Posts Tagged ‘Geert Wilders’


What’s behind the Australian Liberty Alliance?

Australian-Liberty-Alliance

L to R – Christian activist Kirralie Smith, Dutch fascist Geert Wilders, far Right Q Society-linked Debbie Robinson, Roman Catholic homophobe Bernard Gaynor; Smith, Robinson and Gaynor are candidates in the ALA clown car.

PAYPAL

Preview Image

Roman Catholic fascist theocrat and arch-homophobe Bernard Gaynor [pictured far Right], hopes that a divine intervention might plant the seed that will produce an Australian messiah to save us from “the empty, atheistic and crumbling secularist society that is killing Western civilisation.”

Writing on his blog, Gaynor moans:

“I …pray that God raise[s] up a national hero who can save Australia in the same mould as Garcia Moreno, who dedicated his country to Christ the King and achieved great things for Ecuador, before being assassinated for his Catholic faith.”

You may not have heard of Garcia Moreno. I hadn’t. Fortuitously, Encyclopaedia Britannica comes to our aid:

“Gabriel García Moreno, (born December 24, 1821, Guayaquil, Ecuador—died August 6, 1875, Quito), initiator of a church-oriented dictatorship in Ecuador (1861–75). His rule, oppressive but often effective in its reformist aims, eventually cost him his life.”

So what’s behind the Australian Liberty Alliance?

by Patrick J. Byrne

With Dutch politician Geert Wilders planning to help launch the Australian Liberty Alliance, where will this new party sit in the Australian political scene?

Australian Liberty Alliance Q Society links

Serge Trifkovic

In March 2014, Geert Wilders, member of the Dutch parliament and leader of the country’s Party for Freedom (PVV), delivered a message from the Netherlands (via YouTube) to a Stop Islamisation of Nations (SION) conference held in Melbourne, pledging that he would return to Australia in early 2015 to help launch the Australian Liberty Alliance.[1]

The 2014 conference was organised by the Q Society of Australia,[2] which is also behind the formation of this new political party.

The Q Society itself was founded in 2010. It has hosted tours around Australia of a number of overseas anti-Islamic activists and organised campaigns to stop the building of new mosques.

While the Australian Liberty Alliance is yet to be launched and fly its political colours, the Q Society has been closely linked to anti-Muslim activists in the United States and Europe.

Ideological roots

The resources page on its website illustrates the ideological roots of the Q Society of Australia.[3]

First, the Q Society recommends Serbian-American author Serge (or Srjda) Trifkovic’s book, The Sword of the Prophet: Islam — History, Theology, Impact on the World (2002),[4] describing it as “the Swiss Army knife of books on Islam”.

Trifkovic was a high-level spokesman for the Serbian nationalist forces during the Serbian ethnic-cleansing of both Muslim and Catholic Croatians in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in the Balkans from 1992 to 1995. About 100,000 died in the conflict.

Former Harvard professor Samantha Power — currently U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations — chronicled in her 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, how during the war Serbian forces systematically destroyed villages and towns, and herded local populations into concentration camps not seen since the Nazi camps of World War II.[5]

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic

Enraged Jewish-Americans, at demonstrations in the early 1990s calling for U.S. intervention to stop the killings, shouted, “Never again!”, the cry of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.

On August 5, 1992, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Congress placed an advertisement in the New York Times headlined, “Stop the Death Camps: an open letter to world leaders”, in which they declared: “To the blood-chilling names of Auschwitz, Treblinka and other Nazi death camps there seem now to have been added the names of Omarska and Brcko.…

“Is it possible that, fifty years after the Holocaust, the nations of the world, including our own, will stand by and do nothing, pretending we are helpless?… We must make it clear that we take every necessary step, including the use of force, to put a stop to this madness and bloodshed.”[6]

Some Serbian concentration camps were designated rape camps, where Yugoslav troops brutalised and impregnated Bosnian Muslim women, as well as girls as young as 12, in a bid to destroy their dignity,[7] while in the Bosnian town of Brcko (pronounced Bairch-ko) they brutally slaughtered and disposed of the remains of an estimated 3,000 people.[8]

Finally, in 1995, an international outcry over the week-long massacre of around 8,000 civilians in Srebrenica, allegedly on the orders of Serbian general Ratko Mladic, saw NATO forces launch an intensive bombing campaign against Serbian forces and strategic facilities that eventually ended the war.

Gravestones at the Potocari genocide memorial near Srebrenica

Serge Trifkovic has described himself as an “unofficial spokesman” in Europe for Bosnian Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic, president from 1992 to 1995 of the autonomous Republika Srpska (a self-proclaimed Serb republic within Bosnia), and as an adviser to his successor, Biljana Plavsic, known as “the Iron Lady”, who served as president from 1996 to 1998.[9]

In 2001, Plavsic was indicted by the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) — otherwise known as the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague — for crimes against humanity and in 2003 was sentenced to prison.[10]

Radovan Karadzic is currently awaiting the judges’ verdict on charges of crimes against humanity before the same court,[11] alongside General Ratko Mladic.

When Mladic was arrested in 2011, Trifkovic defended him and dismissed accounts of the Srebrenica massacre, saying, “The heart of the indictment against him [Mladic], ‘Srebrenica’, is a myth — a genocide-that-never was, a postmodernist exercise in pseudoreality.”[12]

After the Balkans war, Trifkovic migrated to the United States, and transformed himself into an “expert” on Islam, working since 1998 as the foreign editor of the conservative Rockford Institute’s Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.[13]

Samantha Power

Secondly, the Q Society of Australia has Robert Spencer as its international patron and board member.[14] The Society highly recommends his books and blog page, Jihad Watch. Spencer is regarded as the global leader of the anti-Islamic blogger network and is co-founder of the Stop Islamisation of Nations (SION), a global alliance of anti-Islamic organisations.[15]

Spencer has paid lavish tributes to Serge Trifkovic[16] and published Trifkovic on Jihad Watch.[17] Trifkovic, for his part, has responded with glowing endorsements for two of Spencer’s books.[18]

Despite his tributes, Spencer has also declared that Trifkovic is anti-Semitic.[19]

Spencer is on the advisory board of the American Council for Kosovo,[20] which is closely linked to an organisation run by Serge Trifkovic, the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies. The American Council for Kosovo heavily promotes Trifkovic.[21] The director of the Council, James Jatras, is also on the board of Spencer’s principal organisation, Jihad Watch.[22]

Kejda Gjermani is a Jewish commentator who has worked for the leading U.S. Jewish magazine, Commentary, and written extensive exposés of Spencer and Trifkovic.[23] She accuses Spencer of openly associating “with violent genocide proponents/deniers …” through his position on the advisory board of the American Council for Kosovo and his endorsement of Serge Trifkovic.[24]

Kejda Gjermani

Articles on Spencer’s Jihad Watch blog page dispute the massacre of 8,000 at Srebrenica by Serbian forces in 1995. One of the headlines suggests that the UN and Muslims were somehow responsible for perpetrating the massacre, saying, “UN officials and the Muslim regime in Sarajevo orchestrated the Srebrenica massacre.”[25]

Spencer disputes the idea that there are moderate forms of Islam or moderate Muslims. For example, his Jihad Watch blog’s news editor, Marisol Seibold — presumably reflecting the blog’s official editorial line — declares: “‘Moderate’ is a uselessly relative term, ultimately only defining someone who is somehow less ‘extreme’ than the next guy.”[26]

Spencer is an adherent of the Byzantine-Rite Melkite Greek Catholic Church, making his association with Trifkovic and the Council of Kosovo somewhat curious. During the Balkans war, Serbians not only ethnically-cleansed Muslims, but also Catholic Croatians.

One of the first recorded ethnic-cleansing attacks by Serbian forces was in December 1991 just as U.S. Congressman, Frank McCloskey, was travelling through the Balkans to the Croatian town of Vocin, 70 miles south west of Zagreb. He arrived immediately after the murder of about 40 Catholic Croatians, most of them over the age of 60. Many had been tortured and their bodies horrifically mutilated.[27]

Thirdly, the Q Society of Australia also promotes the anti-Islamic conspiracy theorist, Bat Ye’or[28] (Hebrew for “daughter of the Nile”), the pen-name for Gisèle Littman (née Orebi), an Egyptian-born British writer and political commentator, who currently lives in Switzerland.

Australian Liberty Alliance Q Society links

Five of the six members of Stop Islamisation of Nations (SION)’s ‘president’s council’ at SION’s launch at a conference in Stockholm, August 4, 2012. L to R: Anders Gravers, Pamela Geller, ‘Tommy Robinson’, Robert Spencer and Kevin Carroll (Debbie Robinson is not pictured)

British-Canadian author and journalist Doug Saunders, in his book The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2012),[29] has exposed the conspiracy theories that Bat Ye’or expressed in her 2005 book, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis.[30]

Bat Ye’or claimed that the purpose of the early 1970s Euro-Arab Dialogue was to enable the Muslim takeover of Europe, creating a situation whereby Christians and Jews would be reduced to the protected but subordinate minority communities of classical Islam. They would be made second-class citizens forced to “walk in the gutter”.

In an American radio interview on his book, Saunders said the Euro-Arab Dialogue was nothing more than “a talking shop, a committee or a subcommittee created by the precursors to the European Union … to deal with some of the political and economic tensions around the OPEC oil crisis. And it met a handful of times in the ’70s, … failed and died out by the end of the ’70s.

“It was eclipsed in the ’80s and ’90s and 2000s by other bodies that united Israel and the Arab states and the European Union and so on. It was a bureaucratic nonentity that somehow got inflated in this literature into being this grand conspiracy.…”[31]

Matt Carr, a journalist and author of Unknown Soldiers: How Terrorism Transformed the Modern World (2006),[32] has criticised Eurabia, saying: “In order to accept Ye’or’s ridiculous thesis, it is necessary to believe not only in the existence of a concerted Islamic plot to subjugate Europe, all Arab governments, whether ‘Islamic’ or not, but also to credit a secret and unelected parliamentary body [the Euro-Arab Dialogue] with the astounding ability to transform all Europe’s major political, economic and cultural institutions into subservient instruments of ‘jihad’ without any of the continent’s press or elected institutions being aware of it.…”[33]

Adam Keller, an Israeli peace activist, wrote an open letter to the publishers of the Hebrew translation of Eurabia, comparing it “to Édouard Drumont’s La France Juive (1886), the anti-Semitic tract that provided the ideological underpinnings for the deportation of France’s Jews under the [WWII] Vichy government half a century later”.

Keller says that the informed reading public needs to read “the classical work of a master racist demagogue [Édouard Drumont]” in order to understand “his loyal present-day disciple and successor [Bat Ye’or]”.[34]

Simon Kuper, a Paris-based correspondent for the UK Financial Times, says that Bat Ye’or’s book Eurabia “has been described as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in reverse”.[35]

‘Tommy Robinson’ (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) in a scuffle with British police

On August 31, 1995, Bat Ye’or delivered a lecture, entitled “Myths and politics: origin of the myth of a tolerant pluralistic Islamic society”,[36] to a Chicago symposium on the Balkans war. The symposium was organised by Serge Trifkovic’s Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies and the Washington-based think tank, the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA).

Bat Ye’or has been criticised over the fact that her lecture didn’t even mention the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim civilians by Serb forces the previous month.

Bat Ye’or is regarded as one of the leading ideologues of the anti-Islamic movement. Robert Spencer describes her as “a hero of our age”.[37]

Particularly for those global anti-Islamic agitators who have chosen to involve themselves in Serbian-Muslim affairs, such as Serge Trifkovic and Robert Spencer, it is a moral contradiction to oppose jihadist terrorism but to remain silent on, or be apologists for, or be deniers of, Serbian terrorism against civilian Muslims and Catholics in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.

Ethnic-cleansing is one form of terrorism. For Trifkovic, it becomes easy to deny Serbian terrorism when he denies that ethnic-cleansing ever happened, labelling such claims merely as an “exercise in pseudoreality”.

Terrorism is terrorism. It should be loudly condemned and strongly resisted, regardless of whether it is perpetrated by the Islamic State on Shia Muslims, Christians and other minorities, or by Serbian nationalists on civilians.

The duplicitous stand by these writers on terrorism helps radical jihadists discredit the genuine opponents of all radical ideologies and terrorism.

Fourthly, the Q Society of Australia is one of the founding bodies of Stop Islamisation of Nations (SION) — that is, Robert Spencer’s international anti-Islamic umbrella organisation, which was formed at a conference held in Stockholm, August 4, 2012. Spencer listed the names of the six inaugural members of the SION “president’s council” on his Jihad Watch blog.[38]

News Weekly reproduces below the names of these individuals, together with their backgrounds:

1)        Robert Spencer, president of Stop Islamisation of Nations (SION);

2)        Pamela Geller, president of Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA), and founder, editor and publisher of the blog, Atlas Shrugs[39] (named in honour of the Russian-American right-wing atheist philosopher and amphetamine addict, Ayn Rand[40]);

3)        Debbie Robinson, 2013/2014 president of the Q Society of Australia, Inc.;[41]

4)        Anders Gravers, Danish anti-Islam activist and leader of Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE);

5)        “Tommy Robinson” (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), co-founder and former spokesman and leader of the extreme right-wing English Defence League (EDL); and

6)        Kevin Carroll, co-founder and former deputy leader of the EDL (and a cousin of Yaxley-Lennon).

Both former EDL leaders have had court convictions, Yaxley-Lennon for violent assault, and Carroll for hurling abuse at Muslims.[42]

On April 18, 2005, “Tommy Robinson” (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) was sentenced to 12 months’ prison for kicking in the head of an off-duty police officer who had intervened to stop a domestic incident between Yaxley-Lennon and his partner, Jenna Vowles.[43]

On November 3, 2011, Yaxley-Lennon was given a suspended prison sentence for headbutting one of his own supporters at an EDL rally in Blackburn.[44]

The EDL has been notorious for its violent demonstrations and has encompassed a number of organisations, including some whose members have been photographed at EDL rallies giving the Nazi raised-arm salute.[45]

In October 2013, Yaxley-Lennon and his cousin Kevin Carroll — only a year after joining SION at its 2012 conference in Stockholm — both quit the EDL.[46] Then, last year, Yaxley-Lennon landed in prison for fraud.[47]

The Q Society of Australia, by aligning itself with SION, has identified itself with the controversial views of Spencer, Trifkovic and Bat Ye’or, among others.

False demonisation of all Muslims

Spencer, SION and the global anti-Islamic network have a propensity to reduce all the diverse streams of Islam into one monolithic hostile political force. They demonise all the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims as being part of an ideology committed to the subjugation of non-Muslims. At worst, many anti-Islamic agitators treat all Muslims as apologists for, or supporters of, violent jihadists.

Just as early 20th-century anti-Semitic ideologues portrayed Judaism as a “cosmic evil”, many anti-Islamists portray the whole of 21st-century Islam as a “cosmic evil”,[48] an inveterately hostile political ideology, the “new communism”.

On the contrary, Paul Gray, former editor of News Weekly, explained in his book, Nightmare of the Prophet: Why the Next Century Could Be Our Most Violent Yet (2004) that such a portrayal of the whole Islamic world is as false as claiming that the Klu Klux Klan is representative of the whole Christian world.[49]

The U.S. Jewish human rights group, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has warned about the views of Spencer in language similar to that of the critics of Bat Ye’or.

Writing in The Washington Post (July 29, 2011), the then ADL national director, Abraham H. Foxman, condemned the vitriolic Robert Spencer and other anti-Islamic agitators over their “intellectual influences” on the Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people in 2011.

Foxman warned that the writings of these authors “promote a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the pretext of fighting radical Islam. Because of the reach of the Internet, these ideas float freely across borders and are reinforced by like-minded bigots”.

He continued: “This belief system goes far beyond anti-Islamic prejudice based on simple religious or racial grounds. In a sense, it parallels the creation of an ideological — and far more deadly — form of anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the backs of the previously dominant cultural and religious forms of anti-Semitism.…

“In America, the polarisation, vitriol and fear engendered by anti-Islamic activists must be replaced by reasoned and civil debate. We must rally the voices of reason to overcome the voices of intolerance before it is too late.”[50]

Timely warning

The Anti-Defamation League and other critics of extremist anti-Islamic agitators offer a timely warning for Australia.

It is necessary to expose extremist forces threatening politically-vulnerable emerging states in the Arc of Instability stretching from China, across Asia to Africa. In this unstable region, many countries are going through the tumultuous process of overthrowing their anciens régimes on the long and often dangerous road toward democracy, human rights and free enterprise economies.

However, the demonisation of all Muslims in language that Jewish writers liken to vitriolic, early 20th-century anti-Semitism is divisive, dangerous and counter-productive.

For example, it is sensible to call for radical clerics who incite terrorism to be expelled from Australia; but it’s dangerous and counter-productive to prevent moderate Muslims from building mosques. First, it is a violation of a person’s right to freedom of association and freedom of worship. Secondly, selective denial of religious freedom is the guaranteed way of driving some young Muslims into the arms of extremists.

If the aim of such a policy is to stop the radicalisation of young Muslims, it’s a mistaken policy.

David Irvine, director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) from March 2009 to September 2014, told an audience in Perth (March 4, 2014) that most of those being radicalised are being radicalised not in mosques, but via the internet and on social media.[51]

Demonising the whole of Islam as an inveterately hostile political ideology is de facto a declaration that all Muslim countries are hostile states. Pursuing a foreign policy based on such a premise would have far-reaching consequences.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Islamic nation, and Australia’s near neighbour. Imagine if the Commonwealth government were to treat Indonesia as a hostile state. It would put Australia on a collision course with its largest neighbour, damage bilateral trade and risk the denial of access to Australia’s most important trade routes through the Indonesian archipelago.

Jewish commentator Kejda Gjermani concludes her 2009 detailed critique of Trifkovic and Spencer, “Robert Spencer’s connections: The Serge Trifkovic file (Srjda Trifkovic)”, warning that such anti-Islamic agitators make it easy for radical Islamists and their apologists to discredit and attack genuine critics of militant Islam.[52]

The Q Society of Australia endorses and promotes extremist anti-Islamic agitators with “compromised backgrounds”. The Q Society is behind the formation of a new political party, the Australian Liberty Alliance, with consequences yet to be worked out in Australian politics.

Australians should consider the people and causes involved with the Q Society of Australia and its political progeny before lending them support.

 


Endnotes

[1] Peter Law, “Perth surgeon Anthony Robinson a director of new political party Australian Liberty Alliance”, Perth Now, October 5, 2014.
URL: www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/perth-surgeon-anthony-robinson-a-director-of-new-political-party-australian-liberty-alliance/story-fnhocxo3-1227080218488

[2] 1st International Symposium on Liberty and Islam in Australia, Melbourne, March 7-10, 2014, Q Society of Australia Inc in association with SION and SkipnGirl Productions P/L.
URL: http://qevent.org/1stSymposium2014/

[3] Q Society of Australia, Inc: resources page (accessed February 1, 2015).
URL: www.qsociety.org.au/links.html

[4] Serge Trifkovic, The Sword of the Prophet: Islam — History, Theology, Impact on the World (Boston: Regina Orthodox Press, 2002).

[5] Samantha Power, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 2002), Chapter 9.

[6] Ibid., p.278.

[7] Ian Black, “Serbs ‘enslaved Muslim women at rape camps’”, The Guardian (UK), March 21, 2000.
URL: www.theguardian.com/world/2000/mar/21/warcrimes.balkans

See also the Wikipedia entry, “Rape during the Bosnian war”.
URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_Bosnian_War

[8] Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. says up to 3,000 Muslims died in Serbian-run detention camps”, New York Times, September 26, 1992.
URL: www.nytimes.com/1992/09/26/world/us-says-3000-may-have-died-in-serbian-run-detention-camps.html

[9] Kejda Gjermani, “Robert Spencer’s connections: The Serge Trifkovic file (Srjda Trifkovic)”, Kejda Gjermani: Her Miscellaneous Musings (New York), February 23, 2009.
URL: www.kejda.net/2009/02/23/robert-spencers-connections-the-srjda-trifkovic-file/

See also: Trifkovic’s testimony before the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICCY), in Part 1, Breivik, Trifkovic and Radical Serb Ideology, a 12-page monograph published on July 25, 2011, by Michael A. Sells, the John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.
URL: http://home.uchicago.edu/~msells/documents/Breivik-Trifkovic-and-Radical-Serb-Ideology.pdf

See also the exchange between Serge Trifkovic and Stephen Schwartz, “Apology and correction”, FrontPage Magazine, January 15, 2003.
URL: http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=20283

[10] “Biljana Plavsic”, International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICCY).
URL: www.icty.org/sid/221

[11] Julian Borger, “Radovan Karadzic tells war crimes trial there was no ethnic cleansing in Bosnia”, The Guardian (UK), October 1, 2014.
URL: www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/01/radovan-karadzic-war-crimes-trial-no-ethnic-cleansing-bosnia

[12] Serge Trifkovic, “The Mladic puzzle”, The Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies, June 10, 2011.
URL: www.balkanstudies.org/blog/mladic-puzzle

[13] Srdja (Serge) Trifkovic: author, editor, professor.
URL: http://trifkovic.mysite.com/

[14] Q Society of Australia, Inc: resources page (accessed February 1, 2015).
URL: www.qsociety.org.au/links.html

[15] “International ‘counter-jihadist’ organisations”, Hope Not Hate: For a modern, inclusive Britain (London), 2012.
URL: www.hopenothate.org.uk/counter-jihad/organisations/Stop-Islamisation-Network

[16] Brian Lamb, “Q&A with Robert Spencer”, video and transcript, Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network [C-SPAN], (Washington, DC), August 20, 2006.
URL: www.c-span.org/video/?193778-1/qa-robert-spencer

[17] For example, Srdja Trifkovic, “PC self-censorship at the American Foreign Policy Council”, Jihad Watch, April 15, 2011.
URL: www.jihadwatch.org/2011/04/trifkovic-pc-self-censorship-at-the-american-foreign-policy-council

Also see the number of results you get from entering the name “Trifkovic” in Jihad Watch’s search engine.
URL: www.jihadwatch.org/search_gcse?q=trifkovic

[18] “Testimonials: What they’re saying about Robert Spencer”, Jihad Watch.
URL: www.jihadwatch.org/testimonials

[19] Robert Spencer, “Robert Spencer responds to Aymenn Jawad”, The American Thinker, March 6, 2011.
URL: www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/03/robert_spencer_responds_to_aym.html

[20] List of members of the Advisory Board, American Council for Kosovo (Washington, DC).
URL: www.savekosovo.org/?p=1&au=advisory

[21] For example, James Jatras and Serge Trifkovic, “U.S. Kosovo policy is bad for Israel”, November 7, 2007.
URL: www.savekosovo.org/?p=4&sp=356

James Jatras (Trifkovic’s co-author) is director of the American Council for Kosovo.

[22] Robert Spencer, “Kosovo’s top Islamic leader asks Detroit Muslims for support”, Jihad Watch, April 29, 2007.
URL: www.jihadwatch.org/2007/04/kosovos-top-islamic-leader-asks-detroit-muslims-for-support

[23] Kejda Gjermani, “Robert Spencer’s connections: The Serge Trifkovic file (Srjda Trifkovic)”, Kejda Gjermani: Her Miscellaneous Musings, February 23, 2009.
URL: www.kejda.net/2009/02/23/robert-spencers-connections-the-srjda-trifkovic-file/

Kejda Gjemani: “Robert Spencer’s connections: The James Jatras files”, Kejda Gjermani: Her Miscellaneous Musings, August 8, 2008.
URL: www.kejda.net/2008/08/08/robert-spencers-connections-the-james-jatras-file/

Kejda Gjemani: “JihadwatchWatch: Robert Spencer’s amorous flit with European Fascism”, Kejda Gjermani: Her Miscellaneous Musings, November 7, 2008.
URL: www.kejda.net/2008/11/07/jihadwatchwatch-robert-spencers-amorous-flirt-with-european-fascism/

See also: Michael Sells, Part 1, Breivik, Trifkovic and Radical Serb Ideology, a 12-page monograph published on July 25, 2011.
URL: http://home.uchicago.edu/~msells/documents/Breivik-Trifkovic-and-Radical-Serb-Ideology.pdf

[24] Kejda Gjemani: “Robert Spencer’s connections: The James Jatras files”, Kejda Gjermani: Her Miscellaneous Musings, August 8, 2008.
URL: www.kejda.net/2008/08/08/robert-spencers-connections-the-james-jatras-file/

[25] Robert Spencer, “UN officials and the Muslim regime in Sarajevo orchestrated the Srebrenica massacre”, Jihad Watch, June 30, 2011.
URL: www.jihadwatch.org/2011/06/un-officials-and-the-muslim-regime-in-sarajevo-orchestrated-the-srebrenica-massacre

[26] Marisol Seibold, “Maldives: Thousands demonstrate against ‘un-Islamic’ activities like allowing direct flights to Israel”, Jihad Watch, December 24, 2011.
URL: www.jihadwatch.org/2011/12/maldives-thousands-demonstrate-against-un-islamic-activities-like-allowing-direct-flights-to-israel

[27] Samantha Power, op. cit., p.254.

[28] Q Society of Australia, Inc: resources page (accessed February 1, 2015).
URL: www.qsociety.org.au/links.html

[29] Doug Saunders, The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2012).

[30] Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Madison, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005).

[31] “Debunking the ‘myth of the Muslim tide’”, interview with author Doug Saunders, WMRA Public Radio (Harrisonburg, Virginia), September 22, 2012.
URL: http://wmra.org/post/debunking-myth-muslim-tide

[32] Matt Carr, Unknown Soldiers: How Terrorism Transformed the Modern world (London: Profile, 2006)

[33] Matt Carr, “You are now entering Eurabia”, Race & Class (Institute of Race Relations, London, UK)), Vol. 48, No. 1, July 2006.
URL: http://rac.sagepub.com/content/48/1/1

[34] Adam Keller and Gush Shalom, “Drumont’s Jewish disciple”: an open letter to the Shocken Publishing House (Jerusalem), published in Kibush: Occupation Magazine (Israel), June 2, 2008.
URL: www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=28774

[35] Simon Kuper, “The crescent and the cross”, Financial Times (UK), November 10, 2007.
URL: www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2ba1c9c0-8f31-11dc-87ee-0000779fd2ac.html

[36] Bat Ye’or, “Myths and politics: Bosnia-Herzegovina and the origin of the myth of a tolerant, pluralistic Islamic society”: an address delivered on August 31, 1995, at a Symposium on the Balkan War (Ramada Congress Hotel, Chicago), hosted by the Washington-based think tank, the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA).
URL: http://emperors-clothes.com/bosnia/bat.htm
URL: www.srpska-mreza.com/History/pre-wwOne/Ye_Or.html

[37] Robert Spencer, “Bat Ye’or on Geert Wilders: Does defending Western values constitute ‘inciting hatred’?”, Jihad Watch, February 16, 2009.
URL: www.jihadwatch.org/2009/02/bat-yeor-on-geert-wilders-does-defending-western-values-constitute-inciting-hatred

[38] Robert Spencer, “Announcing the SION President’s Council: the fruit of Stockholm”, Jihad Watch, August 5, 2013.
URL: www.jihadwatch.org/2012/08/announcing-the-sion-presidents-council-the-fruit-of-stockholm

[39] Pamela Geller’s background.
URL: http://PamelaGeller.com/about/

[40] Jennifer Burns, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 144, 274.

[41] “Revealed: The secretive Q Society’s battle against Islam”, News.com.au, June 26, 2014.
URL: www.news.com.au/national/revealed-the-secretive-q-societys-battle-against-islam/story-fncynjr2-1226967668515

[42] Martin Beckford, “English Defence League leader to stand as police commissioner”, The Telegraph (UK), July 31, 2012.
URL: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9442258/English-Defence-League-leader-to-stand-as-police-commissioner.html

[43] Nick Lowles and Simon Cressy, “The BNP past of the EDL leader”, Searchlight Magazine (UK), June 25, 2010.
URL: http://standuptohate.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/bnp-past-of-edl-leader.html

[44] “EDL leader facing jail after assault in Blackburn”, Lancashire Telegraph (UK), September 29, 2011.
URL: www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk

“EDL leader Stephen Lennon convicted of assault”, BBC News, September 29, 2011.
URL: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15117961

“EDL leader sentenced for headbutting fellow protester”, The Guardian (UK), November 4, 2011.
URL: www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/nov/03/edl-leader-sentenced-headbutt

[45] For example, see: “The EDL and Nazi salutes”, EDL Review: Reviewing and Exposing the EDL (UK), May 6, 2012.
URL: http://edlreview.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/edl-and-nazi-salutes.html

[46] “EDL leader Tommy Robinson quits group”, BBC News, October 8, 2013.
URL: www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-24442953

[47] “Tommy Robinson, former EDL leader, jailed for fraud”, BBC News, January 23, 2014.
URL: www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-25862838

[48] Bernard Lewis, “The new anti-Semitism: First religion, then race, then what?”, The American Scholar, December 1, 2005.
URL: http://theamericanscholar.org/the-new-anti-semitism

[49] Paul Gray, Nightmare of the Prophet: Why the Next Century Could Be Our Most Violent Yet (Melbourne: Freedom Publishing Company, 2004), pg. 169.

[50] Abraham H. Foxman, “Norwegian attacks stem from a new ideological hate”, Washington Post, July 29, 2011.
URL: www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/norwegian-attacks-stem-from-a-new-ideological-hate/2011/07/28/gIQAhxy8hI_story.html

[51] Personal report from John Barich of Western Australia, who attended David Irvine’s talk.

[52] Kejda Gjermani, “Robert Spencer’s connections: The Serge Trifkovic file (Srjda Trifkovic)”, Kejda Gjermani: Her Miscellaneous Musings, February 23, 2009.
URL: www.kejda.net/2009/02/23/robert-spencers-connections-the-srjda-trifkovic-file/

PAYPAL

Preview Image

JOIN US HERE! :-

https://www.facebook.com/groups/377012949129789/

https://www.youtube.com/user/theageofblasphemy


headlineImage_adapt_1460_high_Anti-Semitism_Islamophobia_Europe_a_1425930231689

In Europe, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia go hand in hand
Both scourges are projections of the illiberal mind
 
Paul Hockenos

Paris — The spate of anti-Semitic violence in Europe might appear to justify Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for European Jews to move to Israel where, he claims, Jews can be safe.

“Of course, Jews deserve protection in every country,” Netanyahu said on Feb. 15, “but we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters, ‘Israel is your home.’ We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe.”

Europe’s Jewry should nevertheless reject Netanyahu’s call. It’s a populist ploy ahead of Israel’s March 17 election. Jewish citizens in Europe should instead be active participants in the societies in which they live, continuing to promote democracy, civil liberties and tolerance of diversity as they have done energetically in the past, to Europe’s enormous benefit.

Nowhere, even in long-established democracies such as France, can the liberal order be taken for granted. Every generation has to fight anew to maintain (or even, in a best case scenario, improve on) the quality of democracy as its circumstances change. Anti-Semitism is one challenge to this struggle, Islamophobia another. The two illiberal ideologies and their implications for open societies are more closely linked than they appear.

Anti-Semitism in Europe

Anti-Semitism is on the rise across Europe, propelled by familiar and new antagonists. The Jan. 9 shooting of four Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket in Paris followed a string of lethal assaults on Jews across the continent in 2014. Last month an attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark, left one man dead and two police officers wounded. The incident forced Jewish schools in Belgium and France to close temporarily. Last year the Jewish Museum in Brussels was bombed. At least eight synagogues were attacked in Europe in July 2014. In Germany, Jewish men wearing the skullcap, or kippa, were harassed, cursed and beaten up on the street.

A 2012 European Union survey of 6,000 Jews in eight European nations, which together account for 90 percent of Europe’s Jewish population, found that 66 percent believed anti-Semitism was on the rise in Europe; 76 percent said anti-Jewish sentiment increased in their country since 2007. In a survey a year later, almost half of the respondents said they were concerned about being verbally insulted or attacked in public. Seventy years after Auschwitz’s liberation, which is being commemorated across Europe, Jewish graves have been desecrated, and Jewish citizens are uncomfortable in certain neighborhoods, particularly those with high proportions of Muslims.

Anti-Semitism is not a new phenomenon in postwar Europe. But its usual standard bearers were Europe’s far-right groups. Far-right and populist groups still propagate hatred toward Jews, although in its more muted form than in recent decades. (There’s an anti-Semitic stripe in the far left as well, closely linked with anti-Americanism and sympathy for the Palestinian quest for statehood.) Parties such as the National Front in France, Austria’s Freedom Party and Belgium’s Vlaams Bok have long traded in anti-Semitism. Opinion polls show residual anti-Semitism in most European populations, which is largely understood as a reaction to globalization, modernity and urban values. In Central and Eastern Europe, where there was no postwar reconciliation, anti-Semitism burns hotter as part and parcel of old-school volkish nationalism.

Muslim leaders have to fight anti-Jewish mindsets as actively as Europe’s Jews must help dispel the falsehoods fueling the anti-Islam discourse.

But the far-right anti-Semites now have a more opportune target: Islam. The same tools and tropes that were once used to create fear of and resentment toward Jews have been turned against Muslims. They claim that Muslims are swamping their countries and diluting their national cultures — claims once made against Jews. Whereas Jews were claimed to partake in blood rituals, Islam is cast as an inherently violent religion and all Muslims as threats to European security and identity.

Germany’s PEGIDA movement, which took to the streets in Dresden and elsewhere in Germany in late 2014 and early 2015, offers a perfect example. While PEGIDA’s foremost target was the Muslim community, its closeness to neo-Nazi groups and anti-Israel currents was manifest. One man with an Israeli flag was chased from a PEGIDA demonstration, and marchers carried posters reading “Just say no to Israel” and “Let Germany finally be Germany,” the latter a resentful reference to Germany’s war guilt and coming to grips with the Holocaust. Just as contemporary anti-Semitism is often strongest in places with no Jews, PEGIDA support was the highest in Dresden, a city with a population less than 0.5 percent Muslim. In other words, as with anti-Semitism, Islamophobia is highly irrational.

Muslim anti-Semitism

The chief perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence and terrorist attacks, however, are not the far right ideologues but radicalized elements in Europe’s Muslim community. It goes without saying that not all Muslims are anti-Semitic. (Collective guilt is almost always wrong-headed.) But polls show that anti-Semitism is strikingly high among European Muslims, particularly younger Muslim men and women.

A recent French survey found that 74 percent of French Muslims said they believe Jews have too much influence over the nation’s economy. (The figure among non-Muslim French was 25 percent.) Seventy percent of French Muslims said that Jews control the country’s media. A 2013 study by the EU found that Jews in Europe felt most threatened by Muslims in their societies. Günther Jikeli in his new book, “European Muslim Antisemitism,” corroborates these findings and argues that anti-Semitism is pervasive in the beliefs of young European Muslims.

The reasons for the new anti-Semitism are part socioeconomic, part political. So far, the young Muslims involved in the recent attacks against Jews have almost always been the kind of poor, disenfranchised young men whose circumstances breed resentment and anger. In Islam they find a home and identity. The politics of Israel in the Middle East have thrown fuel on the fire consistently over the last two decades; the ongoing violence against the Palestinians in Gaza is only the most recent agony. The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has facilitated the mix of a toxic cocktail that targets Jews across Europe.

But Jews are not necessarily safer in Israel than they are on the streets of Paris or Berlin. Europe is facing an enormous challenge in reacting to this new element in its midst and defeating it without encouraging more converts to radical Islam. We saw this happen in the aftermath of United States’ wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in response to the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, the Central Intelligence Agency’s black sites and the drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

On Feb. 14, the European Jewish Congress called for enhancing existing anti-racism legislation, which is enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. It envisions prohibiting the wearing of the full-face veil everywhere in Europe, punishing denial of the Holocaust and hate speech and outlawing praise for a terrorist act. But the proposal is not constructive in the long run. Such measures cast suspicion on all Muslims and would work to alienate rather than integrate.

European countries must devise a way to make Muslims feel part of their societies. Here in Paris it is stunning to experience firsthand how abruptly the City of Light ends at the banlieues, the tenement housing on Paris’ periphery where much of the migrant population lives. Here one leaves the urban wonderland of museums, fine restaurants, graceful apartment buildings and good jobs and enters the underworld of poverty, marginalization, unemployment and ugliness.

There are many ways that French and other European societies can reach out to their Muslim neighbors. This could mean interfaith dialogue, common civic initiatives, integrated schooling and more inclusive governance structures. Projects such as Germany’s Schule Ohne Rassismus, a nonprofit that fights racial bias against Jews, Muslims and others in secondary schools across the country should be replicated elsewhere in Europe. Ultimately, all Europeans, including Muslim communities, must insist on more democracy, civic culture and tolerance. Muslim leaders have to fight anti-Jewish mindsets as actively as Europe’s Jews must help dispel the falsehoods fueling the anti-Islam discourse. This is the way to beat the twin menaces of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Paul Hockenos is a journalist living in Berlin. He has covered the transformations of the EU for over 25 years.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America's editorial policy.

999-159

Dark passages

Does the harsh language in the Koran explain Islamic violence? Don’t answer till you’ve taken a look inside the Bible

By Philip Jenkins

WE HAVE A good idea what was passing through the minds of the Sept. 11 hijackers as they made their way to the airports.

Their Al Qaeda handlers had instructed them to meditate on al-Tawba and Anfal, two lengthy suras from the Koran, the holy scripture of Islam. The passages make for harrowing reading. God promises to “cast terror into the hearts of those who are bent on denying the truth; strike, then, their necks!” (Koran 8.12). God instructs his Muslim followers to kill unbelievers, to capture them, to ambush them (Koran 9.5). Everything contributes to advancing the holy goal: “Strike terror into God’s enemies, and your enemies” (Koran 8.60). Perhaps in their final moments, the hijackers took refuge in these words, in which God lauds acts of terror and massacre.

On a much lesser scale, others have used the words of the Koran to sanction violence. Even in cases of domestic violence and honor killing, perpetrators can find passages that seem to justify brutal acts (Koran 4.34).

Citing examples such as these, some Westerners argue that the Muslim scriptures themselves inspire terrorism, and drive violent jihad. Evangelist Franklin Graham has described his horror on finding so many Koranic passages that command the killing of infidels: the Koran, he thinks, “preaches violence.” Prominent conservatives Paul Weyrich and William Lind argued that “Islam is, quite simply, a religion of war,” and urged that Muslims be encouraged to leave US soil. Today, Dutch politician Geert Wilders faces trial for his film “Fitna,” in which he demands that the Koran be suppressed as the modern-day equivalent to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

Even Westerners who have never opened the book  – especially such people, perhaps  – assume that the Koran is filled with calls for militarism and murder, and that those texts shape Islam.

Unconsciously, perhaps, many Christians consider Islam to be a kind of dark shadow of their own faith, with the ugly words of the Koran standing in absolute contrast to the scriptures they themselves cherish. In the minds of ordinary Christians  – and Jews  – the Koran teaches savagery and warfare, while the Bible offers a message of love, forgiveness, and charity. For the prophet Micah, God’s commands to his people are summarized in the words “act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Christians recall the words of the dying Jesus: “Father, forgive them: they know not what they do.”

But in terms of ordering violence and bloodshed, any simplistic claim about the superiority of the Bible to the Koran would be wildly wrong. In fact, the Bible overflows with “texts of terror,” to borrow a phrase coined by the American theologian Phyllis Trible. The Bible contains far more verses praising or urging bloodshed than does the Koran, and biblical violence is often far more extreme, and marked by more indiscriminate savagery. The Koran often urges believers to fight, yet it also commands that enemies be shown mercy when they surrender. Some frightful portions of the Bible, by contrast, go much further in ordering the total extermination of enemies, of whole families and races  – of men, women, and children, and even their livestock, with no quarter granted. One cherished psalm (137) begins with the lovely line, “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept”; it ends by blessing anyone who would seize Babylon’s infants and smash their skulls against the rocks.

To say that terrorists can find religious texts to justify their acts does not mean that their violence actually grows from those scriptural roots. Indeed, such an assumption itself is based on the crude fundamentalist formulation that everything in a given religion must somehow be authorized in scripture. The difference between the Bible and the Koran is not that one book teaches love while the other proclaims warfare and terrorism, rather it is a matter of how the works are read. Yes, the Koran has been ransacked to supply texts authorizing murder, but so has the Bible

If Christians or Jews want to point to violent parts of the Koran and suggest that those elements taint the whole religion, they open themselves to the obvious question: what about their own faiths? If the founding text shapes the whole religion, then Judaism and Christianity deserve the utmost condemnation as religions of savagery. Of course, they are no such thing; nor is Islam.

But the implications run still deeper. All faiths contain within them some elements that are considered disturbing or unacceptable to modern eyes; all must confront the problem of absorbing and reconciling those troubling texts or doctrines. In some cases, religions evolve to the point where the ugly texts so fade into obscurity that ordinary believers scarcely acknowledge their existence, or at least deny them the slightest authority in the modern world. In other cases, the troubling words remain dormant, but can return to life in conditions of extreme stress and conflict. Texts, like people, can live or die. This whole process of forgetting and remembering, of growing beyond the harsh words found in a text, is one of the critical questions that all religions must learn to address.

Faithful Muslims believe that the Koran is the inspired word of God, delivered verbatim through the prophet Mohammed. Non-Muslims, of course, see the text as the work of human hands, whether of Mohammed himself or of schools of his early followers. But whichever view we take, the Koran as it stands claims to speak in God’s voice. That is one of the great differences between the Bible and the Koran. Even for dedicated fundamentalists, inspired Bible passages come through the pen of a venerated historical individual, whether it’s the Prophet Isaiah or the Apostle Paul, and that leaves open some chance of blaming embarrassing views on that person’s own prejudices. The Koran gives no such option: For believers, every word in the text  – however horrendous a passage may sound to modern ears  – came directly from God.

We don’t have to range too far to find passages that horrify. The Koran warns, “Those who make war against God and his apostle . . . shall be put to death or crucified” (Koran 5.33). Other passages are equally threatening, though they usually have to be wrenched out of context to achieve this effect. One text from Sura (Chapter) 47 begins “O true believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads.”

But in such matters, the Bible too has plenty of passages that read painfully today. Tales of war and assassination pervade the four books of Samuel and Kings, where it is hard to avoid verses justifying the destruction of God’s enemies. In a standard English translation of the Old Testament, the words “war” and “battle” each occur more than 300 times, not to mention all the bindings, beheadings, and rapes.

The richest harvest of gore comes from the books that tell the story of the Children of Israel after their escape from Egypt, as they take over their new land in Canaan. These events are foreshadowed in the book of Deuteronomy, in which God proclaims “I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh” (Deut. 32:42). We then turn to the full orgy of militarism, enslavement, and race war in the Books of Joshua and Judges. Moses himself reputedly authorized this campaign when he told his followers that, once they reached Canaan, they must annihilate all the peoples they find in the cities specially reserved for them (Deut. 20: 16-18).

Joshua, Moses’s successor, proves an apt pupil. When he conquers the city of Ai, God commands that he take away the livestock and the loot, while altogether exterminating the inhabitants, and he duly does this (Joshua 8). When he defeats and captures five kings, he murders his prisoners of war, either by hanging or crucifixion. (Joshua 10). Nor is there any suggestion that the Canaanites and their kin were targeted for destruction because they were uniquely evil or treacherous: They happened to be on the wrong land at the wrong time. And Joshua himself was by no means alone. In Judges again, other stories tell of the complete extermination of tribes with the deliberate goal of ending their genetic lines.

In modern times, we would call this genocide. If the forces of Joshua and his successor judges committed their acts in the modern world, then observers would not hesitate to speak of war crimes. They would draw comparisons with the notorious guerrilla armies of Uganda and the Congo, groups like the appalling Lord’s Resistance Army. By comparison, the Koranic rules of war were, by the standards of their time, quite civilized. Mohammed wanted to win over his enemies, not slaughter them.

Not only do the Israelites in the Bible commit repeated acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing, but they do so under direct divine command. According to the first book of Samuel, God orders King Saul to strike at the Amalekite people, killing every man, woman, and child, and even wiping out their livestock (1 Samuel 15:2-3). And it is this final detail that proves Saul’s undoing, as he keeps some of the animals, and thereby earns a scolding from the prophet Samuel. Fortunately, Saul repents, and symbolizes his regrets by dismembering the captured enemy king. Morality triumphs.

The Bible also alleges divine approval of racism and segregation. If you had to choose the single biblical story that most conspicuously outrages modern sentiment, it might well be the tale of Phinehas, a story that remains unknown to most Christian readers today (Numbers 25: 1-15). The story begins when the children of Israel are threatened by a plague. Phinehas, however, shrewdly identifies the cause of God’s anger: God is outraged at the fact that a Hebrew man has found a wife among the people of Midian, and through her has imported an alien religion. Phinehas slaughters the offending couple  – and, mollified, God ends the plague and blesses Phinehas and his descendants. Modern American racists love this passage. In 1990, Richard Kelly Hoskins used the story as the basis for his manifesto “Vigilantes of Christendom.” Hoskins advocated the creation of a new order of militant white supremacists, the Phineas Priesthood, and since then a number of groups have assumed this title, claiming Phinehas as the justification for terrorist attacks on mixed-race couples and abortion clinics.

Modern Christians who believe the Bible offers only a message of love and forgiveness are usually thinking only of the New Testament. Certainly, the New Testament contains far fewer injunctions to kill or segregate. Yet it has its own troublesome passages, especially when the Gospel of John expresses such hostility to the Ioudaioi, a Greek word that usually translates as “Jews.” Ioudaioi plan to stone Jesus, they plot to kill him; in turn, Jesus calls them liars, children of the Devil.

Various authorities approach the word differently: I might prefer, for instance, to interpret it as “followers of the oppressive Judean religious elite,” Or perhaps “Judeans.” But in practice, any reputable translation has to use the simple and familiar word, “Jew,” so that we read about the disciples hiding out after the Crucifixion, huddled in a room that is locked “for fear of the Jews.” So harsh do these words sound to post-Holocaust ears that some churches exclude them from public reading.

Commands to kill, to commit ethnic cleansing, to institutionalize segregation, to hate and fear other races and religions . . . all are in the Bible, and occur with a far greater frequency than in the Koran. At every stage, we can argue what the passages in question mean, and certainly whether they should have any relevance for later ages. But the fact remains that the words are there, and their inclusion in the scripture means that they are, literally, canonized, no less than in the Muslim scripture.

Whether they are used or not depends on wider social attitudes. When America entered the First World War, for instance, firebrand preachers drew heavily on Jesus’ warning that he came not to bring peace, but a sword. As it stands, that is not much of a text of terror, but if one is searching desperately for a weapon-related verse, it will serve to justify what people are going to do anyway

Interpretation is all, and that changes over time. Religions have their core values, their non-negotiable truths, but they also surround themselves with many stories not essential to the message. Any religion that exists over long eras absorbs many of the ideas and beliefs of the community in which it finds itself, and reflects those in its writings. Over time, thinkers and theologians reject or underplay those doctrines and texts that contradict the underlying principles of the faith as it develops. However strong the textual traditions justifying war and conflict, believers come instead to stress love and justice. Of course Muslim societies throughout history have engaged in jihad, in holy war, and have found textual warrant so to do. But over time, other potent strains in the religion moved away from literal warfare. However strong the calls to jihad, struggle, in Islamic thought, the hugely influential Sufi orders taught that the real struggle was the inner battle to control one’s sinful human instincts, and this mattered vastly more than any pathetic clash of swords and spears. The Greater Jihad is one fought in the soul.

Often, such reforming thinkers are so successful that the troublesome words fade utterly from popular consciousness, even among believers who think of themselves as true fundamentalists. Most Christian and Jewish believers, even those who are moderately literate in scriptural terms, read their own texts extraordinarily selectively. How many Christian preachers would today find spiritual sustenance in Joshua’s massacres? How many American Christians know that the New Testament demands that women cover their hair, at least in church settings, and that Paul’s Epistles include more detailed rules on the subject than anything written in the Koran? This kind of holy amnesia is a basic component of religious development. It does not imply rejecting scriptures, but rather reading them in the total context of the religion as it progresses through history.

Alternatively, one can choose to deny that historical experience, and seize on any available word or verse that authorizes the violence that is already taking place  – but once someone has decided to do that, it scarcely matters what the text actually says.

Philip Jenkins teaches at Penn State University. He is the author of “The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia — and How It Died.”

 

PAYPAL :- we value your ongoing support and generous donations that assist the production of this site.

Preview Image

Join us on Facebook in discussion:- Facebook's Profile Photo
https://www.facebook.com/groups/377012949129789/

https://www.youtube.com/user/theageofblasphemy


Fake Satanic Muslim Apocalypse Averted | Will Catholic Fascist Geert Wilders Now Save The World From The Jewish Antichrist?!

Hate Peddler Geert Wilders’ Hate: No Longer Limited To Muslims

Via:- Ilisha

Catholic Fascist Geert Wilders Tickling His Brain?

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders is notorious for his hatred of Islam.

He has compared the Qur’an to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kamf, referred to the Prophet Muhammad as “the devil,” and warned of a “tsunami of Islamization” in Europe. His Party for Freedom (PVV) rose to third-place status by capitalizing on economic crisis and social anxiety by scapegoating Muslim immigrants, who he has likened to Nazis.

The shock value has worn off, and support for his political party is waning.

So what’s a hatemonger to do?

Wilders has declared a new enemy: Central and Eastern Europeans.  His far-right Freedom Party has captured headlines by launching a website where visitors can lodge complaints about fellow Europeans working in the Netherlands:

Reporting Central and Eastern Europeans

Since May 1, 2007 there is free movement of workers between the Netherlands and eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. At present the estimates to the number of people from these countries, which resides in the Netherlands, apart from 200,000 to 350,000 people. As one of the few parties, the Freedom Party from the beginning against the opening of the labor market to Poland and other CEE nationals. Given all the problems associated with the massive arrival of especially Poland, is that attitude materialized. Recently, the PVV whatsoever against further opening of the labor market for Romanians and Bulgarians voted.

This massive labor migration leads to many problems, nuisance, pollution, displacement and integration in the labor and housing problems. For many people, these things a serious problem. Complaints are often not reported, because the idea that nothing is done.

Do you have trouble of CEE nationals? Or have you lost your job on a Pole, Bulgarian, Romanian or other Central or Eastern European? We would like to hear. The Freedom Party has a platform on this website to your symptoms to report. These complaints, we will identify and offer the results to the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment.

What’s this got to do with Muslims?

The move clearly demonstrates what we’ve always known.  Wilders is an opportunist and a hardcore bigot.

In the current climate, Islamophobia has been normalized to some degree, but the more hatemongers expose their ties to racism, xenophobia, and antisemitism, the more likely they are to  be relegated to the fringe by mainstream society.

Wilders’ antics have already sparked a firestorm of protest, and ambassadors from ten central and east European countries have complained. In response, the European Parliament has scheduled a debate on the topic next month.

Wilders boasted the site already had 40,000 responses and  dismissed the controversy telling reporters:

My reaction to the ambassadors is: Mind your own business. This has nothing to do with your country. We are a sovereign country, we are a democratic political party and we voice the concerns of many Dutchmen.

Opening a new front will undoubtedly dilute Wilders’ campaign to vilify Islam as a “unique threat” to Europe, and may further tarnish the country’s international reputation.  Whether the stunt will ultimately boost his popularity or exhaust Dutch tolerance for his peculiar brand far-right fear mongering remains to be seen.


Strange bedfellows: new nexus between Israel and far Right

My fol­low­ing essay ap­pears in today’s Crikey:

Amid the acres of com­men­tary on the ex­change of IDF sol­dier Gilad Shalit and more than a thou­sand Pales­tin­ian pris­on­ers, one com­ment stands out: “Let the WORLD know about Is­rael’s hu­man­ity and the ter­ror­ists’ in­hu­man­ity — SHARE this one with EVERY­ONE you know, friends!” What makes it note­wor­thy is that it fea­tured on the “Geert Wilders In­ter­na­tional Free­dom Al­li­nace” Face­book page, where sup­port­ers of the far-Right Dutch politi­cian gather, one of many mes­sages of fa­nat­i­cal pro-Is­raeli com­men­tary.

The grow­ing ap­peal of Is­rael to the world’s right-wing com­mu­nity has been de­vel­op­ing for some years. Nev­er­the­less, some ex­am­ples are eye-pop­ping. In July 2011, a Russ­ian neo-Nazi del­e­ga­tion trav­elled to Is­rael, after an in­vi­ta­tion by far Right Is­raeli politi­cians and an ed­i­tor of a pro-set­tler news ser­vice. The Holo­caust de­niers vis­ited Is­rael’s Holo­caust cen­tre, Yad Vashem, de­spite being pho­tographed pre­vi­ously giv­ing Nazi salutes and pub­lish­ing songs cel­e­brat­ing Adolf Hitler on their web­site.

The pair was in­ter­viewed on Is­raeli TV. One said that the idea of the Jew­ish state “ex­cites me” be­cause it in­volves “an an­cient peo­ple who took upon it­self a pi­o­neer pro­ject to re­vive a mod­ern state and na­tion”. The TV jour­nal­ist then asked how a neo-Nazi could now em­brace Zion­ism. The other Russ­ian quickly re­sponded by ex­plain­ing the com­mon enemy they both faced: “We’re talk­ing about rad­i­cal Islam which is the enemy of hu­man­ity, enemy of democ­racy, enemy of progress and of any sane so­ci­ety.” In De­cem­ber 2010 a much larger del­e­ga­tion of Eu­ro­pean far Right politi­cians, in­clud­ing a Bel­gian politi­cian with clear ties to SS vet­er­ans and a Swedish politi­cian with con­nec­tions to the coun­try’s fas­cist past, also paid their re­spects at Yad Vashem. They were wel­comed by some mem­bers of the Is­raeli Knes­set and agreed to sign a “Jerusalem De­c­la­ra­tion”, guar­an­tee­ing Is­rael’s right to de­fend it­self against ter­ror. “We stand at the van­guard in the fight for the West­ern, de­mo­c­ra­tic com­mu­nity” against the “to­tal­i­tar­ian threat” of “fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam”, read the doc­u­ment.

The sig­na­to­ries were some of Eu­rope’s most suc­cess­ful anti-im­mi­gra­tion politi­cians who long ago re­alised that back­ing Is­rael was a clever way to guar­an­tee re­spectabil­ity for a cause that risked being framed as ex­trem­ist or racist. One Is­raeli politi­cian who met the del­e­ga­tion, Nis­sim Zeev, a mem­ber of ul­tra-Or­tho­dox, right-wing party Shas, em­braced the group: “At the end of the day, what’s im­por­tant is their at­ti­tude, the fact they re­ally love Is­rael.”

Yes­ter­day’s anti-Semi­tes have re­formed them­selves as today’s cru­sad­ing he­roes against an un­stop­pable Mus­lim birth-rate on a con­ti­nent that now sees Islam as an in­tol­er­ant and ghet­toised re­li­gion. These in­creas­ingly main­stream at­ti­tudes have mar­i­nated across Eu­rope for at least a decade — most starkly ex­pressed in the writ­ings of the Nor­way killer An­ders Breivik, who slaugh­tered nearly 70 young left-wingers on Utøya is­land in late July this year.

Breivik’s in­ter­est in Is­rael wasn’t an ac­ci­den­tal quirk of his Google search terms. It was re­flec­tive of years of in­doc­tri­na­tion from that fate­ful Sep­tem­ber day in 2001 on­wards. None of Breivik’s right-wing he­roes openly praised his killings — po­lit­i­cally speak­ing, half-hearted con­dem­na­tions were the order of the day — be­cause their vi­sion of open war with Islam was ar­guably even more clin­i­cal. They cheered as Amer­ica and Is­rael used the vast power of the state to at­tack, bomb, drone, kid­nap, tor­ture and mur­der lit­er­ally count­less Mus­lim vic­tims in the past decade in Pak­istan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pales­tine, So­ma­lia and be­yond.

Breivik’s ad­mired this Is­raeli “can-do” at­ti­tude but equally dis­missed left-wing Jews who sup­ported Pales­tin­ian rights. “Were the ma­jor­ity of the Ger­man and Eu­ro­pean Jews [in ’30s Eu­rope] dis­loyal?” he asked in his “2083” man­i­festo. He went on:

“Yes, at least the so-called lib­eral Jews, sim­i­lar to the lib­eral Jews today that op­poses na­tion­al­ism/Zion­ism and sup­ports mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism. Jews that sup­port mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism today are as much of a threat to Is­rael and Zion­ism (Is­raeli na­tion­al­ism) as they are to us. So let us fight to­gether with Is­rael, with our Zion­ist broth­ers against all anti-Zion­ists, against all cul­tural Marx­ists/mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ists. Con­ser­v­a­tive Jews were loyal to Eu­rope and should have been re­warded. In­stead, [Hitler] just tar­geted them all.” (p 1167)

Breivik mir­rored the fa­mil­iar sep­a­ra­tion of “good Jews” and “bad Jews” that ap­pear in West­ern di­a­logue over the Is­rael/Pales­tine con­flict. The na­tion­al­is­tic, Arab-hat­ing Jew who be­lieves in the never-end­ing oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tin­ian land is praise-wor­thy but the ques­tion­ing, anti-Zion­ist Jew is a threat that must be elim­i­nated. The com­men­ta­tors, jour­nal­ists and politi­cians who re­ceive main­stream ac­cep­tance and ap­pear reg­u­larly in our media such as Daniel Pipes, who calls for the bomb­ing of Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, are wel­comed into the club of pop­u­lar Is­lam­o­phobes be­cause they speak the lan­guage of dom­i­na­tion and vi­o­lence re­flected in our media and po­lit­i­cal dis­course on a daily basis.

My enemy’s enemy is my friend

Breivik’s con­vic­tion that he was a friend of Zion­ism cre­ated a moral chal­lenge for many of those he had quoted in his man­i­festo. It was not a chal­lenge many faced well. One of the more no­to­ri­ous, Amer­i­can blog­ger Pamela Geller, con­demned the killings as “hor­rific” but not so sub­tly in the same post re­minded read­ers that the young stu­dents who at­tended sum­mer camp at Utøya were ac­tu­ally wit­ness­ing an “anti-Se­mitic in­doc­tri­na­tion train­ing cen­tre”. How? Nor­way’s For­eign Min­is­ter Jonas Gahr Store had vis­ited the camp and called for an end to the Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tin­ian land, ap­par­ently mak­ing him an anti-Semite by de­f­i­n­i­tion. Reg­u­lar Jerusalem Post colum­nist Barry Rubin sim­ply called the youth camp, “a pro-ter­ror­ist pro­gram”.

Geller was fur­ther in­censed that he even called “Pales­tini­ans” Pales­tin­ian, be­cause for her and her fel­low trav­ellers the Pales­tini­ans aren’t a real peo­ple de­serv­ing rights or a home­land. “Utøya camp was not Is­lamist,” Geller as­sures us, “but it was some­thing not much more whole­some.” Thus Is­lam­o­pho­bia seam­lessly mor­phed into blind and racist Zion­ism.

In Aus­tralia like­wise, the Is­rael lobby skirted around this un­com­fort­able re­al­ity, both pub­licly re­pulsed by the mur­ders but they re­main on the record as ar­gu­ing for bound­aries on Mid­dle East de­bate. Oth­ers sim­ply de­nied that Breivik’s sym­pa­thises for right-wing Zion­ism was ir­rel­e­vant to un­der­stand­ing his crimes.

Of course this was ab­surd. Ex­ag­ger­at­ing a clash of civil­i­sa­tions has be­come the bread and but­ter of count­less key­board war­riors in the past decade, with ever-more bru­tal Is­rael placed at the fore­front of this strug­gle. De­mon­is­ing Mus­lims and call­ing for their death on a reg­u­lar basis has con­se­quences. Mus­lims re­plac­ing Jews as the sup­posed enemy aim­ing for world dom­i­na­tion will come with a price.

Is­raelophilia in the ser­vice of Is­lam­o­pho­bia

The mes­sage em­a­nat­ing from the Zion­ist crowd was at times con­flicted yet clear; Breivik could be for­given for think­ing that Is­rael was striv­ing for racial per­fec­tion. The Jerusalem Post pro­vided clar­i­fi­ca­tion after the at­tack in a star­tling ed­i­to­r­ial. It claimed mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism had failed in Eu­rope, Mus­lims were a threat to so­ci­etal har­mony and clearly im­plied that an eth­noc­racy, such as Is­rael, was the ideal global model:

“While there is ab­solutely no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the sort of heinous act per­pe­trated this week­end in Nor­way, dis­con­tent with mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism’s fail­ure must not be dele­git­i­ma­tised or mis­tak­enly por­trayed as an opin­ion held by only the most ex­trem­ist el­e­ments of the Right.”

The Post seemed to de­fend the mind­set, if not the ac­tions, ex­pressed by Breivik, as a com­mon and un­der­stand­able at­ti­tude of sim­ply want­ing to “pro­tect unique Eu­ro­pean cul­ture and val­ues”. These val­ues did not in­clude Islam or being proud of a racially di­verse land. (A week later, the paper is­sued an apol­ogy ed­i­to­r­ial after a mas­sive back­lash against its po­si­tion. Be­lat­edly, the ed­i­to­r­ial noted that “Jews, Mus­lims and Chris­tians in Is­rael and around the world should be stand­ing to­gether against such hate crimes”.)

An­ders Breivik’s real mo­ti­va­tions may never be fully un­der­stood but his love for Is­rael didn’t ap­pear out of the blue. It was be­cause Zion­ism and its clos­est fol­low­ers have cul­ti­vated an image of a coun­try that can only sur­vive with­out in­te­gra­tion, peace with its Arab neigh­bours or an end to the oc­cu­pa­tion. Racial dom­i­na­tion is the dream. Breivik took this call to a dev­as­tat­ing con­clu­sion and his man­i­festo makes clear that his sup­port for Is­rael is couched in the lan­guage of sur­vival against an un­for­giv­ing, in­tol­er­ant and high Mus­lim birth-rate world.

You can hear these views on any day of the week on Face­book, on Twit­ter — and in the Is­raeli Knes­set.

*This is an ex­tract from an essay in On Utøya: An­ders Breivik, right ter­ror, racism and Eu­rope, edited by Eliz­a­beth Humphrys, Guy Run­dle and Tad Ti­etze, an ebook to be pub­lished on Oc­to­ber 26. The book will be launched by Sen­a­tor Lee Rhi­an­non and Antony Loewen­stein , 6.30pm Wednes­day, Oc­to­ber 26 at the Nor­folk Hotel, Cleve­land Street in Surry Hills, Syd­ney.

via Strange bedfellows: new nexus between Israel and far Right — Antony Loewenstein.


Mother Jones magazine reports on an “incendiary Dutch journalist” named Joshua Livestro who is apparently working on Sarah Palin’s political action committee (emphasis mine):

Not surprisingly, Livestro’s views skew to the right. He helped to found the Edmund Burke Foundation, a right-wing Dutch think tank created to push back against progressive politics in the Netherlands. In one manifesto, citing the number of Muslims in the Netherlands, the foundation warned of ethnic conflict and said the country’s borders should be closed. In the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland, Livestro once wrote that the gruesome photos depicting detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib resembled little more than an out-of-control frat party; he complained that Abu Ghraib critics were “cry-babies” exaggerating the episode’s signficiance. On his blog, Livestro similarly quipped that the CIA’s torture techniques—with the exception of waterboarding—were milder than the hazing methods of fraternities.

Livestro founded the Edmund Burke Foundation along with a fellow Dutch journalist named Bart Jan Spruyt, who went on to advise the virulently Islamophobic Dutch politician Geert Wilders.  Spruyt accompanied Wilders on a trip to the United States in 2005, the purpose being for Wilders to publicize here “what is happening to his country because of the rise of radical Islam and why he is promoting a moratorium on non-western immigration.”  (Spruyt has now distanced himself from Wilders.)

It’s no surprise that Palin would be tied to an anti-Muslim Dutch writer.  Palin has stoked bigotry against Muslims herself, from referring to the president as Barack Hussein Obama to calling on “peaceful Muslims” to “refudiate” the “Ground Zero mosque” to defending Franklin Graham, who once called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.”  She’s also the hero of the Tea Party, a right-wing movement that’s no stranger to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Race and religion-baiting of President Obama and Muslims will be par for the course if/when Palin runs for president in 2012.


%d bloggers like this: