Tag Archive: middle-east


Khaled Mashal is an Idiot


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I just saw a video of Khaled Mashal, the chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, in which he said something remarkably stupid. Either he’s a chronic gambler and has lost all sense of what he and his country has to lose, or he’s a moron. He said that the Israeli military ground troop buildup on the Israeli-Gaza border is a bluff! So, whenever you call a bluff, if you know anything about poker or common-sense, you have to consider what you have to gain and what you have to lose. What are Palestinians gaining by Khaled Mashal making this statement? Pride? That’s all I can see. What do the Palestinians have to lose? EVERYTHING. This is the worst gamble I’ve ever witnessed. Hopefully for Palestinians it is a bluff, but, I wouldn’t bet on it myself.

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Israel is not America. Israel’s history has shaped a highly aggressive national policy. While placing military communication towers on buildings housing members of the media might dissuade a country like America from performing a missile strike, this will not dissuade Israel (this happened just recently). Nor will hiding terrorists in that same building dissuade Israel from missile strikes either (this also just happened recently). While a critical lifeblood of America is world opinion, and the trade that flows from that, this is not Israel’s primary concern. Israel’s primary concern is protecting their territory militarily.  The highly immoral tricks that terrorists or immoral enemy combatants have used against the Americans very successfully (for example, planting military targets among or inside civilian targets, hiding behind innocent women while shooting, dressing suicide bombers in burkas, dressing soldiers in burkas, et cetera), will not work against the Israelis.

I am actually somewhat on the fence about the whole Palestinian-Israeli issue. What I am trying to demonstrate here is that the barbaric tactics used by terrorists and immoral military leaders in the past against America will only prove to be a useless tactic against Israel.


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On the advice of another blogger, musingsaudi, I looked into the beliefs of a Muslim scholar named Hamza Yusuf. I found one of his concepts interesting, which is mentioned in this video.

He describes the reactions of conquered peoples as divided into two groups: Herodianism and Zealotism.

Herodianism is the attempt to mimic the dominant civilization, as happened in Japan (he says post-world war situation — I’m not sure if he means World War I or II. I would argue that before America defeated Japan in WWII, Japan had already been copying the American style for some time, which in turn, lead to its ascendancy). I recently read “The West and the Rest” which delves deeply into this concept and it also uses Japan as the best modern example.

It seems to be Hamza Yusuf’s belief that this would be a bad thing for Islam. However, I suggest people read “The West and the Rest” because it outlines how every country which has taken on Western values has seen a steady rise in their GDPs, standards of living, rights of all its individuals, and so on. So, is Islam a peculiar case? I fail to see why this would be true.

Yusuf states that the problem with Herodianism is that the mimicry is never as good as the original and that it is always destined to failure (that’s a very close paraphrase… YouTube started buffering when I wanted to get a perfect paraphrase). I would ask, is it really fair to state that Japan failed? A relatively small island nation growing from the ashes of war — modern nuclear war — into a global power in less than a century is a failure? Regardless of Japan’s current slow economy, considering the fact that such a small country can out-compete larger countries such as China, Russia, and America in so many ways seems quite remarkable to me, not a failure. The same argument could be made for the so-called “Asian Tigers”.

I find it hard to believe when people come back at me with the argument that, “Economic prosperity and equal rights and things like this are only Western values.” Really? Tell that to a beggar in Karachi or a sweatshop worker in China or a farmer in Siberia or a slave laborer in a North Korean Gulag. The fact is, the term “Western values” is ridiculous. These are human values. They are valuable across cultures, religions and nations.

On the other hand, Hamza Yusuf’s view of Zealotism is positive because it preserves the original teaching of the Koran and the Hadith. In other words, Islamic Reform is something which is to be avoided. I will admit, my interpretation of Yusuf’s perspective in this paragraph may not be precise, and I welcome correction. If this is an accurate portrayal of his opinion, however, I believe that this kind of thinking will keep the Arab world in an economic and intellectual stagnation in comparison to the rest of the world.

In the end, the main question remains: Should Islam become more like the West? For the future of Arabic people, I vote with a strong, “Yes!”


Religion of Peace?

It seems that I keep running into people who, whenever a terrorist action such as a suicide bombing occurs, they want to attach, “but Islam is a religion of peace”  into the conversation — as if that makes it all acceptable.

Moreover, Islam is not a religion of peace. Neither is Christianity or Judaism.

But, the politically incorrect stance that Islam is NOT a religion of peace, and further, that it is the most violent major religion in existence today (emphasis on “today” because I know people are going to say “Oh the Crusades, or the Inquisition!” Yes, I know about these. At that time, Christianity was the most violent religion. I’m talking about today, however.)

People are quick to throw around terms like “racist” or “religious intolerance” when a statement like this is made. This just kills the conversation and prevents people from seeing the reality.

Let’s go through a few facts that demonstrate that Islam is not a religion of peace:

First, Mohammed was a warlord. He spread Islam by the sword. Muslim theologians will give excuses or reasons why these different wars were just wars and so on, but none of them deny that he waged wars on other people. Mohammed was not a figure like Jesus (and I have no love for Jesus).

Second, Islam provides many rewards for dying in battle. Almost everyone knows about the 72 virgins acquired after the death of a martyr. Again, theologians will try to say here that the word “virgin” that is translated from the Koran is not actually virgins but angels or something like that. This doesn’t matter for two reasons. Firstly, it’s still a reward for killing other people and dying in the name of Islam. Secondly, the young men who commit atrocities, such as suicide bombings, don’t talk to theologians, they talk to their elders or their imams who tell them that they will have 72 virgins to do with what they want.

In this way, suicide and violence against infidels is encouraged.

There are other reasons that Islam is not a religion of peace, but they are more debatable. The two points I have outlined here are basic tenets of Islam:  Mohammed was a wartime leader and killing and dying for Islam is rewarded. They are both violent. Saying otherwise would be comparable to saying George W. Bush was a president of peace.

Further, I don’t think it’s fair to use the nebulous speech of theologians to discuss topics like this because their focus is on obfuscation, not fact. We have to look at what the average Muslim or the average Christian believes to determine what their religion is all about. You may say that all the Muslims or Christians you meet are peaceful. That may be so. However, the media is what gives us a larger picture. The daily reports of suicide bombings tell us that there is a large number of very violent Muslims in existence today.

Lastly, I’ll say something surprising. I am not a peace-lover. I think violence is necessary in certain situations. Therefore, my life is not a life of peace! I admit this to myself and others.

The reason that I think Muslims and guilt-stricken liberals claim Islam is a religion of peace is because they know that it isn’t and they feel guilty about it.

I’m not guilty about the fact that I think violence is necessary sometimes. Islam needs to stop lying to itself and admit that it isn’t a religion of peace.

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