Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Muslims for Israel

There's been a spot of bother in the US recently about Islam and how bad it is. I haven't participated, but do find the whole idea distasteful. I've occasionally poked fun at the unwillingness of various Westerners, from President Obama down, to pretend there's nothing remotely wrong with Islam. Yet the opposite should also be obvious: a religion which has been around for 1400 years must have given countless multitudes a feeling of dignity in face of life's travails, a purpose, a succor, a harbor to retreat to in dire times and a feeling of belonging and of satisfaction in better times.

On a practical level, James Kirchick reminds us that there are entire Muslim nations who don't fit into the black-and-white template.

23 comments:

NormanF said...

Muslim Zionism is a minority orientation. If the vast majority of Muslims were Zionists, the world would be a far better place today.

Anonymous said...

at the basis of the recent spat there seems to be a blogger war between LGF and Pamela Geller focusing on a video which shoes vandalism after a rally of EDL and its oppoonent UAF. The blogosphere has passed judgment. Telegraph and BBC reports sound like it wasn't that extraordinary.
I wait for news from the police report on who where the vandals while remembering that Joschka Fisher had been fond of throwing stones in his young years and he would have been on the side of UAF.

But since Jeffrey Goldberg seems to think that Johnson could identify the vandals in the video I bow to superior judgment ;-)

Who is interested CiFWatch has a long piece on Johnson from which I got then the man hasn't been all that consistent.

Silke

SenatorMark4 said...

Islam as a religion giving people peace in the face of reality's sad tides is one thing. Having Islamic believers think that the rest of the world needs to be forced into their column with Sharia is another. It is a sad thing to see Western writers bemoan the crushing of Freedom of Speech, eg. mentioning muhammad in a cartoon, and refusing to suggest the ideological war will be won by those that have an ideology that is defined. The U.S. Constitution DEFINES freedom in the First Amendment and Second Amendment. Article 1, section 2 letting us vote out the tax man every two years gives us patience in the face of goverment's slide off the road. Why give Gaza $900 million? Enforce a strict requirement for freedom or sit alone.

Y. Ben-David said...

Israel has good relations with several of the Muslim states of the Former Soviet Union.

Sylvia said...

Silke
Aren't you following what's going on in Europe? Merkel's speech, the Papal synod, etc.

Things seem to be moving fast there, but in what direction? The future will tell.

Sylvia said...

I just saw Melanie Phillips piece on the situation in Europe I mentioned in my previous post, with this extraordinary metaphor - a perfect fit in my view for those who are kidding themselves speaking of "Muslim Zionists" or of "Muslims who are pro-Israel".


Angela Merkel has got the point. Multiculturalism has failed, she states flatly, as she surveys western Europe going down under the tide of radical Islam. Rather than liberal society creating the utopia of harmonious cultural pluralism, it is being swallowed whole by the giant predator whose voracious mouth it encourages, in the spirit of tolerance, to open ever wider in the unshakeable belief of western liberals that the jaws about to snap shut around their necks are actually stretched wide in a smile.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
Merkel is said to have said on Octo. 16, 2010

Der Ansatz, "jetzt machen wir so Multikulti und leben nebeneinander her", sei gescheitert.

this Multikulti-quote is all over the place in all kinds of variations, my bet is that the above is the most likely. Merkel's own website doesn't have the text of the speech yet.

The above suggests more of an attack on the Greens, the party of ecology and multi-kulti, than the announcement of a new trend.

I can't really figure out Merkel, our pundits criticize her unanimously, she doesn't rule, she doesn't speak words of power etc. On the other hand I haven't noticed any revolt of the Landesf├╝rsten (rulers of the differnt countries of the federation who have quite some power to throw spammers in and for a long time have been eager to do it, given half a chance). She seems to be very good at controlling them, whether she controls them so much, that it is stifling, I don't know.

As to the multi-kulti we had a lot of mud-slinging going on about a book by a Thilo Sarrazin recently. For a number of reasons I think the man and his book are a disgrace but as so often is the case his book also contains the multi-kulti theme and it is said that 90 % of Germans are in favour of him. All I talked to feel more than a bit miffed that they are supposed to be stupid by destiny, if they happen to be of low birth.

Anyway Merkel has said something about the book when only (shameful) excerpts were published and then had pundits in her face all over the place who yelled freedom of speech is endangered. All around this has been a spectacle that makes one wonder how the same people can dare to tell Israeli politicians how they would do better.

After the Mavi Marmara a shameful resolution has passed our parliament, CDU-members i.e. those under Merkel's jurisdiction agreed - here is my preferred German blogger venting on it - I think Google translate may give you the gist - http://lizaswelt.net/2010/07/05/volksgemeinschaft-gegen-israel/
and here is that infamous resolution http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/023/1702328.pdf

Our media are not very helpful, when I wanted to know what happened during the Greek Bail-Out in Brussels, I found useful information at the WSJ, not in German (and I liked what I read about her)

Put all that together I don't know what Merkel's Multi-Kulti remark stands for - maybe it is just an expression of her wanting to finally come to the "neoliberal" agenda she seemed to be fond of before she was elected the first time. It is all way too mysterious ...

And now I go and have a look at the Pope ;-)

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
as to what "Rome" is doing I found this the best piece adding to the picture I am watching. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2010/10/13/middle-eastern-christians-must-pull-together/
The Pope seems to be eager to get something like Christendom United going, however, in August Erdogan has granted the Orthodox head of Istanbul Bartholomaeus a great much coveted favour and Putin has let it known that he was pleased by that. Evolving from this may be that the Orthodox Patriarch of Istanbul will become financially independent of the Greek one. Add to this that Moscow is said to see itself as the rightful inheritor of Constantinople a.k.a. the Roman Empire (since 1453) and that I haven't had any news of the Pope's woeing of the Orthodox getting anywhere, then I don't hold much hope. (don't forget the Serbian holy monasteries which became part of Kosovo, I can't imagine Putin like that). The Orthodox seem not to be at the present synod i.e. Moscow isn't there. The Pope is never going to relent on his being No. 1 and lots of the others will never pledge obedience to him. (as to Protestants it isn't even clear whether in the end he will at least stop calling it a kind of non-religion)

Add to that that Prof. Lill (my pundit on the Vatican) is miffed at what he sees as a trend of Rome back behind all modernisation and German catholics leaving in troves, and and and - I see no hope there i.e. the Pope with one eye wants to profit from the resurgence of simple religiosity as Islam has managed to get going and on the other hand wants to remain supreme, to me that's eating the cake and keeping it.

That said, are you really surprised that Egyptian guy was allowed to blame Israel? It is just business as usual i.e. a muddle with everybody trying to play all sides.

Silke

Sylvia said...

Here's a little more of Merkel's speech.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/8069434/Angela-Merkel-multicuturalism-has-failed.html

I found it strange that a German Chancellor would go that far and specially as she is from East Germany. But then again I am of the opinion that it is precisely the socialists/marxists (today's useful idiots) who at the end of day will come out the hardest against the immigration, harsher than the right wings.
I think Merkel's motivation is either economic or ideological.

Re: the Pope's synod. We're not reading the same news apparently, mine come with a French twist.

Sylvia said...

"are you really surprised that Egyptian guy was allowed to blame Israel? It is just business as usual i.e."

That's exactly the point. Because something like that is to be expected - particularly in the part where the names of the speakers and their country are recorded - the big change is in the last part of the last session, a novelty imposed by this pope. There, bishops who have something to say will be speaking freely without being identified - ever - and the Pope will be present in that leg of the synod. In other words, he wants also to get to the truth, directly and without intermediaries. That's a big change.
This in itself, regardless of the content, says that the Church is aware that these people can't speak freely and that the Pope knows knows the truth is not as it seems.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
I now found that part of the Merkel speech on You Tube

She says Multikulti as a kind of quote from times gone by in the sentence in which she is saying that originally we asked them to come and expected that they'd go again and when that didn't happen we let things slide and called it Multikulti and lived side by side but not together - that didn't work (it is said to work for Chinese and Vietnamese)

If I get her correctly then she is announcing that she wants to get some serious basic legal changes i.e. taking the reins and rule. I wish her honestly good luck, maybe with finances scarce she may even manage and I hope the "beast" remains under control

You see on the one hand the cemetery of Hamburg? is practically begging muslims to take them up on the offer to be buried in shrouds (coffins are obligatory in Germany) and muslims seem by now to prefer to be buried in coffins. On the other hand there is a uni-study to be started to find out what this is about young Turkish women presumably committing suicide in disproportionate numbers.

No matter what Merkel comes up with, if there are no jobs that can be offered to the wild youngsters, then what?

You should have witnessed the brouhaha whenever even the most tiny demands as to knowledge about "oaths" and knowledge of language were made. We are a people who has gone over the top once wildly we don't trust ourselves in that matter very much to be able to hold the balance.

Silke

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
I don't get what is so unusual about secret group? meetings with the Pope.

Anyway nothing can make me trust the Vatican. I can't imagine the Pope needs such a meeting to get the truth. He knows the truth if he wants to know it, that I am sure of, those at the top always do, provided they want to, whenever they say they didn't it is either due to incompetence or they lie. The current pope know Vatican-bureaucracy inside/out so he knows exactly what he wants to know.

I always understood that the Pope is meeting with German cardinals and bishops one on one all the time. Therefore the only purpose I can see in such a group get-together is to get pledges of cooperation from them and there I can see the need for secrecy.

But there the precondition is that he is No. 1. I don't know about all those present, but the Orthodox will never consent to that i.e. Moscow will not like it. And sad as it is in the end they will put their eternity-stuff higher than the welfare of their sheep who will be rewarded in heaven for anything they suffer on earth i.e. the more suffering the more delights in heaven.

they are first and foremost concerned with well-being in the next world

Silke

Sylvia said...

Balance. That's the key. I don't think she got it with that speech, do you?

I think they (the European governments) should simply tell the truth: that economically, it's not what previous governments billed immigration to be. Sure there was an economic boom, many people and companies got filthy rich, but as those immigrants settle and learn the ropes and require more nd more state assistance - and retire - the state is left holding the candle. What Sarkozy's retirement age reform and Merkel's speech are telling me - and we'll be seeing more of that - is that Europe, in a foreseeable future, won't be able to support her retirees.

Sylvia said...

Then you didn't get to the right articles. It's about the treatmentof Christians in Muslim countries.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
as to Merkel I wait for the whole speech to be on her site
now everybody is harping on about that inserted half-quote of multi-kulti there must have been more and even the Junge Union doesn't have the speech up yet.
usually she isn't good as a speaker but pretty good in interviews - it is too early she first has to win the inner-party-establishment fight.

but the Pope knows about the treatment of Christians in Muslim countries - he "initiated/caused" some deaths there himself via the quote embedded in the Regensburg address. Afterwards he had a meeting with 52 muslim leaders. Not to be too much of a cynic he can probably tell the bishops more than they know.

Anyway the Vatican is the Vatican: either they tell us afterwards something or they don't and then we have to look whether they do something. Putting on my cynics hat my bet is that they will tell their believers that it is heaven's indecipherable will that they suffer and they must bear it for the greater good.

That Putin would help his Orthodox I have guessed more or less since he visited Istanbul shortly after the flotilla and they all loved eachother so much. But where is the head of state, except for the pope, to help the other Christians.

Silke

Anonymous said...

Sylvia
overnight I remembered this piece http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/07/keeping-faith/5990/
which is probably at the back of my mind when I can't imagine the Vatican taking easily noticeable and/or short-term action on behalf of oppressed believers.

It is said that their Konkordat with Hitler gave protection to their own from the Nazis, but from what I know I can't see similarly favourable conditions for such concessions to be made by Muslim dominated states who also may not have the fear Germans with a wee bit of history have of Catholics and Protestants going at eachother.

Silke

Sylvia said...

Rome has consistently avoided criticism of treatment of non-Muslims in Muslim countries. That was the policy for centuries, meant to protect the churches in those countries. As we discussed here some time ago, it is France who with the threat of her military power who has filled that role for the Church by sponsoring the holy sites (merely through the symbolic presence of a French official in Church ceremonies). And those native non-Muslims who complain about mistreatment to foreigners have always been considered to be traitors by their Muslim countries with dire consequences.

What I am saying is that this little item about speaking freely and unidentified constitutes a drastic change in relations with Islam.
Regardless of anything else that has happened in the past and without any relation whatsoever to Jews or Israel or to the Nazi era.
Another thing is that the "dialogue" has clearly failed when Muslims came up with this great idea to "fight secularism together".

Anonymous said...

Sylvia

. As we discussed here some time ago, it is France who with the threat of her military power who has filled that role for the Church by sponsoring the holy sites (merely through the symbolic presence of a French official in Church ceremonies).

I must have missed the above and I am still not getting why a secret meeting with the pope present should be especially significant given the fact that German bishops and cardinals seem to have those all the time.

It seems the French language barrier is as high as I perceive the German one to be.

As I might remember enough French (in 1962 I was fluent but never kept it up) to be able to read it with or without the help of Google translate, I'd greatly appreciate it, if you could help with one or two or more links or some suitable search words. Thank you!

the Vatican's actions interest me at least as much as those of Orthodox Moscow but on Rome my authoratative voice is that German professor Rudolf Lill who forever complains that Rome is again on a path back to the "middle ages" but as yet hasn't hinted at anything happening out of the ordinary.

I understood the Pope at Regensburg as wanting to jump the bandwaggon of religious revival and I think the "fight secularism together" came afterwards. In my cynic's mind that'd translate as their seeing a chance to hijack the allure of Rome for their purposes.

Silke

Sylvia said...

Here's an old one the headline reads : "Rome wants to save Eastern Christians"
http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2010/10/10/01003-20101010ARTFIG00202-rome-veut-sauver-les-chretiens-d-orient.php

But that's already old news, there are reactions to Merkel's reaction the Greens want to strip the Catholic Church of her privileges in Bavaria and make all religions equal there.
Reaction in Sweden (Malmo of course) there is some kind of "exterminator" who goes around shooting at residents with Middle Eastern physionomy (hrad that in the news).

Sylvia said...

hrad=heard

Anonymous said...

thanks Sylvia
that is helpful
in the meantime I have found the info-site of the Vatican for it
http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/sinodo_mo_10/segui_sinodo.asp?&titolo=Interventions of participants and services&cat=arg_titolo1
On German public radio I found something very general on October 10 and since then nothing. Weird how the news change from country to country in an oh so globalized world ;-)

as to the Greens: they want to change the whole system of church-state-relations i.e. it is an attack on the church tax i.e. we pay church membership fees as a percentage of income tax and the state does the collecting for protestants and catholics. For those in love of separation of state from church it is and has been an outrage for ages. I have heard that there is a special agreement with Jews i.e. they get the money without becoming part of the system. Muslim big shots have been clamouring that they want to be included for quite a while now.

So the Greens want to do something I'd love i.e. separating church and state more clearly but thereby inviting something I'd hate i.e. equality for all religions. I can't see how one can have one without the other.

As it comes from the Greens you may feel sure that is all pretty raw and not well thought through. BTW at the same time they seem to be opening doors for muslims albeit without the funding these have in their sight they are clamouring for a grading system by which immigrants shall be allowed in. German language x points, computer skills x points and so on, which is pretty much what everybody seems to want now.

It is a perfect mess and whatever I read abroad about Merkels MultiKulti-remark doesn't present it properly. Abroad it is presented as if she said Multiculturalism, which would be serious, MultiKulti always carries a whiff of a put-down. BTW she has now updated her list of speeches to Oct 20 - the MultiKulti speech has not been posted.

Silke

Sylvia said...

By the way, 2 websites of her own party were hacked this week by Turks apparently.
Re: the tax - I vaguely remember that French Jews had/have a system whereby people could donhate TO JEWISH INSTITUTION 1 franc (at the time) on their tax retur if they so wished. That's probably the system you're talking about. But what you're saying is that Germans must give to the Church whether they like it or not.
The Greens: Muslims tend to be members of Greens in Europe (green is the color of Islam) so yes, they probably thought it through (at least part of them).

Anonymous said...

Sylvia

Yes, if you are a member of the church and the registrars got to know it, which they usually do with Germans, then you have to give whether you like it or not or quit and here is the long version of it.

BTW as to quitting the hitch was that if you had kids a lot of the scarce places in kindergarten where in church kindergartens who even though mostly not financed out of church tax money but out of the public coffers would still slyly or not so slyly prefer to admit kids from parents who were church members. Maybe that explains to you when I remain so complacent when I am getting told of Israel's entanglements - I dare every critic to come and visit me in our oh so perfectly separated church from state country.

as to church tax - let me restrict myself to employees who get their salaries minus tax from the employer and the employer sends the tax part to the state without the employee ever touching it. (self-employed pay taxes via tax declarations)

The amount of tax deducted depends on family status and lots of other things which are documented on an income tax card which each employee has to give to his employer once a year (I think some of the process has been digitalised in the meantime but that's irrelevant for this here now)

The personal data on the income tax card are delivered from the inhabitants registration office which is connected to ID-Card and passport issuance. The inhabitants registration data include religion and I think whenever somebody is baptised into the Christian faith the churches inform the inhabitants registration. Foreigners and non-Christians can chose to refuse information. When I left the protestant church outraged about their stance with the catholic encyclopedia humanae (the one about birth control) I think my card changed from ev for evangelical to vd for verschiedene=diverse and I had to pay no more church tax.

When your card shows that you belong to one of the Christian churches the employer will deduct the church tax which is a percentage (mostly 8 or 10) from the income tax varying from state to state. If you come new to the country and self-declare a Christian you become liable to the extra tax, to get out of that which I had to do for people quite often in the 70s is awkward but straightforward for protestants and fiendish for Catholics.

I don't know if there was a system to guide state money to Jews before Hitler but if so it would have been on the same kind of registration system which is basically unchanged since I don't know when. For example if I move apartments within the same town, I have to tell them and the car registration office also.

All that said makes you hopefully understand why I get so outraged if states who live with such bureaucratic muddles dare to tell others what they do wrong. and it also shows why it must have been easy to know who were the Jews once they were interested in it. They had probably told them so never guessing that openness with data may backfire badly.

Maybe muslims now claim they like the Green party because it's the colour of the prophet but that is BS. Their logo was or still is the sun-flower, green refers to plants, but they are the party of MultiKulti, Frankfurt even had for some time an official in charge of MultiKulti who got very much air-time in that function. His name is Daniel Cohn-Bendit and I think he figures prominently in Paul Berman's book on Kouchner and others like him. Since they are the party of Multi-Kulti of neighbourhood parties and celebrate your identity with a strong pro-Palestinian i.e. anti-Israeli-bent Muslims may find them attractive, using Green as an argument, if it is used is a later introduced spin.

Silke