Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Moderate Muslims speak

The following are excerpts from a MEMRI “Special Dispatch” No. 2239 entitled, “Arab Liberals: The Arab and Muslim World Condemns Human Rights Violations Only When Perpetrated by Non-Muslims”
In response to the sweeping condemnation in the Arab and Muslim world of Israel's actions in Gaza, and the calls to prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes, liberal Arab writers have accused the Arabs and Muslims of hypocrisy. The liberal website www.elaph.com has published two articles in this vein, by Egyptian liberal Kamal Ghobrial and by Kuwaiti liberal Fahker Al-Sultan. Both writers point out that the Arab and Muslim world is quick to express outrage over atrocities and human rights violations when Arabs or Muslims are victimized by non-Muslims, but turns a blind eye – or even condones the violations – when the victims are non-Muslims, or when Muslims prosecute their own brothers, as happened in Saddam's Iraq and is happening today in Darfur. The writers argue that this double standard stems from the problem of hatred for the other, and especially towards Jews.

Following are excerpts from the two articles:

"According To These Courageous Jihadists, Only [Muslim] Blood Is Valuable, While the Blood Of Others Is Basically Worthless And Can Be Spilled Without A Qualm;

"The Palestinians were victimized by the Zionist and American enemy… while the Darfurians were victimized by their own leader [who is a Sunni Muslim. It follows that the support for the Palestinian people] does not stem from love for the Palestinians… but from hatred for the other… for Zionists or Christians.

"If the perpetrator of massacres against Kurds and Shi'ites in Iraq, and later [of massacres] in Kuwait, i.e. Saddam Hussein… is [considered] our hero and a leader of the Arab nation, then we will [obviously] disregard his crimes, and wake up only when some [non-Muslim] comes along to rescue us from his brutal jaws…

"In fact... why are the Muslims and Arabs categorically interested in the fate of the Lebanese and Palestinians, but are not so intensely interested in the fate of other Arab and Muslim peoples, such as the Iraqis, Sudanese, Afghanis, Somalis and others, who have faced much more severe persecution, terrorism and military [violence]?...

“Why [do we witness] these populist Islamist attacks on the actions and policies of Israel and the U.S. – [who are accused of violating] the rights of the peoples, such as the Palestinians and the Lebanese – while at the same time there is conspicuous silence in the face of the inhuman atrocities and tortures carried on in almost all prisons in the Arab and Muslim countries?

"Why is it that offenses against the dignity of Arabs and Muslims are 'blatant and obvious' only when the 'perpetrator' is Israel? Why this racial discrimination in defending human rights? Why distinguish one enemy from the other when the results of the oppression are the same?

"This approach... finds in the struggle against Israel fertile grounds for promoting its totalitarian religious slogans that correspond to its ideology. It characterizes every crisis as a struggle between what is completely lacking in religious validity and what is absolute religious truth. According to shari'a, [this truth] must be defended even it this contravenes our national and social interests and comes at the cost of thousands of innocent lives.

"Hizbullah's abduction of the two Israeli soldiers in the summer of 2006, as well as Hamas' actions [in 2009, and its decision] to continue firing its wretched rockets [into Israel] – should they not be subjected to objective and comprehensive criticism?

What I find fascinating about these quotes is the fact that if an American Right Winger like myself had asked some of these quesions or had made some of these arguments, the American Left would condemn us as being bigoted Islamaphobes. So if the Ameican Left is not on the side of moderate Muslims like these authors, whose side are they on?

By the way, I applaud these Muslim writers for their courage.

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