Posts Tagged ‘Racists’


“I don’t hope to reform angry bigots. Like the world that produced it, bigotry is complex.” (Getty Images)
Have you found yourself facing a lot of Islamophobic sentiment online these days? So has Helen Razer

By Helen Razer

 

Apparently, the world is headed at high speed to hell in a handcart stuffed with cash, fossil fuel and bombs. I have no notion what to do about this complex mess. I believe that anyone who says that they do know what to do about this complex mess is fairly deluded. I don’t think the answer is prayer, compassion or reason. And I certainly don’t believe the answer is despising Islam.

Despising Islam is currently a fairly popular hobby. It’s a bit like Pokémon GO for people who haven’t got the hang of their smartphones yet. Or, it’s part of a long tradition of falsely finding a single cause for all the bad stuff in the world.

At various times in western history, we have blamed Jews, women, the devil, indigenous peoples and everyone not in the west for things, like poverty, that are our own stupid fault.  Choose your victim, history. Gotta Catch Em All.

I don’t hope to reform angry bigots. Like the world that produced it, bigotry is complex. But, like the angry bigots, I too have moments of totally stupid simplicity. Every so often, I find myself arguing with angry bigots. I don’t do this with any hope of fixing angry bigots. I do it because making them feel bad feels good to me.

I too have moments of totally stupid simplicity. Every so often, I find myself arguing with angry bigots.

Yes. I know. This is not very noble. But, short of acquiring a PhD in international relations and political economy, redistributing all the world’s resources and wealth and convincing the UN it is a bunch of arse, that’s all I’ve got. Making myself feel better.

In an effort to make you feel better, I offer you an abstract of recent Facebook arguments with anti-Islam bigots. I will offer you a common argument, and then my response.

Oh. I should say that these are not intended for use by persons of the Islamic faith, who have had a lot of practice defending themselves. I do not presume to speak for Muslims. I am speaking only for shitty middle-aged white atheist ladies who enjoy being mean to idiots.

Islam makes women dress differently from men! Stop Islam!

Almost without exception, every society and culture and religion has different wardrobe conventions for women and men. Have you recently visited Australia? Just as an Australian man who dresses in a way that is perceived as too “effeminate” faces censure, a woman who fails to look sufficiently “feminine” will cop it.

Also, I am blocking you.

Islam has Sharia Law! The Quran is full of punishment!

Religious law is not peculiar to Islam. Have you heard of the canon law of the Catholic Church? Did you know about Judaism’s Halakha? Even those “non-violent” Jains Sam Harris told you about have codes, one of them being what we in the west would call suicide.

Look, fella. I believe in the usefulness of religious decree about as much as I believe you could find my clitoris with a torch and Google Maps. But, the thing is, people of all religions sometimes ask their clerics for rulings. Yes, it’s odd. No, unless it results in measurable harm to a person, it doesn’t harm your society or you.

The matter of religious law affecting state governance is, of course, another problem and, again, hardly peculiar to Islamic nations. And, the matter of extreme interpretation or misuse of religious texts is hardly just a Muslim thing, is it? Mussolini was pretty cosy with Mother Church. Just a few years back, Serbian priests blessed the forces that massacred and raped, whoops, Muslims. Like all institutions, and all texts, religion can get screwed up, especially in times of conflict.

Also, have you ever spent any time at all with the Old Testament? Swearing at your parents is a crime that demands your death (Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9). So too, for men, not being circumcised (Genesis 17:14), having sex with a menstruating lady (Leviticus 20:18) or with another bloke (Leviticus 20:13).  Oddly, beating the life out of one of your slaves gets a free pass.

Also, I am blocking you.

Muslims Bomb People! Including Children!

The targeted death of all persons, especially children and civilians, is abhorrent. Again, this is not a Muslim specialty. We will never know the number of non-combatants killed by drone strike. We may never know the civilian toll of the Iraq war and the cruel sanctions that preceded it.

What we do know, especially following the Chilcot Report, is that the ongoing conflict between apparently Muslim forces and apparently democratic ones is often irrational, always horrific and very difficult to get one’s head around, as the best minds in foreign policy will tell you.

But, you know. You go Glen Coco. Blame The Muslims.

Also, I am blocking you.

Why Can’t Muslim Middle Eastern States Be More Reasonable, Like That Nice Place, Israel, Which Never Brings Religion Into Anything?

You mean, the same Israel that just appointed as the chief morale-booster to its defence forces a guy that says it’s technically okay to rape Arab women during combat? Or, do you mean another Israel?

Here’s a link. Here’s another one. They are from Israeli press. You will find that many Israeli and Jewish people are just as disgusted with the appointments of persons like Rabbi Eyal Karim as Muslim people are with the self-appointment of douche-lords from Islamic State.

Which brings us to your next question, before I start blocking you,

Why Don’t Muslim People Ever Condemned the Actions of Others?

They do. All the time. Including the Australian Grand Mufti who said, after the Paris attacks last year, “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims … at this time of unspeakable horror”.

A Muslim could tattoo France’s tricoleur one on cheek, “sorry” on the other and all the Quranic passages that counteract all the other Quranic passages which recommend battle. You’d not see it. Just like I’m no longer seeing you because YOU ARE BLOCKED.

Right. I figure these may save you some time. If you think any of the arguments are useful, don’t feel bad about cutting-and-pasting them from Helen. You will find that the bigots just cut-and-paste from the One Nation website—or, if they are a bit posh, the worst writing of Christopher Hitchens.

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(Obviously, low intelligence also fosters religion).

Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes

Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact
  1. Gordon Hodson and
  2. Michael A. Busseri

+ Author Affiliations


  1. Brock University
  1. Gordon Hodson, Department of Psychology, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Ave., St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1 E-mail: ghodson@brocku.ca

Abstract

Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology.

A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

Racism Iq


EDL Makes Link with Jewish Defence League in Canada
Posted on January 12, 2011 by Richard Bartholomew

News from Toronto:

Several protesters were arrested and a police officer sent to hospital with a broken rib after a protest against a right-wing British organization in Toronto Tuesday night.

The protest was sparked by a meeting to hear a webcast of a speech by the founder of the English Defence League… The meeting at the Zionist Centre was organized by the Jewish Defence League, to hear a live speech broadcast via the Internet, from English Defence League founder Stephen Lennon, who goes by the name Tommy Robinson.

An earlier report has some background:

Meir Weinstein, national director of JDL Canada, said he was visiting Israel when he met someone connected to Mr. Lennon. The two later got acquainted on the phone.

Back in 2009 I noted that the EDL-linked Casuals United website had included a prominent link to the Jewish Defense League in the USA – however, this was taken down shortly after I noticed it. Nachum Shifren, the California-based “Surfing Rabbi” who addressed the EDL in London in October, used to be JDL founder Meir Kahane’s driver, although he was “excommunicated” from the JDL in 2005 for supporting Pat Buchanan. Israeli flags have been prominently dispalyed at EDL events, both to counter accusations of neo-Nazism and as a sign of vicarious identification with the country and its conflicts.

Kahane, of course, is remembered as a belligerent extremist, and Kahanist groups have been associated with acts of violence. Weinstein, however, has tried to create an impression of distance – as was explained in a Canadian radio report in 2009:

Bernie McNamee: There’s another twist tonight in the George Galloway saga. The controversial British MP was refused entry to Canada because of his alleged support for the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Now it turns out the man claiming credit for tipping off immigration officials is Meir Weinstein. Galloway’s supporters say Weinstein himself was a spokesperson for a Jewish extremist group on Canada’s list of banned terrorist organizations. Our security correspondent Bill Gillespie has the story.

[Bill Gillespie] …In 1994 he was identified in a Canadian Press article as a spokesperson for the Kach Party, also known as Kahane Chai. A Kach member in Israel had just massacred more than 50 Palestinian worshippers. Weinstein refused to condemn the attack. He doesn’t deny making the statement but he denies ever being a member of Kach.

Meir Weinstein: I’ve never been a member of Kach or Kahane Chai.

According to reports from the time, Weinstein stated that “our organization does not condemn the attack. It condemns the Israeli government for not providing adequate protection for settlers.” Another JDL spokesman, Brett Stone, has since said that the massacre had been “preventive measure” that had “saved lives”.

Gillespie: Canada, the US, and the European Union later put Kach and Kahane Chai on their list of banned terrorist organizations. Weinstein denies any connection between Kach and his present group, the Jewish Defence League of Canada. But left-wing bloggers who support Galloway point out that the logos of both groups – a clenched fist in an embedded Star of David – are almost identical. Weinstein says Kach stole the logo from the JDL.

Meir Weinstein: Um, that’s the logo of the Jewish Defence League so they took it from the Jewish Defence League but again I don’t dictate to them what they’re going to do or anything like that.

Gillespie: But bloggers also discovered a link on Weinstein’s Facebook page to a chat group called “Death to Arabs”. Weinstein says the link was sent to him in Hebrew and he added it not knowing what it said. He has since deleted it. But despite his best efforts he didn’t succeed in keeping Galloway from his speaking engagements in Canada.

This exchange has been transcribed a Canadian blogger named Firebrand, who adds some pertinent and mocking commentary:

Kach stole the JDL’s logo? Come on Meir, why not give the actual explanation which is that the JDL was founded in 1968 in New York by Meir Kahane who moved to Israel in 1971 where he founded the Kach Party a few years later…. As for there being no connection between Kach, Kahane Chai and the JDL – that’s just a bald-faced lie. Apart from having the same founder and leader in the person of Kahane, even after Kahane’s death his successor as JDL leader, Irv Rubin, raised funds for Kach/Kahane Chai and promoted the terrorist group.

…Weinstein has been an observant Jew, by his reckoning, since the late 1970s and even claims to have served in the Israeli military but he can’t read Hebrew? I have to give him credit though, this was somewhat more believable than Weinstein’s original explanation which was that the Iranians somehow planted the link on his page.

Meir Weinstein is also known under other names: he was born as Marvin Weinstein, and he has also used the names Meir Halevi and Meir HaLevi Weinstein; a 2002 posting on Kahane.org mentions “Meir HaLevy from the Kahane Movement in Toronto” as due to take part in an “Annual Kahane Memorial Dinner”. This website was run by Michael Guzovsky (numerous spelling variations), and was closed down in 2003 after Kahane Khai was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by US authorities; various court documents about this can been seen at Kahane Net. Guzovsky has featured on this blog previously: he later moved to the West Bank, and, as Yekutel Ben Yaacov, he enjoys friendly links with WorldNetDaily‘s “Jerusalem correspondent” Aaron Klein (Klein’s whitewashing of the Israeli far-right is notorious).

Firebrand also draws attention to a blog called BigCityLib, which tells us that the JDL’s recent EDL event was also supported by a group called Canadian Hindu Advocacy; the group’s director, Ron Banerjee, is an enthusiast both of Israel and of the BJP, and he and Weinstein appear to be long-standing allies. According to Banerjee:

…the Hindu pro-Zionist movement includes the main opposition political party (BJP) and affiliated social service organizations (VHP, RSS) with an estimated 50 million members. This constitutes the world’s largest concentrated block of Zionist support on the planet.


Via Ran HaCohen, December 20, 2010

As part of Israel’s orgy of racism and fascism since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed his far-Right coalition almost two years ago, dozens of Israeli racist rabbis (RR) have signed an edict forbidding Jews in “the Land of Israel” from selling or renting property to non-Jews (in other words: to Israeli Palestinians or Arabs). The RR base their decision primarily on the prominent medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides (1135-1204), who forbids selling houses and fields in the Land of Israel to “idolaters” (Mishne Torah, Hilkhot avodat kokhavim 10).

Did Maimonides, who lived and prospered in a tolerant Muslim world, consider Muslims idolaters? On the contrary. In one of his responses, he states, “The Ishmaelites [i.e., Muslims] are not idolaters at all.” Like almost everything in Jewish law, then, things are open to negotiation: Maimonides’ authority is negotiable, his interpretation of the Law is negotiable, and his own intention is negotiable too. The RR reflect their own racism rather than some indisputable, inherent Jewish racism.

The Orthodox Fault

It was the Zionist Orthodox intellectual Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903-1994) who urged the Israeli rabbinical establishment not only to emancipate itself from the state (the RR are all state employees!), but also to undertake a fundamental reform in order to adapt Judaism to the unprecedented reality of a modern Jewish state. The rabbinical establishment ignored Leibowitz’s call. Present-day Jewish Orthodoxy, especially the Zionist Orthodoxy, is therefore entangled in a whole network of ludicrous inconsistencies and contradictions, deriving from the fact that the Halakhah, the Jewish law, was conceived and developed in exile, when Jewish national independence – let alone a modern state – was at best a Messianic fantasy.

Jewish Orthodoxy has failed to cope with the fact that the Jews in Israel are no longer a minority but an sovereign majority. Many of the racist facets of Judaism are traceable to this unaccounted-for shift. A majority in a modern state has very different moral rights and duties than a small religious community in exile.

The leading Ultra-Orthodox Israeli rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv has poked fun at the Zionist RR by reminding that they are the ones who support the disputed circumvention of the biblical order to give the land a Sabbatical and to avoid cultivating it every seventh year. The controversial circumvention of this biblical order consists of selling the land to a non-Jew for the duration of the seventh year – in clear contradiction to the racist edict. The RR are not only racists – they are also hypocrites; their political commitment to chauvinistic racism is deeper than their religious integrity.

If the RR insist on treating Arabs in Israel as “idolaters,” why don’t they remind us of the rest of Maimonides’ words? In the same chapter, Maimonides forbids doing anything to actively save an idolater’s life: If an idolater is drowning, a Jew should not pull him out; if an idolater is dying, a Jew should not save his life; and a Jewish doctor should not even cure an idolatrous patient unless he is forced to.

On the other hand, in the same chapter Maimonides states that all these regulations apply only when Jews are in exile or when the idolaters are superior. What if the Jews have the upper hand? Then the Biblical command (Deuteronomy 7) should be followed in full: “When, however, Israel is in power over them, it is forbidden for us to allow an idolater among us. Even a temporary resident or a merchant who travels from place to place should not be allowed to pass through our land” – unless he accepts the Seven Laws of Noah, in which case he becomes a resident alien, a category that enjoys almost all the rights of a Jew. There can be little doubt that the Muslims obey the Seven Laws of Noah, and therefore…

The RR conceal all these considerations. They conceal the disputed validity of the racist regulations because they are adamant racists themselves. They conceal the worst racist regulations because they fear many of their followers would not go so far. At least not yet. At least not in public.

And they know their followers. Their urge not to rent or sell property to Arabs is supported by 55 percent of Israeli Jews, if a recent YNet poll (Hebrew) is to be trusted, including by a big minority of 41 percent of the non-religious Jews, and by 88 percent of Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews. I challenge the Alan Dershowitzes of this world to find another country, Western or otherwise, in which a majority objects to selling land to an ethnic minority of fellow-citizens. 

The Secular Zionist Fault

The most vociferous among the RR is Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed. Not coincidentally, it is in his hometown where Arab students are regularly harassed and intimidated, their property is vandalized, and Jews renting flats to them are terrorized.

In a Hebrew column, the racist rabbi smears almost everybody: the “leftists,” the “environmentalists,” the “Arabs,” the court, the state – they all conspire against the true word of God, on which he and his followers have a monopoly.

But one of the RR’s targets is worth special attention: there’s nothing illegal about forbidding land sales to Arabs, says Eliyahu, because the Jewish National Fund has been doing the same for decades, and under the state’s auspices.

Here the racist rabbi hits the nail on the head. Indeed, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) owns 13 percent of Israel’s lands and explicitly allots them to Jews only. The Fund was created long before the state of Israel, collecting money in order to purchase land for Jewish settlements in Palestine. It’s a major player in Zionist consciousness all over the world; in former decades, no Zionist classroom all over the Jewish world was free of its  famous Blue Box for donations. This colonialist institution has been kept alive even after the state of Israel was established. Again, a sovereign state has very different moral rights and duties than a pre-state colonialist movement. But Israel is holding the stick in both ends.

The JNF’s discriminatory policy has been in place for decades and is now under consideration by Israel’s Supreme Court. Even last year, however, Israel signed a massive land-swap with the JNF, in which the JNF gives the state lands in the populated center of Israel, and gets in return mostly uninhabited lands in the north and the south – so that it can stop Arabs from settling them. The state of Israel uses the JNF as a subcontractor in order to bypass the principle of equality and to discriminate against non-Jews in their access to free lands – or, more often, to lands already inhabited by Arabs that Israel is determined to expel.

The JNF is the major dispossessor of the Bedouins in Israel’s southern areas: it is planting trees on thousands of acres of land containing Bedouin villages, in order to ethnically cleanse the area of any non-Jewish presence. The JNF is also behind the destruction of al-Arakib, a Bedouin village which has been destroyed at least seven times in the past months by JNF bulldozers.

When President Shimon Peres, then, and other Zionist politicians condemn the RR, their condemnation should be taken with a huge grain of salt. It has always been the Israeli policy – left-wing and right-wing governments alike – not to sell or hire lands to Arabs, a complementary measure to the massive confiscation of Arab-owned lands. Orthodox Judaism has failed to accommodate to the Jewish majority status; Zionism has refused to come to terms with its pre-state colonialist roots, even within “smaller Israel” (let alone the Occupied Territories). The racist rabbis may be less eloquent than, say, Shimon Peres, but both Peres and the rabbis are part and parcel of a much deeper Israeli ethos of ethnic discrimination. In fact, the victims of Israel’s relentlessly discriminatory policy are by far more numerous than those of the shameful rabbinical edict.

Read more by Ran HaCohen


Apology follows settlement in which magazine and contributor Melanie Phillips agreed to pay Mohammad Sawalha compensation and his legal costs

  • Josh Halliday
  • guardian.co.uk, Thursday 25 November 2010 16.45 GMT
  • Melanie Phillips
    Melanie Phillips, journalist and political commentator.
    Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

    The Spectator and contributor Melanie Phillips today published an online apology to a prominent British Muslim they falsely accused of antisemitism.

    Today’s apology, published on the Spectator website, follows an out of court settlement in which the magazine and Phillips agreed to pay Mohammad Sawalha “substantial” compensation and his legal costs.

    Sawalha, president of the British Muslim Initiative, took legal action over a blog post by Phillips published in July 2008 in which she accused him of calling British Jews “evil/noxious”.

    The apology stated: “On 2 July 2008 we published an article entitled ‘Just look what came crawling out’ which alleged that at a protest at the celebration in London of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, Mohammad Sawalha had referred to Jews in Britian as ‘evil/noxious’.

    “We now accept that Mr Sawalha made no such antisemitic statement and that the article was based on a mistranslation elsewhere of an earlier report. We and Melanie Phillips apologise for the error.”

    Solicitors acting for Sawalha said he was “delighted” to be cleared of the false allegation.

    Sawalha, a long-time campaigner for community cohesion in Britain, took the dispute to the high court after the Spectator initially refused to correct Phillips blog post, which alleged that he had referred to Jews in Britain as “evil/noxious” at a protest in London of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel.

    Instead, the Spectator published a second story by Phillips, titled “Taking the airbrush to evil”, repeating the false allegation and casting doubt on the suggestion that the “evil/noxious” quote was the result of a mistranslation of the transcript of an interview.

    They continued to defend the claim even after an independent expert commissioned by both sides had confirmed that the phrase in the original transcript could not be translated as referring to Jews as “evil/noxious”, before finally settling shortly before the case was due in court.

    In October, the Spectator paid substantial damages and legal costs to the campaign group IslamExpo, of which Sawalha is a director, for an article it also published in July 2008. Matthew d’Ancona was editor at the time, replaced by Fraser Nelson in August last year.

    The article, written by Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard, called IslamExpo a racist, fascist and genocidal organisation.


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