The Shoah and the Righteous Muslims


7:30 pm - January 27th 2011

by Imran Ahmed    


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Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. It is a day that honours our pledge to never forget. And so we don’t. But it is also a time for remembrance and learning.

In Britain anti-Semitism has been on the rise for some time. This has been driven by prolific ignorance and mendacity, predicated on libels levied against the Jewish people for centuries.

And it is also a time of huge anti-Muslim sentiment. Even on the Left we’ve seen idiots equating Muslims or proxy groups with terrorists/ predatory paedophiles/ whatever they fancy that day. As the son of Muslims I genuinely feel more worried about their safety than ever before.

So today is a good day to be reminded of a moment when these two religious groups were locked in mutual survival, sacrifice, understanding and love. West London Synagogue last night held a talk on the role of Righteous Muslims in the Shoah.

Yad Vashem, the place where Israel honours Jewish martyrs in the Holocaust also honours 70 Righteous Muslims, an honour bestowed by the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice.

Muslim men and women in Albania, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, that act as a small subset of the many individuals that resisted the Nazis and saved their Jewish friends and neighbours. Some of their stories involve immense self-sacrifice; unimaginable dangers endured in the name of righteousness and a higher truth.

With little knowledge of these heroes and events in the public sphere some might find this counterintuitive or surprising. After all received wisdom on Jews and Muslims is that of implacable foes squabbling over perceived sleights and legends from generations long passed as well as the modern cancer of ever-escalating violence.

But this is a reminder that when we leave aside the extremists, the power-crazed and the just plain evil, most people are capable of extraordinary decency. Perhaps if more of our discourse was influenced by these men and women we’d find it more difficult to demonise each other.

The Q’uran teaches Muslims, “Whoever saves one life saves all of mankind.” Similarly the Talmud teaches Jews, “If you save one life, it is as if you have saved the world.” It is a worthy echo across these Abrahamic texts and a message worth repeating.

And one that reminds us why we never forget either the Shoah or the acts of the Righteous Gentiles and the hope their heroism inspired in a time of monumental evil.

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About the author
Imran is an occasional contributor and Labour party activist. He blogs here and is on Twitter here.
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Reader comments


A powerful and informative piece…and well-written, too.

2. Chaise Guevara

“In Britain anti-Semitism has been on the rise for some time.”

Is it? Because it’s not something I’ve ever really come across. I’m not saying it’s not true, just that it’s not exactly obvious, and I’d be interested to know what your basis for the statement is.

Good article. I hope people can focus on the good as much as possible instead of obsessing over the bad.

3. Dick the Prick

@2 – it’s quite common on right wing blogs. Top blog Imran.

@2: some evidence from 2009:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/08/police-patrols-antisemitism-jewish-community

@3: not only some right-wing blogs…

“Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. It is a day that honours our pledge to never forget. And so we don’t. But it is also a time for remembrance and learning.”

Absolutely. Try this:

“As Israel’s jocular Foreign Minister Abba Eban once quipped, ‘There’s no business like Shoah business.’”
http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=3&ar=23

I’ve posted several times before about the famine in the Ukraine of 1932-33. Curiously, it is largely forgotten nowadays, not least by the media and despite the horrific scale of victims which was broadly on par with the numbers killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

“The dreadful famine that engulfed Ukraine, the northern Caucasus, and the lower Volga River area in 1932-1933 was the result of Joseph Stalin’s policy of forced collectivization. The heaviest losses occurred in Ukraine, which had been the most productive agricultural area of the Soviet Union. Stalin was determined to crush all vestiges of Ukrainian nationalism. . . The death toll from the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine has been estimated between six million and seven million.”
http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/soviet.exhibit/famine.html

The official policy leading to that terrible outcome was clearly set out by Stalin in a speech he made on 27 December 1929 with the daunting title of: “Concerning Questions of Agrarian Policy in the USSR”, the text of which was published in Pravda and subsequently in his collected works:
http://www.marx2mao.com/Stalin/QAP29.html

This was the speech which included that chilling passage: “To launch an offensive against the kulaks means that we must smash the kulaks, eliminate them as a class.” That speech endorsed an official policy of category killing years before the Nazis took over government of the Reich in January 1933.

6. Chaise Guevara

@ 4. paul ilc

Bleugh. Unpleasant. Is this rise of antisemitism thing mainly down to religious differences, or do you think there’s still a lot of that generic “Jews = Shylock” attitude around? Because it’s that kind of secular antisemitism I’ve never really encountered, bar a few Rabbi jokes.

Religious antisemitism is a problem, but one I’d expect to slow down as the years pass.

Compare:

“Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, told the committee that Britain was manifestly not an anti-Semitic society: ‘It is one of the least anti-Semitic societies in the world.’”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2346373,00.html

“On Aug. 27, in an interview with the London Guardian, Great Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Dr. Jonathan Sacks, made hard-hitting comments on the ‘morally corrupting’ effect of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Despite the fact that he is a fervent supporter of Israel, so much so that he has alienated many of the pro-peace elements within the Jewish community, he came under sharp attack by the right-wing Zionists and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. His statements have initiated a strong moral debate throughout the Jewish community in the Diaspora as well as in Israel.”
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2002/2936_rabbi_vs_israel.html

8. Dick the Prick

This BBC4 programme about the supreme court is fascinating. They may break into ‘I will survice!’

Oh dear Bob B is recommending the website of the conspiracy nut and antisemite Lyndon Larouche.

Learn a bit about him here:

http://www.adl.org/main_Extremism/larouche_obama.htm

LaRouche, 86, a longtime anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and perennial presidential candidate, has a long record of advancing conspiracy theories linking the AIDS crisis, the drug epidemic and international financial crises to prominent Jews and Jewish organizations. He has also argued that the “Zionist lobby” and “Jewish gangsters” control American foreign policy, and called the Holocaust a “thesis” produced by the “Zionist demagogue” where one and a half-million Jews, not six million, died.

Nope, no problems with antisemitism on the left, Move along, nothing to see here.

10. Chaise Guevara

@ 9

Are you saying that the paranoid rantings of one person (who I’m going to assume is left-wing on your say-so for now) translates into leftwing antisemitism?

Or let’s try Ben White, who is welcome above and below the line here. He’s the chap who “understands” why some people are antisemitic and campaigns with some of Britain’s worst extremists, such as Azzam Tamimi.

One could also look at the Stop the War Coalition and Jeremy Corbyn promoting Abou Jahjah, one of the worst antisemites in Europe, among so many other extremists.

There is a big problem with antisemitism on the far left in Britain. Which this blog has done nothing to combat.

13. Chaise Guevara

@ 11/12 Paul

Oh, the FAR left. You mean borderline communists, yes? Karl Marx must be spinning in his grave about all that antisemitism. But I don’t know where the far left are on the issue, because they’re a long way from my stomping ground, and they don’t exactly represent a large percentage of Brits.

So far, you seem to be going with “this guy is anecdotally antisemitic; people on the left have defended or supported him on some issue at some point”. Colour me unimpressed. I don’t think that non-religious antisemitism is much of an issue in this country, for the left or the right.

@9: “Oh dear Bob B is recommending the website of the conspiracy nut and antisemite Lyndon Larouche.”

What a really pathetic comment. Here is the same quote but to the original source in the Guardian of the interview with Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi:

“Britain’s chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, today delivers an unprecedentedly strong warning to Israel, arguing that the country is adopting a stance “incompatible” with the deepest ideals of Judaism, and that the current conflict with the Palestinians is “corrupting” Israeli culture.

“In a move that will send shockwaves through Israel and the world Jewish community, Professor Sacks departs from his usual policy of offering only public endorsement of Israel, and broad support for moves toward peace, by giving an explicit verdict on the effect that 35 years of military occupation and decades of conflict are having on Israel and the Jewish people.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/aug/27/israel.religion

Evidently we are back in the old business of claiming any criticism of Israel amounts to antisemitism. As Professor Larry Summers put it in 2002 when he was President of Harvard:

“But where anti-Semitism and views that are profoundly anti-Israeli have traditionally been the primary preserve of poorly educated right-wing populists, profoundly anti-Israel views are increasingly finding support in progressive intellectual communities. Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent.”
http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/the_selfdenying_prophecy_20020927/

Plus ca change . . .

In 1940, the Lehi group in Palestine – or the Stern Gang – attempted to contract an alliance with the Nazis to get at Britain, the League of Nations mandate authority in Palestine, which had declared war on Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_(group)

Just after WW2 ended, we suffered the terrorist outrage when the HQ of the mandate authority at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem was blown up by Irgun on 22 July 1946 – 91 people were killed. The organiser of that atrocity was Manachem Begin, a member of Irgun who went on to become the prime minister of Israel 1977-83. So much for Israel opposing terrorist atrocities.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing

Fortunately for us all, there’s also a group: Jews for Justice for Palestinians:
http://jfjfp.com/

It’s obvious that some of the heroes of WW2 who risked their lives to help others would have been Muslims, but I never really thought about it until I read this article.

Good post Imran Ahmed, and a reminder that we should never let our differences be more important than our shared humanity.

Evidently we are back in the old business of claiming any criticism of Israel amounts to antisemitism.

Is there any evidence here for this lazy “any criticism” line, one of the favourites of fanatical Israel haters?

No.

they’re a long way from my stomping ground, and they don’t exactly represent a large percentage of Brits

Oh, so that’s OK then. “Not me mate”.

Jeremy Corbyn represents a whole constituency, you know.

So does Andy Slaughter, who has tweeted below. How cute. Just a few days ago he spoke at an event of the Palestinian Return Centre, an outfit that promotes Hamas and likes European neo-fascists.

The indifference to evidence of gross antisemitism one finds on the left is quite disturbing.

@17: “Is there any evidence here for this lazy ‘any criticism’ line, one of the favourites of fanatical Israel haters?”

Check out again that quote in the Jewish Journal of what Professor Larry Summers said at Harvard in 2002:

“But where anti-Semitism and views that are profoundly anti-Israeli have traditionally been the primary preserve of poorly educated right-wing populists, profoundly anti-Israel views are increasingly finding support in progressive intellectual communities. Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent.”
http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/the_selfdenying_prophecy_20020927/

Does Gerald Kaufman qualify as a “fanatical Israel hater” after his speech in the House of Commons on: Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMGuYjt6CP8

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 18

Well, of course my attitude is “not me mate”. Because I don’t agree with those people, and I’m not beholden to answer for them just because both they and I are on the left. The equivalent would be demanding that David Cameron apologise for Nick Griffen’s or, fuck it, Adolf Hitler’s views because they’re all generally considered right-wing. It’s stupid.

So no, I’m not going to apologise for extremist racist leftists just because I’m on the left, and nor should anyone else on this site. The whole guilt-by-association schtick doesn’t actually work.

No Chaise, the Tories have been very vocal opponents of the BNP.

On the left, the likes of Corbyn and Slaughter, MPs for Labour, can do whatever they want. Teaming up up with antisemites and supporters of terrorism? Hey, “no apologies”. In other words, “no problem”.

Pathetic.

Bob B, yes, Kaufman too, another Labour MP, is very happy to work with Hamas.

What Bob B is doing, of course, is saying “look at this Jew who backs me up!”.

It’s just like the EDL saying “but we have a Sikh who supports us!”.

Interesting post, shame about the comments.

“What Bob B is doing, of course, is saying ‘look at this Jew who backs me up!’.”.

It’s more than just heartening to learn of jews who are openly critical of the policies of the Israeli state and its political leaders and I greatly doubt that any know of me or about my opinions of Israel.

It’s been my regular experience online to be accused of antisemitism – to the extent of it being claimed that I’m a friend of David Irving – whenever I’ve posted criticism of the Israeli state. My guess is that the motive is to quickly close down embarassing debates about Israel and Palestine.

“In Britain anti-Semitism has been on the rise for some time”.

Am I the only one who has missed it then?

“Am I the only one who has missed it then?”

Check out the quote from the Chief Rabbi @7:

“Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, told the committee that Britain was manifestly not an anti-Semitic society: ‘It is one of the least anti-Semitic societies in the world.’”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2346373,00.html

It’s been my regular experience online to be accused of antisemitism – to the extent of it being claimed that I’m a friend of David Irving – whenever I’ve posted criticism of the Israeli state.

Gee, why might that happen to a man who recommends the website of Lyndon Larouche. Life is so unfair.

Am I the only one who has missed it then?

Well you could try starting here:

Attacks on Jews in the UK reached record levels in 2009, according to figures compiled within the community.

The Community Security Trust (CST) said it had recorded 924 incidents over the year, 55% more than the previous high of 598 incidents in 2006.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8499450.stm

Is there any evidence here for this lazy ‘any criticism’ line, one of the favourites of fanatical Israel haters?

In Britain? Not too much, I think. Sure, people like Melanie Phillips will spout off on cue but they can be safely ignored. In America? Yes, to some extent. Charles Freedman, for example, was ferociously denounced as a bigot on the basis of, er – well – nothing.

Rick –

Am I the only one who has missed it then?

Well, it’s a matter of fact. I’ve not seen a black swan meander down the road but I have it on fairly good knowledge that some other people have.

@27: “Gee, why might that happen to a man who recommends the website of Lyndon Larouche. Life is so unfair.”

Yeah – Larouche was quoting the Guardian, which was quoting Jaoanthan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, which is obviously virulent antisemitism at its worst.

How pathetic!

“Attacks on Jews in the UK reached record levels in 2009, according to figures compiled within the community.”

Naturally, for any objective assessments about the severity of this emerging trend we need to have comparisons with the incidence of attacks that year on Christians, Muslims, Hindus, churches, mosques etc.

The fact that the claim was made only in respect of attacks on jews shows that it was patently tendentious and had no concerns for the welfare of other religions and ethnicities.

Larouche was quoting the Guardian

Yes and you just happened to find yourself reading that antisemitic website and then suggesting it to people here. Er, OK, whatever you say, Bob B.

The fact that the claim was made only in respect of attacks on jews shows that it was patently tendentious and had no concerns for the welfare of other religions and ethnicities.

And there you have it. Jews protecting themselves by studying attacks on Jews. The cheek! Don’t listen to them.

Congratulations, Liberal Conspiracy, for illustrating the problem.

“Yes and you just happened to find yourself reading that antisemitic website and then suggesting it to people here.”

Nice try but not so. I googled the quote and came up with that link which appeared ahead of the link to the interview of Jonathan Sacks in The Guardian. In my book, the substantive quote matters more than the link.

Try this for more virulent “antisemitism” – the report in 2000 by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), based in the US, on its visit to Israeli occupied territories in Palestine to assess the suppression of demonstrations:

“The PHR team found that the Israel Defense Force (IDF) has used live ammunition and rubber bullets excessively and inappropriately to control demonstrators, and that based on the high number of documented injuries to the head and thighs, soldiers appear to be shooting to inflict harm, rather than solely in self-defense. . . ”
http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/documents/reports/report-useofforce-israel.pdf

That was when Ehud Barack was Israeli prime minister 1999-2001. He is currently the Israeli defence minister.

Great post. Shame the comments have wandered so far off topic..

@Bob B – if you quote Larouche on a holocaust thread – no matter by “accident” or whatever – don’t be surprised if people call you out for it. You may as well walk into an AA meeting with a litre of vodka. Larouche is a sickening conspiracy nut who’s ranting gives succour to holocaust denialism.

@33: “@Bob B – if you quote Larouche on a holocaust thread – no matter by “accident” or whatever – don’t be surprised if people call you out for it.”

Anything, any pretext, to avoid commenting on the interview of Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, in the Guardian: Israel set on tragic path
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/aug/27/israel.religion

After years of debating online, I’m thoroughly familiar with the tactics Zionists habitually use to defend the morally repugnant actions of Israel and its leading politicians in the occupied territories in Palestine.

Naturally, anything that Amnesty International or the BBC report that is critical of Israel is bound to be antisemitic too:

Khiam prison was a detention and interrogation centre during the years of the Israeli occupation in Southern Lebanon. From 1985 until the Israeli withdrawal this May [2000], thousands of Lebanese were held in Khiam without trial. Most of them were brutally tortured – some of them died.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/correspondent/1002463.stm

On the evidence, Gerald Kaufman was exactly right when he likened Israel to the Nazis in the speech he made in Parliament. But I’m really heartened by the numbers of supposedly “antisemitic” jews who are openly critical of Israel and its corrupt political leaders.

35. Dick the Prick

Jews are funny. I think Blighty represents the bastion against genocide. Today’s a day of celebration.

@34

We’re talking about the Holocaust. Not Israel today. Your conflating of the two is offensive.

I love the idea of myself as a “Zionist”, though… ;)

37. Torquil Macneil

“Oh, the FAR left. You mean borderline communists, yes? ”

Well you try Jenny Tonge for size, forced to step down for her antisemitic comments, or Tam Dalywell and his ‘cabal of neoconservative Jews’. Is there any other racism that is so publicly expressed by such a range of public figures?

‘Well you try Jenny Tonge for size, forced to step down for her antisemitic comments, or Tam Dalywell and his ‘cabal of neoconservative Jews’. Is there any other racism that is so publicly expressed by such a range of public figures?’

Not forgetting Ken Livingstone.

Anti-semitism isn’t mainstream in the UK, nor is it endemic in the Left: the Left do, however, often share platforms with anti-semites, homophobes and misogynists.

I don’t doubt the heroic deeds of the Riteous Muslims but the major rise in anti-semitism in this country isn’t coming from secular society; nor can the relationship between Jews and Muslims currently be characterised as one of ‘mutual survival, sacrifice, understanding and love.’

To try and draw a parallel between Muslims experiencing bigotry and suspicion in the UK with the Shoah is repellant.

I agree there is anti-Semitism on the left. But it isn’t exclusively on the left by any means. And it is disgusting wherever it may be.

@36: “We’re talking about the Holocaust. Not Israel today. Your conflating of the two is offensive.”

That’s rubbish. Israel and the Zionists have repeatedly invoked the holocaust as a justification for the atrocities they have inflicted on Palestinians and the atrocities go back a very long way – such as the massacre at Deir Yassin in April 1948:
http://www.deiryassin.org/mh2001.html

And the massacre at Qibya in October 1953:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qibya_massacre

I regard those massacres as “offensive” and believe we need to be reminded of them at regular intervals least we forget.

Oh look, Bob B suggests another antisemitic website. Even far left activist Tony Greenstein has very harsh words for “Deir Yassin Remembered”:

Shamir, Eisen and the rest of Deir Yassin Remembered are poisonous anti-Semites and racists.

There’s more here:

http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=18688

42. Chaise Guevara

@ 21

The only thing that’s pathetic, Paul, is your desperate desire to paint the left as antisemitic so you can avoid critiquing it more maturely. Yes, some people on the left are bigots. Most aren’t, so stop waving your tar-brush around. Grow up a bit.

@40

Did I say, anywhere, that other massacres do not need to be remembered? No. Should I mention the war crimes and massacres commited by the British, the US, the French, the Chinese, the USSR as well, if we’re going down that road?

For fucks sake. I apologise for the language but the Holocaust is one of the most shameful episodes in human history. Six million people wiped off the face of the planet for simply worshipping a different god, or having different political beliefs, or being arbitrarily different in someway.

I’m no fan of the modern Israeli state by any means, but it leaves an awful taste to bring that up in a memorial thread for Holocaust victims.

Or will you remind people of British atrocities everytime someone mentions 7/7? You must be fun down the pub.

desperate desire to paint the left as antisemitic

I have done no such thing. What I have said is that there is a problem with antisemitism on the left. Not that all leftists are antisemitic.

And your attitude is casual dismissal:

So no, I’m not going to apologise for extremist racist leftists just because I’m on the left, and nor should anyone else on this site.

Sad really.

45. Chaise Guevara

@ 44

“I have done no such thing. What I have said is that there is a problem with antisemitism on the left. Not that all leftists are antisemitic.

And your attitude is casual dismissal”

Because you’re making this about the left specifically. Your anecdotal evidence does nothing to prove or even suggest that antisemitism is more of a problem on the left than anywhere else – all it shows is that you want to smear your political opponents with something that has nothing to do with most of them.

“Sad really.”

Paul, please apologise for the crimes of Charles Manson. He was human, you are human, so obviously you’re personally responsible.

all it shows is that you want to smear your political opponents with something that has nothing to do with most of them

What a silly statment. I have merely illustrated the problem and made no sweeping judgments. Nor have I demanded any “apologies”. Of course there is antisemitism on the right as well.

And what is your reaction? Dismiss, attack, distort.

That’s what’s sad.

@41: “Oh look, Bob B suggests another antisemitic website. Even far left activist Tony Greenstein has very harsh words for ‘Deir Yassin Remembered’:”

That’s par for this course. In my years of experience of online debating, any references to Israeli and Zionist atrocities are routinely dismissed as antisemitic propaganda – to cover up the truth.

Try Gerald Kaufman’s speech on Deir Yassin to the House of Commons in April 2002 instead:
http://www.deiryassin.org/gkaufman.html

Or try the wiki entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre

Naturally, they are all antisemitic as well – as must be the Jews for Justice for Palestinians:
http://jfjfp.com/?page_id=2

@42: “I’m no fan of the modern Israeli state by any means, but it leaves an awful taste to bring that up in a memorial thread for Holocaust victims.”

The post-holocaust massacres in and around Palestine leave a bad taste with many millions in the Middle East – as well as with me..

Remember that the Lehi Group – or the Stern Gang – wanted to contract an alliance with the Nazis in 1940 to oust the British as the Palestine mandate authority – our main function there was to try to maintain the peace between the warring groups.

For a history of the take-over of Palestine and the ensuing conflict, try: Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin 2001). Avi Slaim is professor of international relations at St Anthony’s College, Oxford. He holds joint Israeli-British citizenships:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Iron-Wall-Israel-Arab-World/dp/0140288708/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1296221318&sr=1-1

48. Chaise Guevara

@ 46 Paul,

Not overtly, but you’re posting example after example to prove that antisemitism exists on the left, despite the fact that nobody seems to be disagreeing with you. It goes like this:

You: some leftists are antisemitic!
Everyone: Ok.
You: like this one! [link]
Everyone: ok.
You: and this one and this one! [link]
Everyone: ok
You: and this one!

It does sorta suggest you have an axe to grind, especially as you seem to only be interested in left-wing antisemites.

You said it was sad that I wouldn’t apologise for other people’s flaws. I’m still wating for your apology for the crimes of Charles Manson.

@Bob B

I’ve read The Iron Wall by Avi Shlaim, and very informative it is, too – highly recommended reading for anyone wanting to know about the Arab/Israeli conflict. All I’m saying is there’s a time and a place to discuss other atrocities, and this ain’t it.

Or are we going to mention certain sections of Palestinian society brainwashing women and children for use as suicide bombers? There’s wrong on all sides of this conflict.

Some Israelis evidently believe they have a divine right to Palestine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irIXIy6hNc8

Isn’t it even a bit curious that we don’t have memorial threads for the famine that Stalin inflicted on the Ukraine 1932-3 even though the scale of victims was broadly the same as that of the Nazi Holocaust – see the links @5?

I guess that mere Ukrainians don’t matter as much.

It’s interesting to note that Israel wasn’t mentioned once in the (very interesting) post at top of thread.

@50

OK well we can agree here, I too think that the victims of the USSR should be recognised as much as the victims of the Nazis. I believe one reason why they are not is because “Uncle Joe” was on our side in WW2 and indeed gave us a lot of help in being so…

@52 Pretty much, the only reason the Nazis were prosecuted for war crimes was because they committed the biggest crime possible in war. They lost.

54. Just Visiting

Phew – another LC thread turns into ‘the elft are bad’ ‘oh no they are not’ ‘ oh yes there are….”

Let’s get back to the plot.

What concerned me – is what Shatterface highlighted and everyone missed:

> the major rise in anti-semitism in this country isn’t coming from secular society;

He meant – its coming from the Islamic direction.

> To try and draw a parallel between Muslims experiencing bigotry and suspicion in the UK with the Shoah is repellant.

Let’s be clear – if there is anti-Muslim sentiment in this country – it is mostly the __result__ of the actions of Muslims – or those claiming to be Muslims.

Whether 7/7 -or Richard Reid the show bomber – we have homegrown UK Muslim violence.

From London just this week – a film is shown that includes the prayer

“Please Allah, kill all the Jews.”

http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/please-allah-kill-all-the-jews/

And if you want – stuff from around the world just this week, that also doesn’t make Muslims appear as the kind of guys you’d want as neighbours:

> A suicide attack on a supermarket in Kabul’s upmarket embassy district on Friday killed at least nine people, three of them foreign women,

or
> Bomb strikes funeral, killing 41 in Baghdad

> USA: Moderate Muslim who beheaded his wife

@52: “OK well we can agree here, I too think that the victims of the USSR should be recognised as much as the victims of the Nazis. I believe one reason why they are not is because ‘Uncle Joe’ was on our side in WW2 and indeed gave us a lot of help in being so…”

The Soviet Union entered the war in Europe when Nazi Germany invaded Soviet held territory on 22 June 1941. The invasion came as a complete surprise to Stalin – by the accounts of Russian historians in the 1990s – since the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had signed a Friendship Treaty on 28 September 1939 when Britain and France were already at war with Germany. Here is the text of that treaty:
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/gsbound.asp

As for Soviet help, try this on the Arctic convoys of World War II:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_convoys_of_World_War_II

And, of course, the Soviets were getting unofficial intelligence briefings from Burgess, Maclean, Kim Philby, Blunt and John Cairncross, as well as unauthorised technical advice on nuclear weapons from Karl Fuchs.

George Orwell had difficulties in 1945 in finding a publisher for his fable: Animal Farm, which some regarded as gratuitously insulting to our Soviet allies – Gollancz turned him down, as did TS Eliot on behalf of Faber & Faber:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm

News update

Evidently, the Board of Deputies of British Jews voted against a two-state solution for Palestine:

“Last week the Board of Deputies of British Jews voted down a resolution declaring support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same meeting the Board also affirmed that, ‘in particular’, it stood completely ‘behind the courageous stand of the present government as formulated by Prime Minister Netanyahu.’ A petition has been raised making the point that a majority of the Jewish community in Britain is in favour of a two-state solution and therefore urging the Board to reconsider its decision. ”
http://jfjfp.com/

I guess that if someone really believes they have a title to some land in consequence of a divine covenant, they are likely to also think that they can properly and legitimately do virtually anything to obtain possession of that land from the present occupiers, who have no divine authorisation to be there.

57. Chaise Guevara

@ 54 Just Visiting

“He meant – its coming from the Islamic direction.”

Yeah, I’m surprised we haven’t had more discussion of that. It’s almost certainly true, and it’s why I reckon the problem will fade over time. People immigrate to new countries with a lot of religious and cultural baggage, but their children and grandchildren are likely to be secular and “moderate”, where the latter means “conforming more closely to the general culture of the country”.

“Let’s be clear – if there is anti-Muslim sentiment in this country – it is mostly the __result__ of the actions of Muslims – or those claiming to be Muslims”.

If?

Well, what you say may be true, but what point do you want to make? Would you agree with someone who hated black people if he said “figures show black people commit more crimes, so it’s their fault that I hate them”? The actions of extremist Muslims may be the catalyst for anti-Muslim prejudice, but what makes it possible is the bigotry of the Islamaphobe.

BTW, if a moderate Muslim beheads his wife, he either did so for non-religious reasons or he’s not actually moderate.

58. Just Visiting

Hi Chaise

> People immigrate to new countries with a lot of religious and cultural baggage, but their children and grandchildren are likely to be secular and “moderate”,

This came up on a thread a week or two ago.

No one pointed to a country where that has actually happened – in the specific case we’re talking here:

* a western liberal democracy
* a Muslim minority

59. Chaise Guevara

@ 58 Just Visiting

“No one pointed to a country where that has actually happened – in the specific case we’re talking here:

* a western liberal democracy
* a Muslim minority”

Well, Britain for a start! People who identify themselves as Muslim but were born here seem to be a good deal less devout than their predecessors in terms of their attitudes towards drinking, sex, other cultures and so on. The environment in which you grow up is extremely formative. So is a relatively non-religious education.

If you’ll allow me to second-guess you, the obvious example to raise against this is the 7/7 bombers. I’ll give you two reasons why I don’t think that would be fair: 1) one swallow does not make a summer, and 2) it was in response to the War on Terror – you would expect to see the trend spike in the other direction when Muslim countries were invaded by Britain and its allies.

60. Just Visiting

Chaise

any sources you can quote for that?

> People who identify themselves as Muslim but were born here seem to be a good deal less devout than their predecessors

By this account, young Muslims seem to have adopted less tolerant values than older generation Muslims, who are more likely to have been immigrants:

If a Muslim converts to another religion, 36 per cent of 16-to-24-year-olds thought this should be punished by death, compared with 19 per cent of 55s and over.

According to the poll, 74 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 prefer Muslim women to wear the veil, compared with only 28 per cent of over 55s.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23383409-multiculturalism-drives-young-muslims-to-shun-british-values.do

@61 This particularly moving song should give you an inkling into why Muslims born and raised here might tend toward rejecting “western values”. (Or indeed any group which the Mail/Express makes it well known are not welcome)

http://www.blocparty.com/lyrics.php?lyricID=29
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ag7lfRgSg0

In every headline we are reminded
That this is not home for us

@62: “In every headline we are reminded – That this is not home for us”

The important insight is surely to be found from whether the youth of other ethnic minorities in Britain feel similiar sentiments of alienation from mainstream British values.

My impression is that they don’t and that they certainly don’t subscribe to the intolerant values expressed by a minority of Muslim youth in those reported polls. The youth of other minorities are not campaigning for Sharia law, the installation of a Caliphate in place of an elected Parliament or for their women folk to wear veils.

I’ve recalled before the many engaging conversations I used to have back in the early 1970s with a professional colleague who was a long lapsed Hindu in the way that I’m a long lapsed Christian. He predicted then that Muslim countries – unlike India – would have great difficulty in making smoothe transitions to democratic systems of freely elected governments and so it has proved.

64. Chaise Guevara

@ 60

“any sources you can quote for that?”

I admit that I’m arguing anecdotally. Although I think it would be hard to quantify things like “being less devout” and “fitting in more easily with the local culture” to the point where you could take a meaningful survey. Also, if you took a survey of Muslims you’d by definition be excluding people who had rejected their parents’ religion, which would render the survey pointless.

It’s rather that it seems logical to me that someone who was raised by Muslim parents in a Muslim country and had a Muslim education is more likely to be a devout Muslim than someone who was raised by Muslim parents in a secular country and had a relatively secular education. It’s about varied influences. Of course, the war on terror would skew such a trend in the short term. But no, I haven’t got any knock-out statistics to hand.

65. Just Visiting

Chaise

Thanks.

> It’s rather that it seems logical to me…

I wonder if in your ‘seems logical’, you have also ignored the effect of external influences on Muslim minorities in the West.

Eg Saudi and Iranian money being spent in the UK and the West – to provide books and training in strict Islam.

Given that activity, it becomes less logical that secularism will just happen.

@64 Yeah the big irony is that Muslim immigrants came here to escape the chafing confines of political Islam in their home nations, so are comparatively liberal. While their offspring are tending toward a more radical Islam, presumably because they’ve never had to live under it, and don’t understand that it isn’t exactly sunshine and lollipops.

67. Just Visiting

Here is a case just this week – of Muslims in Britain, (or at least with British accents) threatening violence against those speaking up for women/religious minorities in Islamic lands….

Little evidence that being here long enough to have the accent, prevents extremism:

“A Muslim Conservative councillor has received death threats after taking up the case of a Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy. ”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8298715/Muslim-councillor-receives-death-threats-over-blasphemy-case.html


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