Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meet the New Keysar Trad

Paul Sheehan's article in the SMH provoked a furious response From Mohamad Abdalla, the Head of the Griffith Islamic Research Unit.
Paul Sheehan said on Monday there are ''more than 100 verses in the Koran that call Muslims to violence against the Unbelievers''.
Relying on the dubious website Thereligionofpeace.com, he concludes that ''the Koran groans under the weight of its own contradictions, with entreaties to kindness co-existing with exhortations to merciless war''. It is questionable whether such an opinion is a result of a direct insight into Islam - or based merely on an old prejudice against Islam: that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant of others.
Wherever could someone get that idea? Then the old "out of context" argument.
Critics of Islam often quote out of context the Koran's more aggressive passages, arguing these could easily inspire and endorse terrorism.
This reminds me of the time we were told there was a difference between "rape" and, you know, "rape rape". It's all in the context, see?
They ignore that the Jewish and Christian scriptures can be just as aggressive, taken out of their historical context.
If by historical context he means hundreds of years ago, perhaps. Pretty sure no London or Sydney Rabbis are calling for the murder of non-Jews. Nor can I recall the last time the Church of England beheaded someone. Context people...
For example, the Old Testament says: ''Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves'' (Numbers 31:17-18).
Get back to me when Fred Nile is stoning rape victims to death.
Crusaders used them against Muslims and Jews. Nazis used them against Jews. Serbian Christians used them against Bosnian Muslims. Zionists use them regularly against Palestinians.
Ahh "Zionists". Apparently they are "regularly" citing the Bible when they behead and suicide bomb Palestinians. No, wait.
I'm pretty sure no eighteen year old Israeli Defence Force conscript chases terrorists because of something he read in the Bible. I'd say it's more to do with the fact he's being shot and or on the receiving end of rocket-fire.
The display of violence and killing of innocent people are indicative of a radical, and indeed extremist, mindset that is fundamentally opposite to the teachings of Islam.
Except for those bits where it wasn't. Mohammed wasn't a "turn the other cheek" sort of prophet.
A more objective and scholarly reading of the causes of terrorism would inform us of a host of causal factors, including radical ideology; empathy and association with radicals, socio-economic factors, personal experiences, criminal activity, racism and Islamophobia.
Perhaps a less scholarly reading is in order. Socio-economic factors don't explain why wealthy Saudis smash planes into skyscrapers or why Yasser Arafat was worth billions. Poor bugger.
All of these factors play a role, one way or another, in the process of extremism and terrorism. The matter is thus complex, and it is culpably simplistic to attribute it to a single cause.
Fair enough. How about we blame on Islam and the weather then.
  Maybe I'm stupid, but could Mohamad Abdalla please explain to me the "proper textual and historical context" of a Muslim standing in broad daylight, his hands and a machete dripping with blood, reciting verses from the Koran? Perhaps I'm stupid and missed some subtle nuance.
The head of the Griffith Islamic Research Unit cites examples of Christianity and (because he couldn't help himself) Jewish violence from hundreds of years ago as a way of whitewashing Islamist violence today. I would suggest they turn some of their research towards a calendar and note what century this is.


Anonymous HRT said...

When Muslims quote a peace lovin' phrase from the Koran I assume it is also "out of context".

A balanced approach is only fair.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Lesbian Twin said...

Bill Maher had to deal with an idiot like this:

BRIAN LEVIN, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF HATE AND EXTREMISM AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN BERNADINO: Could I just interject? Look, it's not like people who are Muslim who do wacky things have a monopoly on it. We have hypocrites across faiths, Jewish, Christian who say they're out for God and end up doing not so nice things.

MAHER: You know what? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know what? That's, that’s liberal bullshit right there. I mean, yes, all faiths…

LEVIN: There are no Christian hypocrites?
MAHER: No, there are.

LEVIN: You make a career on that.

MAHER: They just, they're not as dangerous. I mean, there's only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. An ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing. Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about Christian versus Islam. So, you know, I’m just saying, let's keep it real.

LEVIN: Well, I guess I have a girl for you, Pam Geller you could maybe meet. No, I really disagree with you.

MAHER: I don't know what that means.

LEVIN: Well, she’s an Islamaphobe. But, no I…

MAHER: I’m not an Islamaphobe. That’s wrong. I am a truth lover. All religions are not alike. As many people have pointed out, “The Book of Mormon.” Did you see the show?

LEVIN: No, it's hard to get tickets.

MAHER: Okay, can you imagine if they did "The Book of Islam?" Could they do that? There’s only one religion that threatens violence and carries it out for things like that. Could they do “The Book of Islam” on Broadway?

LEVIN: Possibly so.

MAHER: Possibly so? Tell me what color the sky is in your world.

LEVIN: Here's my difficulty with your premise here, Bill, and that is look at how religions over history have had things done in their name that have been terrible.

MAHER: Absolutely. But we're not in history. We're in 2013.

LEVIN: But what I would tell you…

MAHER: You're right, during the Middle Ages, I would say Christianity was the bigger problem.

LEVIN: If I may, though. You are making an error in that Islam has over 1.4 billion adherents. There’s a heterogeneity to it. Are there extremists who are horrible people who would slit your throats? Yes. But there are also folks that are fine, upstanding people.

MAHER: Of course.

LEVIN: And I'm very worried you have a national audience where we're promoting Islamic hatred.

MAHER: No, you're wrong about that and you're wrong about your facts. Now, obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists, but ask most Muslim people in the world, if you insult the prophet, do you have what's coming to you. It's more than just a fringe element.

The youtube video is well worth a look.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Another_Dan said...


Not sure if this is of any interest, but just finished listening to "Dialogue with Arab women: Building peace, achieving justice?" on our ABC:


Some of it is quite interesting and much quite tedious as the way with these things. This is the first I'd heard of this particular organisation, which seems to be receiving a fair bit of our tax dollars: http://www.ausarabwomensdialogue.org.au/sponsors/

The thing that stuck in my craw, was the representative from Lebanon (http://www.ausarabwomensdialogue.org.au/delegates/lebanon/) describes (in the first 30seconds of the video link above) her country as follows: "Lebanon is in the Middle East. We are on the Mediterranean. We are surrounded by Syria. By occupied Palestine." and that's it.

No acknowledgement at all that there might be another country to the south of Lebanon whose name starts with an "I" and ends in "L".

So much for building peace and achieving justice when the mere name of any counterpart to any kind of peace can't even be uttered. And this from a western educated Lebanese woman with who is a qualified Drama Therapist with graduate studies in Drama Therapy, 2006 - 2007, Kansas State University http://whoisshe.lau.edu.lb/expert-profile/zeina-daccache

Indeed all three women on this panel were western educated, which probably isn't the mainstream experience for women in the Arab world.

Anyway the session was moderated by none other than Stuart Rees of the Sydney Peace thingy, http://sydneypeacefoundation.org.au/events/dialogue-with-arab-women-building-peace-achieving-justice/ so no doubt he had no problem with the complete eradication of Israel from the border south of Lebanon.

Anyway, not sure what to do with this, but thought it might be of some interest to you.

Thanks for the good work.


12:33 PM  

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