Sunday, August 17, 2003

Liberal, or Self-Loathing?
As an Arab Christian from a Muslim background, I have a clear perception of the society a religion produces. Muslim societies produce religious extremism and absolutism which often takes the form of "Kafir" disputes, terrorism or outright genocide. Judaism and Christianity produce far safer and productive societies and tolerate all beliefs under the rule of law. It is such a simple distinction I have trouble seeing where people disagree. But, do they really disagree or do liberals tacitly agree with the goals of Islamic terrorists?

Returning to the Road Map plan for Israel and palestinian Arabs, I found the usual attacks on President Bush and the Sharon administration throughout the literature of the left. Going further than most, Michael Lerner of Tikkun scoffs at the obvious and presents his own 7-point plan for instant harmonious living in Greater Palestine.

First, Lerner suggests Israel should abandon all west bank and Gaza settlements and withdraw to pre-1967 borders. Lerner knows this is a primary goal of the PLO's Phased Plan. Syria and Egypt have military contingency plans in place for the time when Israel is restored to pre-1967 borders. It is a prime opportunity for invasion. Both Bashir Assad and Hosni Mubarak have openly stated in the Arab press that the implementation of the Phased Plan will coincide with an invasion from Egypt and Syria finally destroying the "Zionist entity" once and for all. Lerner must know a return to previous borders is suicidal for the state of Israel. Is that why he supports the Phased Plan?

Second, Lerner suggests the establishment of a Palestinian state in the west bank and Gaza. This will include paying compensation for Arabs displaced from Israel between 1947-1967 and for Jews who must be displaced from the new "Palestine" and relocated in Israel. He suggests mandatory recognition of Israel's right to exist by surrounding Arab nations along with full normalization of relations. Water rights will be shared, all nations will fight extremism together and the "indoctrination of hatred" in educational systems will be eliminated.

Lerner must know how deep anti-Semitism runs in the Middle East. He cannot believe for a moment that a radicalized Islamic population will ever respond to peace gestures. Arafat and Abu Mazen both speak of the "peace of Saladin". This means peace until my enemies defenses are down. Israel will never stand down as long as Islam yearns for the annilation of the Jews. Israeli jets are always in the air, the armed forces are always on alert. Lerner knows the tenuous position Israel holds. How could he suggest steps to peace which he is convinced will not work?

Lerner, like many leftists is strongly pro-Arab. His religion is not Judaism, but liberalism. Liberalism and leftist thought always supports the enemies of free capitalist societies. What is astonishing to me, an Arab-Christian, is that a Jew such as Lerner could have his mind and soul so poisoned by liberalism that he actively becomes anti-Semitic. It is nothing short of hatred to wish indefensible borders on Israel, to pretend that Arab nations would ever recognize a Jewish state on what they consider Islamic land. Lerner even goes so far as to suggest that arrangements could be made so that Jews could live freely in Palestinian territory. What nonsense! Israeli Defense Forces can hardly stop the daily murder of Jews under their protection now! Lerner knows that most Islamic nations are free of Jews and will always be "judenrein" until Islam is gone. Islam is the religion of anti-Semitism. While there are maybe 5 Christians who believe Jews are Christ-killers and therefore anti-Semites, there are one billion Muslims who are admonished to "take neither the Jew nor the Christian as your friend". The Hadith of Islam teaches that Jews are the main enemy of Allah and will be annilated on the Last Day. Every day, hundreds of millions of Muslims are taught hatred of Jews, this is a fact. For Lerner and his fellow-travellers, it is anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli to pretend that this problem with Islam doesn't exist.

Israel must be cautious. First Oslo and now the Road Map. All projects along these lines are merely tactical ruses to delay the eventual termination of Islam as a religious-sociopolitical system. No serious thinker could ever support creating another dictatorial terrorist state in the Middle East. For those intent on trusting lifelong terrorists as 'partners in peace', the blood of dead Jews will be on your hands - as well as the continuing suffering of hostage Arab populations too frightened to escape either tyrannical regimes or Islam.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Road Map to More Terrorism
Al-Qaeda is a threat to world stability as was Saddam Hussein's Iraq. North Korea could initiate regional war with a possibility of nuclear strikes. Iran is working feverishly to develop an offensive nuclear capacity. Millions are slaughtered all over Africa with millions more starving to death as I write. With all the human misery and immediate threats drawing the attention of western leaders, why such an insistence on a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem? The US campaign in Iraq was only in the planning stages when influential liberal pundits were pressing for President Bush to "fix" the unsolvable problem in Israel. Either these leftists do not understand the problem, or they are anti-Semitic, there is no other option.

History proves that there never was a "Palestine" populated by "palestinian people" with a "palestinian culture". Jewish immigrants to Israel developed the infrastructure and agricultural industry which brought Arabs into the region looking for jobs and economic opportunity. Jews have a historic claim to the land called Palestine and are willing to co-exist with Arabs if this can be done peacefully. Yasser Arafat is an Egyptian terrorist who has been romanticized by leftists worldwide as another Che Guevara type figure - misunderstood, but caring for the downtrodden and powerless. Nevermind that he is a mass-murderer of Jews and Arabs. Arafat is Hitler without a large industrialized nation to lead.

The Arabs caught within the borders of Israel after the last major war refuse to assimilate into Israeli society. Nearby Arab countries will not allow them citizenship. In effect, the Arab nations have created the palestinian Arab ghettos of refugees by not allowing the population exchange that should have occurred after the 1973 war. Arab homes and property were not stolen by Jews or Israelis, but rather abandoned at the prompting of Arab governments previous to repeated invasions. Israel should be applauded for not deporting or killing it's Arab population. Given the same circumstances reversed, does any honest individual believe that isolated enclaves of Jewish refugees would last more than a few days in an Arab nation?

We know the history of the problem should guide our effort at resolution. Why then are the same absurd plans introduced as "resolutions" to the problem? Nobody believed the Oslo accords would improve matters; in fact, many European leftists knew Oslo would aggravate the problem and lead to possible UN involvement. Now there is a "Roadmap" which only guarantees more bloodshed.

I propose that anti-Semitism, the newly revived trendy thinking of liberals and leftists is growing rapidly. Supporting a "Palestinian" state is tantamount to voting to support another Holocaust. Students of Israeli history know that Arafat and his successors are pursuing a strategy in the larger effort to destroy Israel. It is clear that Israel cannot be invaded successfully unless it is reduced to it's pre-1967 borders. This means creating a contiguous nation of palestinian Arabs within the state of Israel. This is what leftists call "a Palestinian state", and dreamily proclaim that it will live side by side with Israel. In one respect, they are correct. The two nations would live side by side, in constant war. The new anti-Semites thrill at the leftist fantasy of a "revolutionary" leader such as Arafat leading the invasion of Arab armies to push the capitalist Israel into the sea. Nevermind that the world would lose an important democracy in the Middle East, "everybody hates Jews", so what does it matter? The Arabs have the oil, and they have suffered so much that they have to use terror. Just give in to it, then we can all be happy and live in peace.

Leftists aren't dreaming, they are working to create a nightmare. Proceed with the Road Map to Peace and a newly-created Palestine will press for common borders with it's Arab neighbors. When this is acheived, the world will sit back and watch as Palestine becomes the most heavily armed new nation the world has ever seen. Every child will have a Kalashnikov, huge Muslim armies will march on Jerusalem while the US and Europe insist on Israel's surrender. The cards are completely stacked against Israel.

Is there any solution to the problem? Of course, there always has been. Negotiations must take place for palestinian Arabs to obtain citizenship in other Arab-Muslim nations. The west bank and Gaza must be ceded completely to Israel and settled by Israelis. The final step is the most important: There must be an international effort on the part of all nations to reform Islam. Islam is very sick at this moment in history. Aside from devotion and prayer, the cornerstone of Islam in the Middle East is the killing of Jews and those that help them. This is more pressing than any other need. In the next ten years the problems in the Middle East are going to intensify. Millions more victims of Islamic pogroms will fall in Africa. East Asia will know increasing terrorism and Muslim attacks on innocents.

When will the Leftists and Socialists wake up? The problem with Islam does not fit into their Marxist view of the world. Islam believes and lives the creed that human beings must embrace Islam or die. Due to Wahabi influence, this dangerous version of Islam is on the ascendancy. It is this Islamic system of belief that is causing the vast majority of conflict in the world today. Just as it was with the communist system, the Islamic system cannot stand. It does not respect human rights or self-determination. It does not respect women as equals to men. How then can so many leftists pretend to be interested in social justice and have no conception of a life shackled by Islam?

I don't have the answers to my own questions. American and European foreign policy toward Arab countries is no excuse for the war Islam is waging against the West, yet multicultural fairness is no motivation for pushing Israel to dismember itself. Islam will only be a "good" social organization when it is divorced from governments and operating in it's most benign form. Until profound changes are made within Islam, it will be just another cancer on the world. Leftists cheering Muslim zealots as they continue to kill Jews can only be called anti-Semitism. That is the Roadmap to Peace for you, pro-Leftist, pro-Muslim extremism, denial of reality and a big dose of trendy Jew hating.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Regime Change in Saudi Arabia
The Saudis are now starting to realize the scope of al-Qaeda organization within the Kingdom. Today, the AP reports gunbattles with extremists, munitions and “sophisticated equipment” found among sleeper cells scattered throughout the nation by internal security forces, and ongoing operations against British and American interests. A Saudi official insisted the “militants” would be rooted out and most of all, the airports were secure. This despite the fact that sympathy for al-Qaeda runs so strongly in the Saudi Kingdom that a regime change is beginning to look like a strong possibility.

To understand what is happening in Saudi Arabia, one has to consider the faustian bargain taken by the House of Saud. Many years ago, the House of Saud agreed to “share” power with the Wahabi clerics. The Wahabis would receive complete financial support both in the Kingdom and for overseas missionary work, and be recognized as the keepers of “true Islam”. The House of Saud would retain political control of the nation as well as the petroleum trade. The relationship has steadily grown more difficult to maintain over time due to the increasing militancy of the clerics and the transparent corruption and decadency of the royals.

What do the Imams want? Well, that’s where it gets scary...

The clerics want what al-Qaeda wants. Al-Qaeda has as it’s primary interest the departure of all non-Muslims from the “sacred” ground of Saudi Arabia. This is the first goal. The second goal is the resumption of jihad, described by al-Qaeda as fighting for Allah, and fighting only with the sword. That means they won’t be ringing doorbells and passing out pamphets on Islam the Religion of Peace. Wahabi means many retrograde and backward things, the most dangerous is their definition of jihad: constant religious war. It is this constant struggle that is necessary for restoration of the Caliphate.

The world of Islam was headed for many years by a Caliph. This was the religious and political leader of all Islamic lands who held the office. The caliphate was ended almost 100 years ago when Turkey became a secular nation. The last caliph, Abdul-Majid the Second, was humiliated and exiled to Paris. Since this “humilation”, a growing number of devout Muslims have desired a return of a caliph who will restore the greatness of Islam. There is even a transnational organization called Hizb at-Tahrir which publishes tracts on reviving the caliphate. Supporters of this pseudo-messianic ideology call the movement “Liberation” which will supposedly restore a “base” for Islam to centralize and begin reasserting itself according to strict Quranic guidelines. It is the belief of many that Osama bin Laden is convinced he is the next caliph. Aside from naming his organization “the base” or al-Qaeda, which is clearly a claim to the authority of a caliph, bin Laden also named his Afganistan base “Khurasan” which is early Islamic name for Iran and associated with a critical historical battle to restore the true caliphate. Bin Laden has also been bold enough to claim to speak for all Muslims, repeating reminders of the loss of the Ottoman caliphate and his vision of restoring a unified Islamic nation uniting Muslims worldwide.
Can he do it? It’s possible if bin Laden is alive. The last news reports speculating on his whereabouts place him either dead in Afghanistan, hiding in Pakistan or moving around somewhere in Yemen. If he is alive, he means big trouble for Saudi authorities.

To understand the problem for the West and for the House of Saud, remember where bin Laden comes from. Bin Laden comes from a family with almost unlimited wealth. He spent his younger years pretending to be a westernized playboy in the nightclubs of Beirut. There is plenty of evidence to suggest he was never interested in Islam or religion in general. Bin Laden spent hundreds of nights drinking and whoring before finding himself an anachronism: yet another member of the Saudi royal idle rich.

Redemption came with his return to Islam. Returning to his roots and becoming radicalized in the years of fighting the Russians in Afghanistan, bin Laden began to believe himself the heir to the helm of Wahabi Islam. Always a very tough-talking militant, his seriousness encouraged many younger unemployed Saudis to take up arms with the steely-eyed adventurer. And recruits were there for the taking. The limited and inflexible arabian economy sent Saudi nationals overseas for education and jobs throughout the 1980s and 1990s in ever increasing numbers. The ones who stayed behind did not find success in the Kingdom. Bin Laden offerred adventure, the chance to fight and possibly earn paradise in a holy war to restore the "Golden Age" of Islam. Proselytising and recruiting was easy; the families of recruits supportive. The Wahabi clerics couldn’t contain their glee. Efforts to expand Muslim populations were intensified by Saudi money; Mosques rang with joy at the suggestion of a "reconquered Iberian peninsula". By 2001, the Caliph had initiated dozens of military attacks on western targets, cuminating with the spectacular attack on New York's Twin Towers.

The morning of 9/11 was presented to the world by a media doing everything in it's power to protect Islam. As huge numbers of Saudi males crowded around television screens at major Saudi universities, cheers and shouts of joy accompanied the usual cries of "Allahu Akbar". I have never witnessed so much joy and celebration. How Orwellian it was for official spokesmen to curtly condemn the attacks on international television and then return to spontaneous cheering as Americans jumped to their deaths to escape the burning towers. Westerners who wonder why are missing the point. In the service of Allah, the prophet or his caliph may do any evil to the unbelievers with pride. Muslims have no sympathy for burning children or crushed men and women. Remember your Quran: "You should not kill any man whom Allah forbids you to kill, except for a just cause". In the cause of serving Caliph bin Laden as he carries out the wishes of Allah, any evil done to the West is "a just cause".

This brings us back to the House of Saud. They are arresting al-Qaeda operatives as fast as they can find them. Bin Laden or his pretender hasn’t released a statement in months and it is entirely possible that he was killed in Afghanistan. The United States has a president that understand the danger. However, if bin Laden is alive and is supported in his rise to power by the Wahabi authorities, there is little that will prevent the fall of the House of Saud. A unified militant Islamic terrorist army with millions of sympathetic warriors ready to die to preserve the new Caliphate would mark the beginning of a Third World War. It is imperative that Islam remain a writhing headless beast. The restoration of the Caliphate can only bring death on a grand scale.

I'm not optimistic.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

What is the Quran?
The Quran is the holy book of Islam. It is largely a collection of cut and paste from previous religious books including Midrashic texts, the Torah, the Psalms, the Avesta of Zoroastrianism, and a good number of Arabian fairly tales. The Quran is truly just another Thousand and One Nights, i.e. complete fantasy. I understand that there are other fantastical books and religious legends. Muslims are the first to point to the "multiple" gods of Christianity. But what of the Hindu monkey-god Hanuman? Could this creation have any basis in reality? Point made.

My ultimate problem with Islam which caused me to leave the community was the uncertainty. There is certainly much more historical evidence for the Christian account of Jesus the Messiah. Buddhism offers truths and experience which can be directly experienced. Islam offered historical questions which cast serious doubt on the purity of the Quran. As a child I always had problems with Quranic teachings that the world was flat and the sun went down into a muddy lake. I knew from my father that the Jewish scriptures spoke of the round earth suspended in space. If the Quran was from the one and only God, why did it include primitive ideas about the earth? There were other difficulties. We aren't allowed to read the Christian gospels, only the book of Barnabas as it possibly predicts the coming of another prophet, yet I knew the story of Jesus and how he taught the people to obey the commandments and to always show love to others. In fact, it was the substitution of Jesus for the Judaic animal sacrifice that reached me emotionally. I felt so uplifted when I would think about following Jesus into Heaven - and this was before I understood the meaning of being a Christian. I only knew during those times that I didn't want to think about the story of Mohammed any longer. Whether prophet or messiah, Jesus wasn't so hard and controlling. He told you how to get to Heaven. I loved my Muslim parents, but I could not love Islam after knowing this possibility existed. Like a huge number of Muslims, I began to "go along to get along". I was eleven years old.

In the United States, my university education was an excuse to meet others and talk about forbidden subjects. I still remember the thrill I felt as I sat with typical American students and just said what I wanted to say. Still, the one topic they could not criticize was Islam. I don't know why this problem arises, perhaps because of the universal respect Americans are taught to have concerning Islam and indeed any religion.

At the close of a particularly dry class on the history and geography of the Middle East, I engaged in a discussion about the origins of the Quran. I still don't know why I voiced the same canards about Mohammed receiving the Quran directly. I guess the at-home training still had some impact. At a later class, I almost fainted during my comments, but I openly stated that there is some question as to the validity of the Quran as a divine document. Not even the professor believed me. I have to understand that. There is almost universal acceptance of whatever claims Islam makes to the outside world. Maybe the West is so accepting because, as they say, you cannot argue with a crazy person.

I am now taking sabbatical from work and putting together a book on the true origins of the Quran. I will review the properties of the oldest surviving Quran books as well as the results of the research on the Yemeni books found in the 1970s. My motivation to do this book comes from Rashid Khalifa who discovered the rabbinical code in the Quran. I am also completing interviews with Iranian and Uzbeki sources who have codified histories of exactly who wrote the current Qurans in use. It will be a fascinating journey and I hope you will approach the result with an open mind. Who knows if there will be threats against me? It is not important. We are all humans made in the image of God. The Muslims is as precious to God as the Hindu, the Jew and the Christian. We should all be precious to each other and finding value in those we do not understand.

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