for the PFLP to have several hundred of its terrorists trained in Cuba, following a meeting between its chief George Habash and Cuban officials.
 


The PLO and the Arab States

In the chaotic aftermath of the Six-Day war, Yassir Arafat had seen an opportunity for himself and his still embryonic Fatah terror organization in the rubble of the Arab nations' war machines and the humiliation of the Arab world. He forged an alliance with President Nasser, whom he won over to his belief that after traditional warfare had failed them yet again, the future of the conflict for the Arabs was in the realm of terrorism, not the confrontation of massed armies. From September to December 1967, Nasser supported Arafat in his attempt to infiltrate the west Bank and to develop a grassroots foundation for a major terror war against Israel. These efforts were unsuccessful because local west Bank Palestinians cooperated with Israel and aided in the pursuit of Arafat and his Fatah operatives.

Despite such setbacks, Arafat later described this era in his authorized biography as the time of his most successful statecraft. When word reached him of Israel's post-Six-Day-war peace overtures to the recently defeated Arab countries, he and his adjutants understood at once that if there were ever peace between Israel and Jordan, for instance, there would be no hope for a Palestinian state. So he set off on a grueling exercise in shuttle diplomacy throughout the major Arab countries, preaching the need to reject unconditionally any peace agreement with the Jewish state.

Arafat later claimed credit for the results of the Khartoum conference (August-September 1967), in which all the Arab dictators unanimously voted to reject Israel's offer to return much of the land it had occupied as a result of the war in exchange for peace. Had he not intervened, Israel might conceivably have made peace with Jordan, and the west Bank would have reverted to Jordanian sovereignty, leaving his dream of leading a state there stillborn.

But while Arafat's proposals to engage in a continuing terror war might be enthusiastically received by Arab leaders, there was no support to speak of among the Arabs of the west Bank, who readily gave him up to Israeli authorities. Arafat was forced to flee with the Israel Defense Forces hot on his trail, and finally established a base for his force in the city of Salt, in southwestern Jordan. From there he executed terrorist raids across the Jordan river and began to set up clandestine contacts with officers in the Jordan Legion, almost half of whom were Palestinians.

The Israeli army, under the direction of Moshe Dayan, launched a limited invasion of Jordan in March 1968 to stop Arafat's raids. Its objective was the village of Karama, near the Jordan river, where most of Arafat's men were encamped. The raid took a terrible toll of terrorist fighters. When Jordanian artillery forces, under the command of Palestinians, unexpectedly opened fire on the Israeli force, the Israelis retreated, not wishing to escalate the raid into a confrontation with Jordan.

Showing his brilliance as a propagandist, Arafat redefined Israel's strategic retreat into a rout. Organizing his defeated and demoralized force into a cavalcade, he marched into Salt with guns firing victoriously in the air, claiming in effect that it was his force, rather than fear of a diplomatic incident, that had caused the Israelis to move back.

Arafat claimed that he had liberated both Palestinian and Jordanian karameh ("dignity" in Palestinian Arabic) by smashing the Israeli force and driving it back across the Jordan river in shame and disarray. It was pure fiction, but the Arabs believed it.

Soon money and recruits were pouring in, and Arafat was able to reconstitute and equip his haggard Fatah force. Shrewdly leveraging his "victory," Arafat challenged Ahmad Shukairy as head of the PLO in February 1969. Acting through Nasser, the Soviets backed Arafat and he emerged as the unchallenged leader of the Arab terrorist war against Israel. While remaining distinct organizations, the PLO and Fatah were unified beneath the umbrella of his leadership.

At this point, Soviet involvement became critical. Under Russian tutelage, Arafat signed the "Cairo Agreement" in November 1969, which allowed him, with overt Egyptian and Syrian backing and covert Russian support, to move a large part of his force into southern Lebanon. There they set up centers of operation to prepare for terror attacks against Israel's northern border, while Arafat and the rest of his force remained in Jordan.

The three years of Arafat's sojourn in Jordan were not without internal problems. Fatah terrorists routinely clashed with Jordanian soldiers (more than nine hundred armed encounters between 1967 and 1970). Arafat's men used Mafia tactics to smuggle cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol, and to extort money from local Jordanians, setting up roadblocks to exact tolls and kidnapping notables for ransom to finance "the revolution." when Jordanian forces tried to keep order, Fatah engaged and in some cases killed them. Jordan's King Hussein was not eager for a confrontation.

Faced with Arafat's threats of civil war, he offered the PLO leader a position in the Jordanian parliament. Arafat refused, saying that his only goal in life was to destroy Israel. When the U.S. assistant secretary of state, Joseph Cisco, came to Jordan in April 1970, Arafat organized massive anti-American riots throughout the country, during which one American military attachֳ© was murdered and another kidnapped. Humiliated before his most important ally, Hussein did nothing.

In July 1970, Egypt and Jordan accepted U.S. secretary of state William Rogers' plan for Israel's withdrawal from the west Bank and Gaza in exchange for peace and recognition. But instead of embracing the plan and taking control of the West Bank and Gaza, Arafat denounced the Rogers proposal, reiterating his determination to reject any peace agreement. He then organized riots throughout Jordan in order to prevent a political solution. The liberated Palestine he sought would stretch from the Jordan river to the sea, with no Israel, and could only be achieved through fire and blood. All peace agreements that left Israel intact were in his view betrayals of the Palestinian cause.

Nasser was furious and let King Hussein know that he had withdrawn his support for Arafat. Blundering ahead, Arafat announced it was now time to overthrow King Hussein, and he launched an insurrection.

Throughout August 1970, fighting between Arafat's forces and the Jordan Legion escalated. Arafat looked forward to support from Syria when he launched his final coup, but the Syrians had backed off because they had learned that the United States had given Israel a green light to intervene if they became involved.

The final straw came on September 6, 1970, when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), nominally under Arafat's control, skyjacked one Swiss and two American airliners. Two of the planes landed in Jordan, where they were emptied of their passengers and then blown up. The passengers were held as hostages, to be released in exchange for PLO and other terrorists in Israeli jails. At this point, King Hussein declared martial law, and ordered Arafat and his men out of Jordan. Arafat responded by demanding a national unity government with himself at its head. Hussein then ordered his 55,000 soldiers and 300 tanks to attack PLO forces in Amman, Salt, Irbid, and all Palestinian refugee camps.

In eleven days it was over. Seeing his forces tottering on the brink of total defeat and perhaps annihilation, Arafat, having promptly fled to safety in Sudan, agreed to face a tribunal of Arab leaders who would adjudicate an end to the conflict. After six hours of deliberation, the rulers of Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan decided in favor of King Hussein. And to make matters worse, Arafat's last patron, the dictator Nasser, died of a heart attack while seeing members of the tribunal off at the Cairo airport. As Hussein forced the remaining PLO terrorists out of his cities, Arafat had no choice but to leave. By March 1971, he had made his way clandestinely to Lebanon, the only Arab country too weak to throw him out.

Once in Lebanon, he sought to take control of the PLO forces, but he discovered that his chief surviving officers quite correctly blamed him for the Jordan debacle, which had become known as "Black September." Their resentment for the great and senseless loss of life in Jordan led to two attempts on his life.

Arafat not only survived, but was able to use his ample diplomatic skills to turn the tables on his opponents inside Fatah and the PLO. He argued that in the few short years that he had led his liberation army, he had awakened Palestinian nationalism (in fact, he had virtually invented it), recruited and armed a substantial terror army (the PLO forces in Lebanon were unscathed by the Black September catastrophe), initiated war against Israel, rebuffed efforts by Egypt and Syria to control the PLO, made his organization into a state within a state in both Jordan and Lebanon, and raised substantial support from a growing number of rich expatriate Palestinians and supporters throughout the Arab world. By early 1971, despite the animosity that his debacle in Jordan had engendered, he successfully reestablished himself as the unchallenged PLO military and political leader.

Arafat's ability to stay at the top of Fatah and the PLO in Lebanon was the result, at least in part, of the support he received from the USSR.

Soviet interest in Arafat was motivated largely by his success in organizing and motivating his terrorist followers. The Soviet Union's Cold war agenda required someone with just those talents to expand and develop the terror arm of Soviet activity in the Third world, and especially in the Muslim world. Within a few years, Russian-trained PLO operatives were manning a dozen terror-training camps in Syria and Lebanon, and deploying terror cells across the globe from Germany to Nicaragua, Turkey to Iran.

By 1973, Arafat was a Soviet puppet (and would remain such until the fall of the USSR). His adjutants, including Mahmoud Abbas, were being trained by the KGB in guerrilla warfare, espionage, and demolition; and his ideologues had gone to North Vietnam to learn the propaganda Tao of Ho Chi Minh.

David Meir-Levi

 

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

 

THE COMMUNIST ROOTS OF PALESTINIAN TERRORISM Part II

 

by David Meir-Levi

 

 2nd part of2


The PLO Discovers "Wars of National Liberation"

As early as 1964, Arafat had sent Abu Jihad (later the leader of the PLO's military operations) to North Vietnam to study the strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare as waged by Ho Chi Minh. At this time, Fatah also translated the writings of North Vietnam's General Nguyen Giap, as well as the works of Mao and Che Guevara, into Arabic.

Arafat was particularly struck by Ho Chi Minh's success in mobilizing left-wing sympathizers in Europe and the United States, where activists on American campuses, enthusiastically following the line of North Vietnamese operatives, had succeeded in reframing the Vietnam war from a Communist assault on the south to a struggle for national liberation. Ho's chief strategist, General Giap, made it clear to Arafat and his lieutenants that in order to succeed, they too needed to redefine the terms of their struggle. Giap's counsel was simple but profound: the PLO needed to work in a way that concealed its real goals, permitted strategic deception, and gave the appearance of moderation:

"Stop talking about annihilating Israel and instead turn your terror war into a struggle for human rights. Then you will have the American people eating out of your hand."

At the same time that he was getting advice from General Giap, Arafat was also being tutored by Muhammad Yazid, who had been minister of information in two Algerian wartime governments (1958-1962): wipe out the argument that Israel is a small state whose existence is threatened by the Arab states, or the reduction of the Palestinian problem to a question of refugees; instead, present the Palestinian struggle as a struggle for liberation like the others. Wipe out the impression that in the struggle between the Palestinians and the Zionists, the Zionist is the underdog. Now it is the Arab who is oppressed and victimized in his existence because he is not only facing the Zionists but also world imperialism.

To make sure that they followed this advice, the KGB put Arafat and his adjutants into the hands of a master of propaganda: Nicolai Ceausescu, president-for-life of Romania.

For the next few years, Ceausescu hosted Arafat frequently and gave him lessons on how to apply the advice of Giap, Yazid, and others in the Soviet orbit. Arafat's personal "handler," Ion Mihai Pacepa, the head of the Romanian military intelligence, had to work hard on his sometimes unruly protֳ©gֳ©. Pacepa later recorded a number of sessions during which Arafat railed against Ceausescu's injunctions that the PLO should present itself as a people's revolutionary army striving to right wrongs and free the oppressed: he wanted only to obliterate Israel. Gradually, though, Ceausescu's lessons in Machiavellian statecraft sank in. During his early Lebanon years, Arafat developed propaganda tactics that would allow him to create the image of a homeless people oppressed by a colonial power. This makeover would serve him well in the west for decades to come.

Although Arafat was pioneering the use of skyjacking during this time and setting off a wave of copycat airborne terrorism, he discovered that even the flimsiest and most transparent excuses sufficed for the western media to exonerate him and blame Israel for its retaliatory or preventive attacks, and to accept his insistence that he was a statesman who could not control the terrorists he was in fact orchestrating.

But while Arafat was finally absorbing and applying the lessons he learned from his Romanian and North Vietnamese hosts and handlers, as Pacepa describes it in Red Horizons, the Soviets still questioned his dependability. So, with Pacepa's help, they created a highly specialized "insurance policy." Using the good offices of the Romanian ambassador to Egypt, they secretly taped Arafat's almost nightly homosexual interactions with his bodyguards and with the unfortunate preteen orphan boys whom Ceausescu provided for him as part of "Romanian hospitality." With videotapes of Arafat's voracious pedophilia in their vault, and knowing the traditional attitude toward homosexuality in Islam, the KGB felt that Arafat would continue to be a reliable asset for the Kremlin.

Whether or not Arafat's homosexuality was the key to the Soviets' control over him, it is clear that by the early 1970s the PLO had joined the ranks of other socialist anti-colonial "liberation" movements, both in its culture and in its politics; and had reframed its terror war as a "people's war" similar to those of the other Marxist-Leninist terrorist guerrillas in China, Cuba, and Vietnam. Thanks to input from Ceausescu, General Giap, and the Algerians, Arafat gradually saw the wisdom of jettisoning his fulminations about "throwing the Jews into the sea," and in its place he developed the images of the "illegal occupation" and "Palestinian national self-determination," both of which lent his terrorism the mantle of a legitimate people's resistance. Of course, there was one ingredient missing in this imaginative reconfiguration of the struggle: There had never been a "Palestinian people," or a "Palestinian nation," or a sovereign state known as "Palestine."
 


Creating "Palestine"

The term Palestine (in Arabic) was an ancient name for the general geographic region that is more or less today's Israel. The name derives from the Philistines, who originated from the Eastern Mediterranean and invaded the region in the eleventh and twelfth centuries B.C. The Philistines were apparently from Greece, or perhaps Crete, or the Aegean Islands, or Ionia. They seem to be related to the Bronze Age Greeks, and they spoke a language akin to Mycenaean Greek.

Their descendants were still living on the shores of the Mediterranean when roman invaders arrived a thousand years later. The Romans corrupted the name to "Palestina," and the area under the sovereignty of their littoral city states became known as "Philistia." Six hundred years later, the Arab invaders called the region "Falastin."

Throughout all subsequent history, the name designated only a vague geographical entity. There was never a nation of "Palestine," never a people known as the "Palestinians," nor any notion of "historic Palestine." The region never enjoyed any sovereign autonomy, but instead remained under successive foreign sovereign domains, from the Umayyads and Abbasids to the Fatimids, Ottomans and British.

During the British Mandate period (1922-1948), the Arabs of the area had their own designation for the region: Balad esh-Sham (the country, or province, of Damascus). In early 1947, in fact, when the UN was exploring the possibility of the partition of British Mandatory Palestine into two states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs, various Arab political and academic spokespersons vociferously protested against such a division because, they argued, the region was really a part of southern Syria. Because no such people as "Palestinians" had ever existed, it would be an injustice to Syria to create a state ex nihilo at the expense of Syrian sovereign territory.

During the nineteen years from Israel's victory in 1948 to Israel's victory in the Six-Day war, all that remained of the territory initially set aside for the Arabs of British Mandatory Palestine under the conditions of the UN partition was the West Bank, under illegal Jordanian sovereignty, and the Gaza Strip, under illegal Egyptian rule. Never during these nineteen years did any Arab leader anywhere in the world argue for the right of national self-determination for the Arabs of these territories. Even Yassir Arafat, from his earliest terrorist days until 1967, used the term "Palestinians" only to refer to the Arabs who lived under, or had fled from, Israeli sovereignty; and the term "Palestine" only to refer to Israel in its pre-1967 borders.

In the PLO's original founding Charter (or Covenant), Article 24 states: "this Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the west Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the Gaza Strip or the Himmah area."

For Arafat, "Palestine" was not the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, which after 1948 belonged to other Arab states. The only "homeland" for the PLO in 1964 was the State of Israel.

However, in response to the Six-Day war and Arafat's mentoring by the Soviets and their allies, the PLO revised its Charter on July 17, 1968, to remove the language of Article 24, thereby newly asserting a "Palestinian" claim of sovereignty to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Part of the reframing of the conflict, along with adopting the identity of an "oppressed people" and "victim of colonialism," then, was the creation, ex nihilo, of "historic Palestine" and the ancient "Palestinian people" who had lived in their "homeland" from "time immemorial," who could trace their "heritage" back to the Canaanites, who were forced from their homeland by the Zionists, and who had the inalienable right granted by international law and universal justice to use terror to reclaim their national identity and political self-determination.

That this was a political confection was, perhaps inadvertently, revealed to the West by Zahir Muhse'in, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, in a 1977 interview with the Amsterdam-based newspaper Trouw:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism.[Emphasis added.]

Arafat himself asserted the same principle on many occasions. In his authorized biography he says, "The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasir Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel."

But even these admissions -- that the concept of a "Palestinian people" and a "Palestinian homeland" were invented for political purposes to justify and legitimize terrorism and genocide -- could not stem the enthusiasm of western leaders. Within the space of a few years, the Middle East conflict with Israel was radically reframed. No longer was little Israel the vulnerable David standing against the massive Goliath of the Arab world. As the PLO's Communist-trained leaders saw the inroads that Vietnam, Cuba, and other "liberation struggles" had made in the west, Arafat promoted the same script for the Palestinians. Now it was Israel who was the bullying Goliath, a colonial power in the Middle East oppressing the impoverished, unarmed, helpless, hapless, and hopeless Palestinians.

Despite the changing imagery, however, one thing remained constant. From his earliest days, Arafat was clear that the PLO's aim was "not to impose our will on [Israel], but to destroy it in order to take its place... not to subjugate the enemy but to destroy him." The Palestinian nationalism that he and his Communist advisers created would be the only national movement for political self-determination in the entire world, and across all of world history, to have the destruction of a sovereign state and the genocide of a people as its only raison d'être.

 

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He lectures in English, Hebrew, and Spanish. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org).

"This is a chapter from David Meir-Levi's new book, History Upside Down: The Roots of Palestinian Fascism and the Myth of Israeli Aggression ((Encounter Press, December, 2007). The Terrorism Awareness Project previous printed his history of the 'right-wing"' influence on Islamic extremism, The Nazi Roots of Palestinian Nationalism and Islamic Jihad. Taken together (with his entire book), these chapters show that Islamofascism is a political, not merely a religious force; and the potent and deadly offspring of the totalitarian ideologies of the past."

 

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Islamic Antisemitism in a World of Globalization and Multi-Culturalism: An Essay in Interpretation

By Raphael Israeli

1st part of 2

Defining Traits

Every word in the title would have warranted a definition, in view of the widely differing meanings lent to it by various parties. We shall tackle here mainly the controversies surrounding the epithets of Islam - "radical" or "fundamentalist" or "Islamist" which are usually charged with all evil and violent manifestations of that creed, while the majority of its followers are usually discharged as "peaceful" and well-meaning. It will also be necessary to sort out the claims that Islam, being itself Semitic, cannot be "anti-Semitic" by definition in the European sense, and should be exonerated as "Judeophobic".

The waves of recriminations of the Muslim world against the West and Israel, which have also been expressed in the rise of Muslim parties in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority; in the unbridled desire of the Iranians to go nuclear, and in the thug-like rhetoric of its President Ahmadinejad against Western values and the Jews in general, to the point of denying the Shoah and wishing the destruction of the Jews and Israel in blatant terms, are indications of the spreading anti-Western antagonism and anti-Semitism in Islam. The zeal in the Islamic world is directed not only against Israel and the West, but aims primarily to sweep out of power its own western-allied regimes which are regarded as American stooges. As the major Egyptian paper, al-Ahram, put it, "religious identity has replaced nationalist ideology"[1], and that applies not only in Muslim countries but also amidst Muslim minorities throughout their diasporas. This means that Muslim terrorism will continue to rise in both the West and the Muslim world, hence the relevance of the present essay in suggesting explanations to this conundrum. One has to realize nevertheless the distortions in the presentation of the basic data of Islam, by both scholars and politicians, who wish to depict a more benign and less menacing picture of the Islamic rise than it is in fact. This is done through two distinctions that have become conventional wisdom among both critics and proponents of Islam. One is the artificial bifurcation between the so-called "Islamists" or radicals, the minority "bad guys" who spoil the lot by their violent deeds, lend a bad reputation to the majority of their coreligionists and wage war against the West and Israel ; and the majority itself, which is arguably "peace-loving" and shunning violence and has no quarrel with West. The other artificial, and equally spurious, distinction wants us to believe that Judeophobia, which is an attenuated sort of anti-Semitism, posing as anti-Zionist and anti-Israel, has nothing to do with anti-Semitism; and that while Islam as a whole carries no traces of anti-Semitism, its present anti-Jewish manifestations are no more than a much less lethal and vastly less threatening Judeophobia. It is clear that these "scientific" distinctions, though pursued by some scholars of reputation, and may have some empirical merit to them, have much more to do with political correctness and with a degree of sheepish dhimmi-like submissiveness, or fear of being accused of "racism" and of being cast outside the politically correct consensus, than with historical reality.

It is unconvincing that the Muslims are merely anti-Israel and anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic, when they habitually attack Jews in the Diaspora for no other reason whatsoever today, or when they historically mistreated, beat, massacred or forced Jews to convert or to leave the lands of Islam, apart from the fact that they were Jews. French Jews, British Jews, or Belgian Jews are all citizens of the countries in which they live, and cannot influence the policies of the Israeli government even if they wished to do so. To attack them is totally gratuitous and is undeniably an expression of the innate anti-Semitism in Islamic thinking. The equivalent in Jewish attitudes would be for Jews to attack their Muslim fellow-citizens in European countries or in Canada and Australia every time an Arab or a Muslim country defames, vilifies or demonizes Jews in the media, school curricula, or subjects them to economic boycotts individually or collectively, (or indeed physically attacks them), all of which happen on a sustained, daily basis. But that would be considered a case of Islamophobia, and the fact that it does not happen proves firstly that Islamophobia, at least on the part of Jews, is a figment of the Muslims' imagination (bandied about precisely to combat the very notion of their pervasive anti-Semitism); and secondly that Jews, at least in the Diaspora, can distinguish between right and wrong, and have never lost their sense of justice and civilized behavior despite the relentless provocations of Muslims, not only "radicals", against them.

When part-time processes of liberalization are adopted in the Muslim world, like in Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, and lately Palestine, namely when people are given the opportunity to express themselves semi-freely, it is invariably political Islam that gains votes, and since it is popular vote, it cannot be said to represent "radicals", exactly as it cannot be claimed that the more than 60% of the Palestinians who voted for Hamas are all "Islamists". If, as some claim, there were a certain percentage of Muslims who are "radical", "fundamentalist" or simply "Islamists", while the majority is Muslim of the good brand, which politicians like Bush and Blair simply call "peace-loving", then how come that we see vast crowds, which seem to represent the local majorities, in every place where Muslims burst out in violence, be it in Cairo, Gaza, Pakistan, Teheran, Kabul or during the Cartoon Affair? What happens to those supposedly peace-loving majorities if they are not represented by the violent crowds? And when Muslim columnists, including Western-educated and degree-holders, write in the mainstream journals of the Muslim world, including in "moderate" and "pro-Western" countries, genocidal wishes against Jews and Israel, virulent recriminations against the West, and expressions of joy after September 11 or every time a bus or a restaurant blow up in the West with dozens of victims, are those representative of "radicals" or of "Islamists", or of "Judeophobic" individuals who stay clear from blatant anti-Semitism ? Then, where is the difference between peace-loving Muslims and "Islamists"? So, while there are theological differences of nuance between Sunnites and Shi'ites, and within the Sunnites between the four Schools of law (madhahib), for instance between the puritanical Wahhabis of the Hanbali cult and the more lenient Hanafites on matters of Shari'a law, there appears to be unanimity among them with regard to Jihad wars, the denigration of the Jews and the contempt and hostility towards the West, because they all draw from the same medieval Abu Yussuf and Ibn Taymiyya and the more modern Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qut'b or Mawdudi. Understandably, not every Muslim would observe to the letter the strictest prescriptions of those scholars, but at the same time no sweeping, authoritative alternative to them has emerged to challenge them, let alone replace them.

Those referred to as "Islamists" call and regard themselves simply as plain Muslims, who are perhaps more zealous than others and wish to fulfill Muslim goals here and now. But are they so distinguishable from other Muslims that they deserve to be treated as if they were different Muslims or as if they had invented a different Islam? All religious Muslims venerate the great masters of radical Islam like Hasan al-Banna , Sayyid Qut'b, Mawdudi and Qaradawi, even if they are not categorized as "radical". The latter relate to the masses of common Muslims the way activists or militants in a political party refer to the rank and file of sympathizers who only vote when the day comes, but are not involved in any day to day politics. But we do not distinguish between "radical" and "common" party members. Yes, they differ, in both cases, as far as the degree of commitment, activity and observance are concerned, but we cannot set them apart ideologically, and they continue to belong to the same core of belief and conviction. For if there were a "liberal" or "moderate" tendency in Islam, it would be evinced, first of all, by theologians of Islam who would stand up courageously and battle against the ideas and theses of the "Islamists". However, while truly moderate and daring individuals of Muslim descent (and sometimes conviction) do exist, principally in the safety of the West, we cannot discern any significant trend of moderation and "peace-loving" inclination which rallies behind it masses of Muslims. So, what is erroneously dubbed "moderate" or non-Islamist Islam, is actually the silent majority who is, unfortunately, more likely than not to follow the outbursts of jubilation when the Jews or Israel are harmed, to watch bluntly anti-Semitic series on television which depict Israelis (and Americans for that matter) as blood-drinkers, world -conspirers and children-killers, and to avidly absorb genocidal statements by their leaders and clerics and reiterate their belief in the same non-sensical slogans and conspiracy theories that are circulated in their media. One year after September 11, Dan Rather of CBS News undertook a worldwide survey of Muslim (not "Islamist") reactions to those horrific events. From a sample of 8 Muslim countries, between Morocco and Pakistan, where he polled the literate population in remote villages in each one of those countries, the overwhelming majority of the populace, which was not "radical", spelled out their conviction that the horror was "of course" perpetrated by the Jews, the Mossad, and such delusive fairy-tales.

Did the Palestinians suddenly become "Islamists" when the radical Hamas won elections among them ? No, they remained as Muslim as they were before the elections. They burst into unabashed joy when September 11 happened, much to Arafat's embarrassment, who sent his security forces to disband those "radical" children to avoid further disgrace. Why did they do that? Because they were indoctrinated by their school textbooks, which assured them the imminent victory of Islam against the "corrupt and tyrannical" West. They burst forth in jubilation when Israeli and Western families were shown torn into pieces, and they re-enacted harrowing scenes of explosions against Israel, showing cardboard buses or restaurants burning and limbs of children flying around, with huge crowds of children, passers-by, shop-keepers, students and policemen clapping hands and rejoicing. Even their universities and schools staged such re-enactments. Could all those be "Islamists"? No, in their eyes, Israelis and the West are perceived as the enemies of Islam (not of Islamists), therefore one should rejoice at their defeat, and because they are not defeated often enough for the Muslims' taste, no Muslim can skip the delight of re-playing that defeat and savoring it in slow motion. Another question is why America and Israel are particularly targeted and their national flags usually accompany each other, when a Muslim frenzy of burning and destroying burst forth in any part of the globe. The answer is two-fold: first both of those countries stand out as the consummate representatives of strength, modernity, prosperity and success, something which only brings out the impotence and backwardness of the Islamic world. That is the source of "humiliation" that Muslims reiterate so often and so intensely, for only the existence of that successful world permits Muslims to grasp what they missed, and they get truly humiliated by the hopelessness of their lagging behind. Secondly, their dream to remedy the situation by creating a Pax Islamica to encompass the entire universe, has been scuttled principally by Israel in its immediate vicinity and by America worldwide, for the US is the only power able and willing to stand up to them and obstruct their goal of establishing a world caliphate. That double frustration has been shared by Muslims in general, regardless of whether one categorizes them as "Islamists" or otherwise.

After September 11 a talk show was held by al-Jazeerah network (representing what is known as "moderate" and "peace-loving" Islam) where the question was posed to the panelists and the viewers about whether Bin Laden was a terrorist or a hero.The only moderate panelist, a Tunisian, was mocked and humiliated by his co-panelists and the moderator of the show for daring to dissent from the otherwise unanimous opinion which crowned Bin Laden as a national hero. Viewers who called or emailed from the entire Islamic world, were almost unanimous in the same consensus. That was not a poll among Islamists, but among the rank and file of Muslims, most of whom were supposedly the educated owners of PC computers. Yet, their reaction was "Islamist" in substance. So, where is the distinction? Yes, there are Islamikaze activists who are ready to blow themselves up for the cause of Islam in the process of killing westerners and Jews. But they are only a handful, who are recruited, trained, financed, indoctrinated and dispatched by a vast infra-structure of Muslim states, organizations and individuals, and surrounded by the sympathy and admiration, often adulation, of the vast masses of the Muslim public and the mainstream press in countries that are clients of the US or signed peace with Israel. Who is then an Islamist among all those layers of activists and supporters, and who is the "moderate" and "peace-loving?". In the US and Europe, it was found that several Muslim intellectuals, leaders and clerics, who gained favor with the authorities and access to the highest echelons of power, for their supposed "moderation", and their openness to "dialogue" were later arrested for their illicit fund-raising for Muslim terrorist organizations, for incitement to terrorism or for suppressing women's rights; did they suddenly turn from "moderate" to "radical"? No, they were the same Muslims who were perceived previously as moderate when they acted or refrained from acting in a certain way, who became Islamists when they were caught red-handed when engaging in subversive acts. In both instances they acted as Muslims in the name of Islam; it is Western and westernized Muslim scholars who attached to them those epithets which they themselves never recognized. Similarly, clerics and other Muslims who dub the Jews " descendants of pigs and monkeys", basing themselves on a Qur'anic passage, or cite the Hadith which claims that on the Day of Judgment Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, but the latter will acquire the magic power of denouncing them and inviting the Muslims to come and kill them, are not exactly setting themselves apart from Islamists by being less anti-Semitic and merely "Judeophobic". All Muslims who cite those passages, and they do regularly and perennially, are making blunt anti-Semitic and genocidal statements against the Jews, and no amount of rhetorical maneuvering can mitigate that fact.

It seems that the fictional distinction that is drawn between Islam and Islamists, which is usually made either by Western scholars and politicians or by Muslim moderates who live in the West, emanates more from an instinct of self-defense and survival than from a sober observation of reality. In Muslim countries themselves it is often hard to tell who is who, inasmuch as Palestinian, Saudi, Egyptian and Pakistani clerics who belong to the "moderate" establishment, often issue fatwas and deliver sermons that are every bit as "extremist" as the "radical" ones, and even imported or home grown Muslim clerics in the West do not make any effort to distinguish or to distance themselves from "Islamists", because they themselves cannot tell the difference. Western scholars and politicians, who want to cater to Islam, for electoral or other worldly perks, on the one hand, but cannot deny the rage of their own people against violent Islam, on the other hand, find shelter in that distinction which allows them to claim that the Islam they support or defend is "moderate", while the violence that their people condemn emanates solely from the "extremist Islamists". At the same time politicians and scholars critical of Islam need that distinction to shelter themselves from accusations of "racism", as if multi-cultural and multi-racial Islam were a "race", or of anti-Muslim bias and hatred. Muslim scholars and public figures who live in the West resort to that distinction in order to avoid a blanket condemnation of Islam of which they are part, and to escape suspicions by their coreligionists that they "sold-out" to the West or that they committed an act of "treason" against their culture and religion. Many of them find it more expedient to claim that they are "secular Muslims", a notion that is unacceptable to Islam in all its nuances, and some of them convert to Christianity in order to feel free to lash out at their previous religion, though they know that they are handily offset by the much larger numbers of Westerners who convert to Islam.

The fact is that throughout the Muslim world, the legitimacy of Israel is challenged, the holocaust is denied systematically, as evidenced by the popularity there of such holocaust deniers as Robert Faurisson, Roger Garaudy or David Irwing, the prohibition of Schindler's List on their screens and the violent declarations of the Iranian President on both scores. This is a common denominator of most Muslims, nothing differentiates between "radicals" and "moderates" there, exactly as anti-Jewish stereotypes, be they anti-Semitic or "Judeophobic" are current among them all, with few exceptions. That is the reason why we find them contradicting themselves on the Sho'ah, denying it on the one hand and wishing Hitler had brought his annihilation plan to completion on the other; urging a "scholarly, free and objective" research of the Holocaust , in order to prove that it never was. Similarly, the belief in and the spread of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Blood Libel, the poisoning of wells by Jews, the conspiracy theories where Jews star, are recurring themes in Palestinian (not only Hamas) as well as mainstream Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi, Pakistani and others' writings, systems of beliefs and propaganda. Genocidal threats against the Jews abound not only in Bin-Laden's statements and in Ahmadinejad's delusions, but also in columns of Egyptian, Saudi, Palestinian and other newspapers of the respectable mainstream. Is this Judeophobia of the "moderates" or plain anti-Semitism of the "Islamists"? Words have a significance, and it is imperative to streamline our vocabulary, otherwise we are under the permanent threat of losing our ability to express what we mean or to comprehend what we are told.

Matters are further complicated and made less comprehensible to western minds by the paranoia and conspiracy theories that are very widespread in the Muslims world, among Islamists and others alike, whether Muslims are modern and western-educated or traditionalist and obscurantist. Those theories that are rampant even among Muslims living in the West, would insist that world leaders who support Israel are Jewish (like Presidents Reagan and Bush), that the UN of all places, is the mastermind of the Jews who utilize it as the tool for their world dominion, and that the major violent acts that shook the world, like the world wars, the world revolutions and September 11, are all the fruit of Jewish imagination and execution. Their minds are so permeated with these non-sensical theories that they become impervious to logical, rational debate that is open to argument, discussion and to conviction. Therefore, the difficulty of dealing with Muslim minds consists not only of removing the mountains of pure delusion that choke their free thinking, but also of persuading them that the very attempt to counter-argue those futilities is not necessarily part of the world conspiracy that is being woven against them. It is possible to explain their imaginary picture of the world by their need to project on their enemies the analytical shortcomings that bewitch them, but it is impossible to move them out of the illusory scenarios that they have constructed around themselves and then they cling to them with a tenacity that defies and contradicts western standards of conduct. The result is that even when Muslims initiate and launch an act of violence, they accuse the West of it and dub it, or what led to it, as an act of aggression of which they are the victims and which deserves their retaliation.

As long as the Muslim anti-Western and anti-Semitic discourse was internal, little attention was paid to it in the outside world. But since the end of the Afghanistan War (1979-89) which also signaled the end of the Cold War and the return of the Mujahideen to their Muslim home countries, tremendous energies were released by the Afghanis (i.e, the foreign battle-hardened graduates of the war in Afghanistan) which were channeled both domestically (Islamist activity in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Taliban Afghanistan), and internationally to wage a worldwide Jihad, led by Bin Laden's al-Qa'ida, but carried out simultaneously on Arab, American, African, Asian and European soil. The rising prices of oil afforded some oil-producing Muslim countries and their rulers the possibility to finance the spread of Islam of the puritanical and violent brand in the West and to absorb some of the unemployed Afghani Mujahideen, while the others were turned loose and ended up in the battle fields of Iraq , Lebanon, Bosnia, Chechnya and Palestine, or became mercenaries of violence in America and Europe. The Danish Cartoon Affair proved a golden opportunity for Muslim regimes who began to feel the heat of terrorism breathing down their necks, to re-direct the rage and fury of the masses outwardly against the West and Israel, regardless of whether we define them as radicals or moderates, anti-Semitic or Judeophobic, for Western institutions were attacked in Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, and the boycott of Danish products was launched by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states which are usually considered "moderate" and "pro-Western".

When one examines the spread of Islam into Europe one must take stock of all those considerations, and come to the conclusion that it is not enough to account for Muslim immigration into the Old Continent and its transformation at their hands, but also go into the dialectic between European counter-measures after the major acts of terror that occurred there and the Muslim worldview which regards those defensive measures as aggression, persecution, racism, discrimination against the ever-docile and always "poor" , helpless, innocent and "victimized" Muslim who had just come to seek work. When Britain or Germany idolize multi-culturalism as a way to "enrich" European culture and celebrate the fake "difference" between moderate Islam of the mainstream and the violent few, the Muslims regard that by and large, as an attempt to dilute Islam in order to dominate and eliminate it. Only their unrestricted and violent activity against local Jews in Europe, and in favor of recognition of their own mores and norms, such as wearing the veil, forcing marriage on their women or pursuing "honor killings", would be acceptable as a fair and acceptable behavior of the host countries towards them. In other words, not satisfied witrh full equality of opportunity, freedom of speech and of religious cult, Muslims demand special privileges for themselves, like the prerogative to train terrorists or incite violence against other fellow-citizens, because in their skewed view of democratic society, only too much freedom and laissez-faire, even at the detriment of the host state and society, is enough freedom for them. When they burn down a Jewish synagogue in Berlin or Paris, they expect their adopted countries to accept that as a matter of course, and they are often aided in that belief by the local extreme-left or extreme-right, or church organizations that boost Muslim demands due to their common anti-Semitism or in order to appear as "progressive" multi-culturalists.

Raphael Israeli

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.




[1] .Al-Ahram Weekly, "Beyond the Vacuum", 13-16 April, 2006.

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