Tarek Fatah's Chasing a Mirage

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Stockholm

I guess no one wants to answer my question.

Unionist

Looks that way.

Or maybe they think your question is loaded.

What if we needed a term for Jews who think Jews should not only have their own state, but should allow only Jews to immigrate and become instant citizens?

What if some non-Jewish scholars decided to call these people "Jewists"?

That would be really cool, no?

 

bhagat

The word "Islamism" is not an invention of some western anti-Islamic scholars. The term is the official ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood who use the phrase "al-Islamiyyah" quite frequently and without hesitation.

The Indian philosopher-poet Muhammad Iqbal also used the term "Islamism" in the 1930s and the ideology was trashed by both Indian and Egyptian reformists in the pre-war years.

And for those who feel "Islamism" is a term foreign to the Islamic world, here is a book by a noted Muslim scholar on the opposite side of Fatah. The title says it all: "Arabism, Islamism and the Palestine Question (1908-1941)" by Basheer M. Nafi. 

http://books.google.com/books?id=WhCjkcZZK1AC&pg=PA118&lpg=PA118&dq#v=on...

Cueball Cueball's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Do you have a better term to use when we want to talk about "faithful Muslims who also have a political agenda" - particularly when that includes opposition to any separation between church and state and wanting to establish theocratic states where everyone has to live according to Sharia law etc...? If we aren't allowed to call such people "Islamists" then what would be a more "politically correct" term to use?

There is nothing "particullarly" about it. It is a sweeping non-indiginous identification that includes any and all militant Muslim people, reagrdless if they believe in instituting Sharia law, or not, or what brand of Sharia they advocate. There is pratically no continuity between the political views of revolutionary Muslim groups, Hamas is not the Taliban, Hexboallah is not Hamas. For example Hamas ran a female candidates who opposed enforcement of Hijab laws, when another said something which might be construed as advocating for the enforcement of Hijab laws, she quickly backtracked and clarified that such should be strictly voluntary. That doesn't sound like Sharia as proposed by the Iranian state. Yet, westerners love to lump in Sunni-salafists who practice Pasthtun-Wali, such as the Taliban, with Shia theorcracy in Iran, and Hamas, even though there are obvious distinctions to be made between them, just as there are obvious distinctions to be made between the state of Egypt, which proclaims that its laws are based in Sharia, as does the state of Iran.

Hosni Mubarak is an "Islamist" because he is the president of a state where all laws must conform to Sunni Sharia laws?

It's doubtful that the Taliban are universally ideologically embedded in Pashtunwali. Yet, western propagandists love the term, because it can be used to make a blanket condemnation of any and all of its opponents among Muslim people by aligning them all with the most obnoxious and backward elements in Muslim societies.

Where are the Islamist parties then? Why is Hamas called Hamas, and not the Islamist Liberation Front of Palestine. Why? Because it has no meaning outside of the context of western orientalist propaganda.

One merely has to go look at the writings of the people who invented the term to understand how it is embedded in explicitly bigotted tropes about Islam, asserting that Islam is fundamentally antithetical to democracy and tollerance, in a way that the Judeao-Christian cultural nexus is not, as is done repeatedly. The "Islamism" accusation is not just made against Islamic militants, but intrinsically impugns every single Muslim person, regardless, if they are militants or not, because according to those who coined the term, being of the Isalmic faith makes one intollerant and anti-democratic.

Sure, if you want to align with the Right wing Christian Babtist nut cases, who believe Christianity is fundamentally superior to Islam, be my guest.

Cueball Cueball's picture

The title does not say it all. The term first appears in France and appears in the OED as early as 1747.

Quote:
For al-Afghani, the power and success of the modern West rested on its rejection of the stultifying restrictions of Christianity and its turn toward reason; since Islam, by contrast, was rooted in rationalism, Muslims need only return to the essence of their faith to overcome the developmental asymmetry that had come to differentiate Western and Muslim societies.

Arguing for the rational nature of Islam was a common strategy among Muslim reformers, who wanted to facilitate change while maintaining cultural identity. It was a strategy that recognized the Western orientation of modern development and the threat this orientation posed to cultural authenticity in the Muslim world. Indeed al-Afghani believed that social and political change could only be brought about if Muslims had a firm sense of the civilization to which Islam had given birth.

Al-Afghani, and Pan-Islamism

In other words, the term "Islamism" was the taken up in the late Ottoman by Muslims scholars to identify a movement that wanted to make Islam conform to the norms of secular nations states, not to bring about the retrenchment of Sharia. The themes of this reform were modernization and secularization, and even the creation of an Ottoman constitutional monarchy, based in rationalism. Quite the opposite of the term as it has reemerged in the west in the 1980's, as defined by western scholars.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Coming to terms: Fundamentalist or Islamist

Quote:
But the very success of these neologisms undermined the intent of those who had imported them from France. They had hoped that the term Islamist, used in place of fundamentalist, would dispel prejudice. But militant Muslims continued, as before, to commit or justify highly publicized acts of violence. As Islamism gained currency, it too became associated with benighted extremism, from the Taliban to the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, culminating in the mega-terror of Usama bin Ladin. Critics of Islamism found it easy to add Islamism to the list of dangerous twentieth century "isms" that had defied the liberal West and gone down to defeat.

"Islamism Is Fascism"—thus ran the headline of an interview with analyst Daniel Pipes.  "Islamism Is the New Bolshevism"—thus went the headline of an op-ed column by former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The entry of Islamism into common English usage had not improved the image of these movements and paradoxically made it easier to categorize them as threats of the first order. As fundamentalists, these Muslims might have claimed some affinity to Christian and Jewish fundamentalists, who were generally tolerated. As the Muslim equivalent of fascists or bolshevists, they were clearly marked as the enemies of democracy and freedom.

 

George Victor

 

Fatah says that the Islamists who "follow the doctrine of Wahhabism (from the 18th-century Islamic fanatic Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab) or Salafi Islam (Salafism...is a generic term for Sunni Muslims who view the lives of the first three generations ofMuhammad's companiions from the 7th and 8th centuries as examples of how Islam should be practiced in the 21st)_. or even the ruling ayatollahs of Iran, a country can be labelled an Islamic State only if it is governed by the laws of sharia.

"Thus, neither Turkey or Indonesia is an Islamic State in the eyes of the Islamists."

Fatah argues that those in this century who interpret the Quran as supportive of an "Islamic State", a goal central to the Muslim world since the time of the first Caliphate in the 7th century, are wrong. Nowhere iin the Quran, says Fatah, does God "ask or authorize the creation of an Islamic State."

The "abolition of the caliphate system (1925) by Turkey's founding president, secular modernist Mustafa Kemal Ataturk",  meant that for the first time since 632 CE, the Muslim world had no central political authority." And the Muslim world by that time "was largely living under French, British and Dutch occupation."

He quotes Ataturk as saying "Our prophet has instructed his disciples to convert the nations of the world to Islam, he has not ordered for them to provide for the government of these nations. Never did such an idea pass through his mind. Caliphate means government and administration...The notiion of a single Caliph exercising suprreme religious authority over all the Muslim people is one which has come out of the books, not reality."

"The movement to restore the Ottoman caliphate was strong in India" in Mahatma Gandhi's time, even though some pointed out that the caliphate "had long become a symbol of Muslim statehood in name only, as not even the next-door Iranians accepted the sovereignty of the Ottomans."

(I can't find any fundamental fault with Fatah's basic explanation of Muslim history from the creation of that vacuum of belief on the collapse of the caliphate and the dominance of European Imperialism over governments. The pursuit of a Muslim "state" was deemed necessary by some in opposition to Western cultural and political domination, and it gave rise to the the "politics and theology of Islamic States," the title he gives to Chapter 1.)

Fatah goes into detailed explanation of the rise of various religious inerpretations of authority across the Arab states, but says the "extreme case of domination of religious principles is found in the Iranian Constitution.

"The Islamic Republic is a system based on belief(s)" and Fatah quotes the Consitituion in detail, showing, finally, the "leadership of the holy persons, posessing necessary qualifications, exercised on the basis of the Quran and the Sunna, upon all of whom be peace."

And "in the same spirit," says Fatah, "the majority of the Arab constitutions declare the sharia as the basis of legislation, ar at least consider it as a main source of legislation."

He goes on to say that it is that position which "prevents most the the countries that pretend to be Islamic States from living up to the standards set by the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights."

 

(Fatah's central critique of human rights failure follows from this, and will be entered here, the spirit willing, on Aug. 1st.) :-)

 

 

George Victor

 

Read him Cue. Don't be silly, of course he does not leave out the original Schism in the faith. It is the appearance and rise of the particularly bloody-minded that he is trying to explain.

Unfortunately, I cannot  quote the book in its entirety, so  you'll have lots of opportunity to add scholarly one-liners in the days ahead...Allah willing or unwilling.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Cueball Cueball's picture

I think we have more than enough evidence that Fatah really has no tenable claim to scholastic credentials either historical, political or theological. As we have determined, Fatah is a Pakistani man brought up in the Catholic schools system, and a former Marxist of some kind or another. His specialization in university was not history, nor Islam or political science, but was indeed biochemistry. Plain falacies and contradictions arise in due course as he wantonly thows around facts to fit his case. For example, the idea that the assent of Attatukism in Turkey is the first time "since 632 CE, the Muslim world had no central political authority" is laughable in the extreme.

The cracks in homogenity of Islamic political authority begin almost immediatly upon the death of Mohammed with the Shia/Sunni split, and even within the Sunni branch there is ongoing competition between competing dynastes, most notably the Ummayad/Abasid split, and the assention of Caliphate of Cordoba in the 10th Century. Furthermore the Abasid Caliphate was challenged by yet another competing authority in the form of the Fatimid Caliphate.

In other words, the idea that there was "a central political authority" in the Muslim world, is simply baseless.

Knowing Tarek, I would say he is playing fast and loose with the facts out of plain ignorance, while relying on the ignorance of his western audience to cover for him while sounds off with grand sounding rhetoric, tuned to appeal to rank prejudice, bolstered by his claim to speak from authority as a Muslim.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1437143]Tarek Fatah thinks Jason Kenney is a great immigration minister:[/url]

"What is different with him is, with previous [Conservative] immigration ministers, both have been pussycats; this guy is a tiger," says Tarek Fatah, an author, prominent Liberal supporter and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. "He's standing up for Canadian values. I would like every politician to stand up for this country the way Jason Kenney has."

 

[url=http://www.muslimcanadiancongress.org/20081228.html]Tarek Fatah's MCC blamed Hamas for "provoking" the genocidal Israeli assault on Gaza[/url]

Quote:
The MCC believes Hamas deliberately rocketed Israel in an attempt to provoke an Israeli response. The fact that Hamas did not fire a single rocket at Egypt, despite that country's blockade of Gaza, clearly demonstrates the attacks on Israel were not to protest the blockade, but to trigger a military response.

George Victor

 

Fatah's tendency to be a bit of an intellectual and political dilettante has been duly noted. But is he still a "prominent Liberal supporter" while also one who would "like every politician to stand up for this country" in the fashion of Kenney?

The rock-solid and timeless  opposition to any discussion of the fellow's position is also noted - thanks for the May 2008  thread, MS. I'll plow on in the spirit of "know your enemy", at least, if that's all right with the more inquisitive hereabouts.

 

George Victor

 

Okay, if you say so. I'll believe you where thousands wouldn't.

Cueball Cueball's picture

George Victor wrote:

Read him Cue. Don't be silly, of course he does not leave out the original Schism in the faith. It is the appearance and rise of the particularly bloody-minded that he is trying to explain.

How could he claim then that Islam had a central political authority that was done away with by Kemal Ataturk, since there was no central political authority, when we actually know there were several caliphates, even in Sunni Islam, competing with each other after 632 CE. His statement is simply wrong. Even the Ottomans failed to extend the authority of their empire beyond the borders of Iran.

Its just a stupid grand-eloquent statement.

Let's at least get these facts straight. The Caliph is a title bestowed upon a secular leader. He is not a religious leader.  There was not a central political authority among Muslims at all after the death of Mohammed.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Thousands, like Tarek Fatah were brought up with a Catholic de-education. There is no explicit hierarchy among the Imams of the Sunni schools, for him to lead. Becoming the Caliph does not make one "the Pope".

George Victor

 

But the Caliph probably had more authority over the morals of the would-be Berlusconis of his day.Smile

Cueball Cueball's picture

In the Ottoman period the Caliph and the Sultan would be one in the same person. Claiming the Caliphacy was a way of asserting the right of conquest over Muslim lands not yet aquired. For example, after the Ottomans conquered Mamluks, they demanded that the Mamluk Sultan surrender the title of Caliph to the Ottoman Sultan, who thereby reinforced his claim to Egypt, the Levant and most of the Berber territories in North Africa, by being Sultan and Caliph.

The Caliph was advised by the Imams, on wether or not his dictates and laws complied with Islam. It is a title more in keeping with Emperor than Pope, as in the HRE where a secular king would be Emperor, and ruler over the Catholics, while the Pope was the final religious authority over the Catholics, except that the Sunni schools were more amorphous in their structure, and did not have totalized leader.

These guys collected titles like trading cards. The Ottoman Sultans, were also known as the Khan of Khans, and Ceasar of the Roman Empire.

Fidel

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarek_Fatah#Comments_on_Islam_and_Extremism... entry for Tarek Fatah:[/url]

Quote:

[edit] Islamic Radicalism

In a discussion hosted by the Globe and Mail in 2007, Fatah stated that "most of the Islamic radicalism that you see today stems from from the empowering of Saudi based Jihadi groups that were funded and backed by the U.S. and the CIA throughout the Afghan war against the Soviet Union."[13]

 

Fatah argues that "Most secular and liberal institutions were destroyed piece by piece and what we are left with is the result of huge amounts of cash and weapons in the hands of the Taliban type, or Al-Qaeda groups that get their intellectual sustenance from the political teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna and the leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Abul ala Maudoodi, both of who preached Jehad as an obligation for all Muslims if they saw another Muslim under attack."[13]

He has stated that converts adopting the niqab face covering is indicative of joining "a cult", and offensive to Islam

If Fatah is a Liberal, I've never heard very many Canadians of that political stripe explain recent history of Central Asia in quite that way. They'll kick him back down the Liberal Party ladder if he carries on like this.

George Victor

That is an interesting link to the Wik, Fidel, and gives me confidence to proceed (as promised/threatened) with Fatah's explanation of the modern face of Muslim extremism - braving the Wrath of Cue.

From the attempt by some, in May, 2008, to discuss Fatah's book when it came on the scene, newly reviewed in the Star, I took the May 9 posting by sanizadeh as a fundamental reason for continuing the discussion...that the current understanding of Islam is, contrary to Fatah's position, "not just the 'perversion of principles' ".

Cue's understanding of history is that the Caliphates were a far more secularized government than Fatah suggests. Like to hear more of his take on Wahabism (or, where the "perversion"/radicalism began). And it will be interesting to see his take on the Wiki bit about Hassan Al-Banna and Abdul ala Maudoodi.  Fatah certainly see them central to a "perversion" and radicalization.

Anyway, somewhere in history, the Quran came to be interpreted in different ways.

And here is Fatah's account of what occurred at the end of the Second World War (still from Chapter 1, Politics and Theology of Islamic States, where he said (above) that in the same spirit as the Iranian Constitution, "the majority of the Arab constitutions declare the sharia as the basis of legislation, or at least consider it as a main source of legislation.

"This prevents most of the countries that pretend to be Islamic States from living up to the standards set by the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights. It also legitimizes the notion of facial and religious superiority, and allows for mltiple levels of citizenship and widespread and systemic discrimination against racial and religious minorities living withing a state's borders. Invariably, the human rights of the weak and dispossessed, the minorities and women, the diabled and the heretics, are trampled upon without the slightest sense of guilt or wrongdoing.

"Men and women are imprisoned, routinely tortured and often killed, while numbed citizens, fearful of offending Islam, unsure about their own rights, insecure about their own identities, allow these violations to continue. By looking the other way, the intelligentsia and middle classes have become complicit in these crimes. They justifytheir inaction as patriotism, where they stand in solidarity with the Islamic State, with the misguided idea that those who fight for universal human rights are somehow working for Westerm imperialism or represent the interests of Judeoo-Christian civilization.

"This rejection of the universality of human rights is not limited to the elites of the world's fifty-six Islamic countries, but is also widespread among the leaders of traditional Muslim organizations."

His case in point: "In December 2006, a Toronto-born Muslim lawyer, who had supported the introduction of sharia law in Ontario's Family Courts, critiqued the UN declaration in Counterpunch magazine suggesting the UN Declaration of Human Rights was a 'western construct,' not truly fit for the Islamic world."

 

(That should inspire more bellicose entries. And I'm now going to borrow the borrowed book back from a friend and read that chapter on Iran, suggested by bhagat.  Rather topical.)

Fidel

My understanding is that the CIA, Saudi princes, and US-backed military dictatorship in Pakistan chose to bypass religious moderates in support of the most radical and most ruthless religious clerics and warlords in 1980s Afghanistan. Pakistani news journalist Khaled Ahmed commented in 2001 that the people who received aid money and military and moral support from the west then were of questionable character and no friends of the Afghan or Pakistani people. Religious moderates, he said, would have been more valuable in opposing Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, or iow's, that period after which Zbigniew Brzezinski and ideologues began meddling in Afghanistan.

Talibanization of Afghanistan was viewed by Zia and Pakistan's army intelligence as a way of providing "strategic depth" in Afghanistan, a geostrategic  advantage for Pakistan in border conflicts with India over Kashmir and so on. The strategic depth strategy makes little sense for them now since Pakistan obtained nuclear weapons technology in the late 1990s with help from the US and nuclear gangsters. Khaled Ahmed says what resulted is that Pakistan has, instead, become strategic depth to Taliban ideology.

bhagat

Fidel wrote:
Talibanization of Afghanistan was viewed by Zia and Pakistan's army intelligence as a way of providing "strategic depth" in Afghanistan, a geostrategic  advantage for Pakistan in border conflicts with India over Kashmir and so on. The strategic depth strategy makes little sense for them now since Pakistan obtained nuclear weapons technology in the late 1990s with help from the US and nuclear gangsters. Khaled Ahmed says what resulted is that Pakistan has, instead, become strategic depth to Taliban ideology.

Fidel,

Brilliant analysis. Thanks for sharing this. Tarek Fatah has made a very similar analysis in his chapter on Pakistan.

BTW, who is Khaled Ahmed? Any URL? 

contrarianna

sanizadeh wrote:

I have not read the book, but I am not sure if Tarek has the necessary qualification and knowledge to discuss a complex issue such as contemporary Islam. His knowledge of Islamic faith is at best very shallow. I lost all respect for him when he blamed the victim in the case of Muslim woman in Germany who was murdered for her Hijab. Fatah effectively said: don't wear the Hijab so that they don't kill you!!

Unfortunately the muslim leaders in the west are mostly divided in two groups: One group defends almost everything muslims would do and protests anything a westerner would do, and the other group justifies eveything a westerner do and criticizes everything that a muslim does. Elmasri and fatah seem to be the two extreme ends in this example.

Fatah's "blaming the victim" can be generialized as a main criticism of Fatah witnessed by  his wholehearted embrace by the imperial sycophants of the mainstream press who seek a simplistic excuse for imperialism, that is, by giving it another name (ie. war on an alien, irrational terrorism).

Podur's review of Fatah put it this way:

Quote:
The experience of reading the book is a jarring one.  Tarek frequently overreaches, making claims beyond what the evidence provides.  "The pain we suffer is caused mostly by self-inflicted wounds, and is not entirely the result of some Zionist conspiracy hatched by the West" (pg. xi).  How IMF restructuring or repeated US bombings, invasions, and occupations are "self-inflicted" is unexplained.  Sentences like that also put all Muslims together, though the politics and problems in different Muslim societies are different.

http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/podur210608.html

On a related issue in this thread, the question of the meaning of radical "Islamism": how alien is it really to Western enlightenment idealism?

John Gray among others have argued that the philosophical underpinnings of radical Islamism owes more to Western enlightenment Utopian radicalism than anything in historical Islam.

Quote:
John Gray
The Pathology of Faith
The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside, and Why I Left
By Ed Hussain (Allan Lane / The Penguin Press 288pp £8.99)

Ed Husain begins one of the chapters of The Islamist with a quotation from Syed Qutb, the chief intellectual founder of Islamism, outlining the purpose of Qutb's most influential book: 'I have written Milestones for this vanguard of Islamists which I consider to be a waiting reality about to be realised.' Qutb's use of the concept of the vanguard reveals one of the paradoxes of political Islam: a movement that is avowedly anti-secular, anti-modern and anti-Western, it has been profoundly shaped by modern Western secular ideologies. The idea of a revolutionary elite dedicated to leading the deluded masses to a perfect society is a borrowing from Lenin and the Jacobins rather than anything derived from Islamic theology....

Nearly all media commentary accepts Islamism at face value and endorses its self-image as the mortal enemy of the modern West. In contrast, Ed Husain, who has the penetrating insight of a former insider, is clear that this is the opposite of the truth. The idea of a pure Islamic state, he writes, is 'not the continuation of a political entity set up by the Prophet, maintained by the caliphs down the ages (however debatable)'. Rather, it is a response to secular modernity. It is striking how much Islamists have taken from Western thinkers who rejected traditional religions in order to promote surrogate political faiths. Husain shows how Taqi Nabhani, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who left to found the more radical Islamist organisation Hizb-ut Tahrir that Husain joined in his late teens, was much influenced by Hegel and Marx, while Nabhani's contempt for liberal democracy echoed that of Rousseau. 'Nabhani's ideas', Husain concludes, 'were not innovatory Muslim thinking but wholly derived from European political thought.' He might have examined other, more contemporary examples: for example, Ali Sharati, the predecessor of Ayatollah Khomeini as leader of Iranian Islamists in exile during the reign of the Shah, took his conception of martyrdom as a type of chosen death from Martin Heidegger, who for a time saw himself as the philosopher of the Third Reich. Rather than recovering Islamic tradition Islamist thinking has been shaped by the Western ideologues who - whether they realised it or not - supplied the intellectual armoury of twentieth-century totalitarianism.

http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/gray_06_07.html

Fidel

bhagat wrote:

BTW, who is Khaled Ahmed? Any URL? 

 

Khaled Ahmed is a consulting news editor of the Friday Times in Lahore, Pakistan and based in London.

[url=http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people2/Ahmed/ahmed-con0.html]Conversat... with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley[/url]

George Victor

contrarianna wrote:

sanizadeh wrote:

I have not read the book, but I am not sure if Tarek has the necessary qualification and knowledge to discuss a complex issue such as contemporary Islam. His knowledge of Islamic faith is at best very shallow. I lost all respect for him when he blamed the victim in the case of Muslim woman in Germany who was murdered for her Hijab. Fatah effectively said: don't wear the Hijab so that they don't kill you!!

Unfortunately the muslim leaders in the west are mostly divided in two groups: One group defends almost everything muslims would do and protests anything a westerner would do, and the other group justifies eveything a westerner do and criticizes everything that a muslim does. Elmasri and fatah seem to be the two extreme ends in this example.

Fatah's "blaming the victim" can be generialized as a main criticism of Fatah witnessed by  his wholehearted embrace by the imperial sycophants of the mainstream press who seek a simplistic excuse for imperialism, that is, by giving it another name (ie. war on an alien, irrational terrorism).

Podur's review of Fatah put it this way:

Quote:
The experience of reading the book is a jarring one.  Tarek frequently overreaches, making claims beyond what the evidence provides.  "The pain we suffer is caused mostly by self-inflicted wounds, and is not entirely the result of some Zionist conspiracy hatched by the West" (pg. xi).  How IMF restructuring or repeated US bombings, invasions, and occupations are "self-inflicted" is unexplained.  Sentences like that also put all Muslims together, though the politics and problems in different Muslim societies are different.

 

Within these statements lies the crux of the question for me : how to explain, in terms understandable to the person on the street, how we wound up UNABLE to explain what is taking place - without reaching for ever greater abstractions, or falling back on political "lines".

If Fatah is rejected as a dilettante, what is Elmasri?  He has certainly come under fire from fellow academics here at the University of Waterloo over the past several years.  Particulaly from a local Conservative figure. Does anyone have a reading on him? And notice both he and Fatah stepped forward to take political positions, exhorting others of their faith while trying to explain it to the "western" society of their choice.

 

Stockholm

M. Spector wrote:

[url=http://www.muslimcanadiancongress.org/20081228.html]Tarek Fatah's MCC blamed Hamas for "provoking" the genocidal Israeli assault on Gaza[/url]

Quote:
The MCC believes Hamas deliberately rocketed Israel in an attempt to provoke an Israeli response. The fact that Hamas did not fire a single rocket at Egypt, despite that country's blockade of Gaza, clearly demonstrates the attacks on Israel were not to protest the blockade, but to trigger a military response.

That's totally self-evident. Of course they launched rockets in the hopes of provoking an Israeli response. There is no other reason why they would have done it.

George Victor

 

It is also possible to imagine that some members of the Muslim Congress of Canada have (had) relatives in Gaza. And even if not, those who spoke out must have wondered at the ease with which Hamas stood read to sacrifice the general populace, in this "self-evident" act. I wonder which social/demographic community in Canada is most represented by the MCC?
It is clearly another way in which "believers" divide in their interpretation of the Quran, or have it interpreted for them.
The website you posted, MS, gave me this:

The Muslim Canadian Congress is a grassroots organization that provides a voice to Muslims who are not represented by existing organizations; organizations that are either sectarian or ethnocentric, largely authoritarian, and influenced by a fear of modernity and an aversion to joy.

President:Sohail RazaVice PresidentAnwer OmarSecretary General:Anar PatelTreasurerAmna BakhtiarCommunications DirectorFarzana Hassan
Members of the Board  Hassan Mahmud Yasmeen Loubani Aysel Ozkan Anwar Ahmed Kaan Oran Intizar Zaidi Ali Abbas Inayatullah Moony Khan Akbar Hussain Tahir Aslam Gora Mahfooz Kanwar Zeynep Baysal
Regional representatives:BC:Jane KhanQuebec:Intizar ZaidiOttawa:Anwer OmariCalgary:Kanwar MahfoozSaskatoon:Farkhanda WakilNiagara Falls:Nimet KarachiWinnipeg:Margaret Ahsan  Founder:Tarek Fatah  Canada's Fallen
Soldiers

MCC grieves the loss of our sons and daughters in Afghanistan, who died serving Canada in the line of duty. We offer our condolences to the families of the dead soldiers and hope to see all our troops back home safely.

Who speaks

Views and opinions on who, if anyone, is the real voice for Canada's Muslims

Sharia courts

The MCC campaign against religious tribunals for family law

Equal Marriages

The MCC takes a stand for justice, equality and human rights

War on Terror

The MCC condemns both terrorism and the "war on terror"

Palestine

The MCC does more than just talk the talk. Read about walking the walk in Hebron

Islam

Speaking for Muslims: A new group stirs the pot with its progressive ideas

 

 
You will notice in the little blurb towards the bottom, that the MCC "condemns both terrorism and the 'war on terror'."
That is probably not nuanced enough for anyone who sees this as just a propaganda posting, but heck, I'll bet SOME aren't being cynical.

George Victor

That was a veritable goldmine of information you offered there,MS.

 

Didn't know this about the MCC at election time, 1966:

 

MCC urges community to vote for the NDP on Monday

 

filler

Muslim Canadian Congress urges
community to vote for the NDP on Monday
Only Jack Layton has shown that he can blunt the right-wing agenda of the Conservatives

TORONTO - As Canadians prepare to vote for a new government on Monday, January 23, the Muslim Canadian Congress has endorsed the New Democratic Party and is appealing to Muslim Canadians to vote for the NDP candidate in ridings across the country.

With the threat of a possible Conservative victory on Monday, the MCC is urging the community to send as many New Democrats to the House of Commons so they can confront the right-wing agenda of Stephen Harper.

"We must do everything possible to restrict the Conservatives to a minority government in Ottawa so that Canada is not dragged into joining Bush-Blair tag team", said Niaz Salimi, President of the MCC.

"As far as the the Liberal Party is concerned, for too long it has taken our communities for granted; it is time for the traditional leadership of Canada's Muslim communities to cut their ties with the tainted record of the Federal Liberal Party and demonstrate solidarity with Jack Layton and his New Democrats", added Ms. Salimi.

The blurb goes on in some detail.
Wonder where they are at now, politically?

babel

In the spirit of fairness, should someone apologize to bhagat for slandering him? From what I can see here, there is a bunch of ad hominem attacks on Fatah from people who haven't read his book, just as bhagat predicted.

Unionist

If I say George W. Bush is a criminal imperialist aggressor, is that called an "ad hominem" attack?

If I say that about George W. Bush before reading his upcoming memoirs, should I apologize to someone for being "unfair"?

Everyone here who spoke about Tarek Fatah did so from experience. Now, if it turns out that Fatah's book says, "Sorry, I was an asshole, I recant all my pandering to imperialism and Islamophobia" - I will be the first in line to apologize humbly!!! That's a promise.

Meanwhile, I will not be reading his book any time soon, so you'll have to tell me if he recants.

 

George Victor

And that, I'm afraid babel, is about how it goes in this subject area, hereabouts.  "Conventional wisdom" in Galbraith's famous formulation.

It really should not be an area in which one can shun books while making ringing statements about imperialism. And, of course, George Bush will be used as a template for evil about everything to do with the middle east , probably until the middle of this century, often as obfuscation of the point under discussion.

I had no idea I was inviting lectures on political correctness by advancing the book and author - but, then, I tend not to fall into line when political lines are defended or advanced.  A thick skin suffices, if the unread are only lecturing from a generalized position, encompasing the whole of the Muslim world, in this instance.

I don't intend to present anything else from Chasing a Mirage, since in an anti-intellectual environment, that would only invite more animosity and plain old puffery. Some are easily cowed by bombast.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Stockholm wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

[url=http://www.muslimcanadiancongress.org/20081228.html]Tarek Fatah's MCC blamed Hamas for "provoking" the genocidal Israeli assault on Gaza[/url]

Quote:
The MCC believes Hamas deliberately rocketed Israel in an attempt to provoke an Israeli response. The fact that Hamas did not fire a single rocket at Egypt, despite that country's blockade of Gaza, clearly demonstrates the attacks on Israel were not to protest the blockade, but to trigger a military response.

That's totally self-evident. Of course they launched rockets in the hopes of provoking an Israeli response. There is no other reason why they would have done it.

 

Yeah. I know the devil made me do it. I beat her up because she slapped me, Yadda yadda.

George Victor

 

And Hamas had weighed the possible outcomes of response, down to the last child.  They must really frighten the hell out of a lot of mothers and fathers within their bailiwiick who are not quite ready to offer up their kids to the cause. Such absence of concern not only frightens me, but makes me wonder at their sanity in thinking that that will win friends and influence people - except among a similarly deluded audience.

mahmud

 

 

 

"This book was written by the Jews for the Jews!"

 

"Finally, Mr. Fatah opines that The Trouble with Islam "is not addressed to Muslims; it is aimed at making Muslim-haters feel secure in their thinking."

Who precisely does he mean by "Muslim-haters"? Mr. Fatah recently came clean to me in a TV studio. After the cameras stopped rolling, but in front of the host and crew, he bellowed, "This book was written by the Jews for the Jews!" It's painful to hear such words fly from the mouth of a self-declared Muslim reformer -- an individual who has said that too many Muslims wallow in conspiracy theories.

Indeed, it's because of such honest comments that I included him and his wife in my acknowledgments."  -Irshad Manji In

http://muslim-refusenik.com/news/globe-dec2-03.html

 

Now, wait a minute! I guess I have some loose ends to tie up: An apology to Irshad Manji might help to do right that:

"'I was unfair to her': former critic Tarek Fatah apologizes to Irshad".

 

(In)  http://www.irshadmanji.com/im-category/media-coverage/page/7

 

 

George Victor

I really wish, Mahmud, that you would - right up front - say where YOU are at in all of this back and forth.  I had understood that Irshad Manji and Fatah had fallen out. 

The Hamilton Spec piece from June 26/08  is an excellent account of what happened, and supplies some interesting history from the 9th and 10th centuries.   Marvelous.

Do you think that Manji and Fatah can now speak as one?  I don't have the depth of understanding or knowledge of current developments to be able to know or even guess at that?  But, I will say, sort of having Manji onside, as it were, would make me feel more comfortable hereabouts.

mahmud

 

Well, George, What I know is that in her lettter in the Globe and Mail of December 2nd, 2003

Irshad Manji reported that Tarek Fatah said about her book: "This book was written by the Jews

for the Jews" and she added that there were witnesses.

 

Tarek Fatah and Irshad Manji are, in my view, just competitors in a very lucrative post 2001

business to which some Western Muslims succumbed.

 

GayForIsrael

Tarek Fatah is a hero amoung true secular muslims.

 

those willing to bend over backwards to appease Islamic trolls in the Islamic Canadian Congress, and join the Hate Israel bridage because it's "oh so fashionable" while the media censors itself to create a false social harmony will eventually pay the price.

 

their liberal rights of political expression, like we have in Israel, where we can curse our government curse our military, curse muslims, zionism, everything, will not be provided in an islamic-dominated society.

 

Truly IRONIC to see alleged-liberals, supporters of women's rights, sexual minorities, etc...as I am, march side-by-side with Muslim trolls. Desparately defending them against those evil Zionist Nazis, why?

More women and children have been killed in muslim honor killings all across Islamic world than the entire Arab-Israel conflict. Women and gays are brutalized, often treated as collaborators to the Israeli government or Zionist spies. Why? Because Palestinian women tend to be the best spies because they r treated like garbage. Trust me, I've met dozens. Even after the Gaza conflict Fatah lined up 27 Palestinian women against a wall and shot them in the back up the head, accusing them of "collaborating with the Zionists."

Such a lack of humanity in this part of the world, and its good to see true Muslims STATE THE OBVIOUS.

He ranks well with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushdie.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I haven't read the book, but this, "he "hope(s) that, after reading this book, the conservative Republicans in the United States and their neo-conservative allies in the West will realize that in the battle of ideas, dropping bombs helps the foe, not the friend," suggests he knows nothing about imperialsists. The Americans and British did not starve, genetically poison, and murder more than a million from a secular, modern, Arab state because they hoped to make friends, they did it for oil. Further, he doesn't know history. The backward regimes that dominate Islamic nations from the mid-east to south Asia are protected puppets of the imperialist regimes.

Fatah, like me and all of us here, has the luxury of living from within the gates of the empire, protected from the realities of the world, and comfortable in condemning a large and diverse population (when did Islam become homogenous?) from behind the bullet proof, plexiglass windows of the expanded, imperial Homeland.

I would bet, his readership is almost all white and few are muslims as his role is to promote and perpetuate the myth of the white man's burden. Islam must be saved from Islam, and it is up to us to do it. The cost, of course, is the resources under their feet.

GayForIsrael

Frustrated Mess wrote:

I haven't read the book, but this, "he "hope(s) that, after reading this book, the conservative Republicans in the United States and their neo-conservative allies in the West will realize that in the battle of ideas, dropping bombs helps the foe, not the friend," suggests he knows nothing about imperialsists. The Americans and British did not starve, genetically poison, and murder more than a million from a secular, modern, Arab state because they hoped to make friends, they did it for oil. Further, he doesn't know history. The backward regimes that dominate Islamic nations from the mid-east to south Asia are protected puppets of the imperialist regimes.

Fatah, like me and all of us here, has the luxury of living from within the gates of the empire, protected from the realities of the world, and comfortable in condemning a large and diverse population (when did Islam become homogenous?) from behind the bullet proof, plexiglass windows of the expanded, imperial Homeland.

I would bet, his readership is almost all white and few are muslims as his role is to promote and perpetuate the myth of the white man's burden. Islam must be saved from Islam, and it is up to us to do it. The cost, of course, is the resources under their feet.

Ignorant. The islamic nations have an addiction to war. They are inheriently bigoted, and an ounce of freedom is too much as it threatened the very sensitivity that is Islamic lifestyle. You cannot criticize it, question it, argue with it. Every country, from Egypt, to Turkey, to Pakistan, to the Palestinian territories, have received immense freedom from criticism or recongition of their crimes. Not simply against the West, but against themselves. It is true, the West is more tolerant of Muslims than Muslims are tolerant of muslims.

When they arent killing Jews, they are killing themselves - and they have the DEATH TOLL to prove it. This apologism, this obsession with tolerance, while actively condemning people who recognize the arab bigotry, the group-thinking, and the utter stupidity, can only be sourced from true intellectuals. It was the intellectuals who brought hitler to power. it was the intellectuals who empathized with stalin. it was the intellectuals who think you can "change" the islamic world by accomodating their bigotry.

NO. Until they decide collectively that honor killings, squashing free speech, political expression, and freedom of religion, not to mention sexual rights that are denied wholesale in the ENTIRE muslim world, the Western world should show NO respect.

 

Yet we do. We bankroll Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, hundreds of billions of dollars in oil - use to promote terrorism all across the world. Islamic insurgency in Philipines -150k people killed. Islamic wars in Pakistan/india - 3.5 million people killed, the wahhabist massacres in the 19th century, and the victimization of muslims and obsession with jews is all paid for by the West.

So this isn't simply an Islamic-issue, but this was going on well before the West was even in the ME. Well before the West was the West. The islamic empires have never changed, and have never gone away - and a small majority of muslims all across the world still vy to recapture Spain, Europe, and take back what was once theirs.

It's a revenge-based society, a society without morality or humanity. It's a society that liberals can sympathize with - because they too lack humanity.

 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:

Ignorant. The islamic nations have an addiction to war. They are inheriently bigoted, and an ounce of freedom is too much as it threatened the very sensitivity that is Islamic lifestyle. You cannot criticize it, question it, argue with it. Every country, from Egypt, to Turkey, to Pakistan, to the Palestinian territories, have received immense freedom from criticism or recongition of their crimes. Not simply against the West, but against themselves. It is true, the West is more tolerant of Muslims than Muslims are tolerant of muslims.

When they arent killing Jews, they are killing themselves - and they have the DEATH TOLL to prove it. This apologism, this obsession with tolerance, while actively condemning people who recognize the arab bigotry, the group-thinking, and the utter stupidity, can only be sourced from true intellectuals. It was the intellectuals who brought hitler to power. it was the intellectuals who empathized with stalin. it was the intellectuals who think you can "change" the islamic world by accomodating their bigotry.

 

I think your a racist pig and I'm not sure what you're doing here. The fact that a racist such as yourself would proclaim Fatah a hero essentially supports my contention.

GayForIsrael

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Quote:

Ignorant. The islamic nations have an addiction to war. They are inheriently bigoted, and an ounce of freedom is too much as it threatened the very sensitivity that is Islamic lifestyle. You cannot criticize it, question it, argue with it. Every country, from Egypt, to Turkey, to Pakistan, to the Palestinian territories, have received immense freedom from criticism or recongition of their crimes. Not simply against the West, but against themselves. It is true, the West is more tolerant of Muslims than Muslims are tolerant of muslims.

When they arent killing Jews, they are killing themselves - and they have the DEATH TOLL to prove it. This apologism, this obsession with tolerance, while actively condemning people who recognize the arab bigotry, the group-thinking, and the utter stupidity, can only be sourced from true intellectuals. It was the intellectuals who brought hitler to power. it was the intellectuals who empathized with stalin. it was the intellectuals who think you can "change" the islamic world by accomodating their bigotry.

 

I think your a racist pig and I'm not sure what you're doing here. The fact that a racist such as yourself would proclaim Fatah a hero essentially supports my contention.

Racist pig? Well, I am a Jew. According to most of the Arab world, "Jews are the brothers of Apes and pigs." Assad of Syria says "Israel is from Mars." I never condoned Fatah - I righteously loathe their policies, sabtoging peace treaties and demanding more money from the EU and the UN.

Palestinians are WORLD RECORD HOLDERS in foreign aid. 680million for the UNRWA, 500mill in Israeli taxes, 100million month for Hamas in Gaza, 1-2 billion PLO makes annually from drug smuggling, weapons dealing, and selling aid back to the people, and an estimated 1 billion from foreign investment every year - on top of whatever economy exists.

 

Even Fatah in the WB admits the territory is doing well. Only 14 checkpoints now, mostly becuase of the Israeli-trained security forces, but corruption runs deep and Fatah dubiously pays Hamas salaries in Gaza.

And the recent assembly, where Fatah refuses to resume peace talks until "Israel removes the blockade, demolishes all settlements, and release all palestinian prisoners" in addition to 14 preconditions, demonstrates the governments apathy for any kind of peace deal.

Palestinians receive 180 per capita, Congo - people receive 3 dollars per capita. And they r in much greater need, 1,000,000 more, but they dont serve the foreign policy objectives of the Islamic states who own the Human Rights Council and ensures Israel remains demonized while millions die at the hands of Akmed. Christians in Darfur couldnt care less about a state anymore, neither could the Somalias, or the Congolese, they just want to EXIST. Want to survive, but because they aren't Palestinian and don't sell newspapers they don't get a voice.

If Canadians rally against Islamic supremcaism, it's racist and islamophobic. If you rally against Israel and act as a fundamentalist mouthpiece, it's totally kosher and any criticism of it must be from TEH ISREAL lobbieys111!!!

 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:

Racist pig? Well, I am a Jew. According to most of the Arab world, "Jews are the brothers of Apes and pigs." Assad of Syria says "Israel is from Mars." I never condoned Fatah - I righteously loathe their policies, sabtoging peace treaties and demanding more money from the EU and the UN.

Palestinians are WORLD RECORD HOLDERS in foreign aid. 680million for the UNRWA, 500mill in Israeli taxes, 100million month for Hamas in Gaza, 1-2 billion PLO makes annually from drug smuggling, weapons dealing, and selling aid back to the people, and an estimated 1 billion from foreign investment every year - on top of whatever economy exists.

You may be a Jew or you may be a liar. That is immaterial. You are, however, a racist. And as racist, hateful, pathetic, and sickening as any white supremacist I have encountered on this board. I think you should fuckoff and crawl back under your rock.

Ze

GayForIsrael wrote:
Ignorant. The islamic nations have an addiction to war. They are inheriently bigoted....

Flagged for mods. No need to read the rest of your post.

GayForIsrael

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Quote:

Racist pig? Well, I am a Jew. According to most of the Arab world, "Jews are the brothers of Apes and pigs." Assad of Syria says "Israel is from Mars." I never condoned Fatah - I righteously loathe their policies, sabtoging peace treaties and demanding more money from the EU and the UN.

Palestinians are WORLD RECORD HOLDERS in foreign aid. 680million for the UNRWA, 500mill in Israeli taxes, 100million month for Hamas in Gaza, 1-2 billion PLO makes annually from drug smuggling, weapons dealing, and selling aid back to the people, and an estimated 1 billion from foreign investment every year - on top of whatever economy exists.

You may be a Jew or you may be a liar. That is immaterial. You are, however, a racist. And as racist, hateful, pathetic, and sickening as any white supremacist I have encountered on this board. I think you should fuckoff and crawl back under your rock.

 

Why am I racist????

Your hostile tone is atypical for a champion of tolerance as one would expect from Canada. The Islamic states are some of the most oppressive in the world - and if condeming their brutal treatment of women, homosexuals, Christians, Jews, their restriction of freedom, holocaust denial, institutionalized bigotry, homophobia, mysogny, antisemitism, and xenophobia...if that is RACIST, then clearly in Canada they have a much different definition.

How about we apply their form of government - their society and legal system and perspective of the world - on CANADA.

 

You'll be singin a much different tune. And if you dare to call them racist, you'll meet the sword.

 

 

GayForIsrael

Ze wrote:

GayForIsrael wrote:
Ignorant. The islamic nations have an addiction to war. They are inheriently bigoted....

Flagged for mods. No need to read the rest of your post.

 

Yes, of course. One can't stand the truth.

 

 

remind remind's picture

Had already flagged it long ago, it entered after maysie did her, shortly after 8, sweep through, how convenient, eh?

Also sent an email.

Kaspar Hauser

You know, trollforisrael, I used to be surprised at how eagerly racists confuse "truth" with the projection of their own guilty conscience onto a scapegoated other. The surprise is gone...I guess I've just become desensitized.

mahmud

GayForIsrael,

I guess your hours are counted on this forum. Any last wishes?  I am sure there are people of all faiths as well as atheists, agnostics etc.. Would you care for a last rites prayer from any? How about a Muslim Good Bye Babble prayer by Mahmud?

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 

GayforIsreal, whales wave like misty shores and then the sun grows. The SEA sails like an old tuna and the mast erodes like a long unused seashell. The waves die and the dead quietly command the sailor.

The small sailor is the one that quietly views the old tuna. The sea weeps.

Ze

remind wrote:

Had already flagged it long ago, it entered after maysie did her, shortly after 8, sweep through, how convenient, eh?

Also sent an email.

Yeah, I figured there would be several flags by now. ;)

It's such a boring violation of the user agreement though, isn't it? "Ugh. Muslims are all evil." That sort of racism is so very boring. 

--

"One law for the lion and the ox is oppression" - Blake

Michelle

GayForIsrael is, not surprisingly to anyone, banned now.

And this thread is closed.

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