Tuesday, January 30, 2007

3 "Ex-Terrorists"; UM Cops Suppress Free Speech Again (Part 1)

I heard the three two "ex-terrorists" and one former "militant fighter in a civil war" speak last night at the University of Michigan in a fairly packed Rackham auditorium. Let me first say that if the speakers' personal stories were in any significant part true then they deserve our sympathy, understanding, and compassion. They told stories of witnessing and being part of horrific things as children and young men--things that no person should ever being subject to. I wish them true healing--a healing that will allow them to stop projecting the hate they claim they experienced/internalized onto so much of the Muslim and Arab world, a healing that will allow them to stop serving the hateful cause of Christian and Jewish Zionism. If they did the things they said they did in the past then I'm glad they stopped.

The event started with the president of the UM chapter of Young Americans for Freedom [sic] haranguing the folks in yellow shirts who showed up to protest the event. He claimed that yellow was chosen because it is the color of the Lebanese resistance movement Hizbullah. This met with a mild round of applause from YAF supporters and some protesters. I seriously doubt that the Hizbullah association played any part whatsoever in the choice of colors. Having drunk the poisonous kool-aid of the American media, most the students would have been too embarrassed, scandalized, or afraid to intentionally show any solidarity with the Lebanese people or Hizbullah, the group that expelled the Israelis from southern Lebanon in 2000 and effectively defeated them on the battlefield last year despite the huge advantage in weaponry enjoyed by the Israelis. Tip to progressive students: You can stand in solidarity with people resisting oppression even if you don't like or agree with their methods, it just takes courage. Just before the Pledge of Allegiance was said a heckler challenged the crowd to express loyalty to the Constitution instead of a flag.

The first speaker was Kamal Saleem, who straightaway demonstrated his deep commitment to the democratic process by stating of America: "If we don't like her, then we should leave her." Which drew the cheers of the YAFers and the taunt of a heckler "If we don't like her, we should change her." Saleem responded by stating "The airport is not far from here." Saleem's delivery was quite stilted considering he was supposedly telling his life story, a point not lost on the heckler who shouted, apparently accurately, that Saleem was "reading from a script."

Next up was ex-"ex-terrorist", now former "militant fighter in a civil war," Zachariah Anani, who claims to have killed 223 people. He says he is from a prominent Beirut family of Muslim imams and was in training to become an imam himself. Yet, it was not until after his conversion to Christianity by a Baptist missionary (Pat Robertson or one of his followers? They were active in Lebanon) that he first read the Quran!

Anani mentioned the repression of the Saudi regime several times but never called for any diplomatic sanctions or cut off of US military sales and assistance--something this blogger would support--to the kingdom named after the royal family. No mention, either, that the Saudi regime enjoys close, albeit confidential, ties with Israel (see also here) and close ties with the Bush administration.

As I recall, it was during Anani's time that about one-fifth to one-fourth of the crowd walked out in protest to the applause of many of the YAFers. Much of his talk consisted of selectively quoting the Quran in order to demonstrate what an evil and violent religion Islam is. Having read, in English translation, much of the Quran myself, there is no doubt in my mind that there are Quranic texts that can be easily interpreted to justify violence. However, the same could be said of the Bible.

Here's a sample:
Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.

Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' " (I Samuel 15:2-3)
This divine directive to genocide is part of the 613 commandments or mitzvot identified by Maimonides (Rambam) in his Sefer Hamitzvot although a different portion of the Bible is usually cited. Liberal Jews and obfuscators maintain this commandment is no longer in effect because there are no more Amalekites but as Naim Ateek points out in Justice and Only Justice--citing rabbis Moshe Segal, Israel Hess, and Meir Kahane--there is no shortage of Jews who believe the genocide directive applies today to Palestinians, Arabs, and others (see also the discussion by Elliott Horowitz in his introduction to Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence).

Violent eschatology is a staple of Christian Zionist teaching. Pat Robertson, for example, quotes Zechariah 14:2-4:
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.

Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.

In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
Robertson is dead set against the US' Middle East "Road Map" and interprets Zechariah literally, claiming: "Now, that prophecy in Zechariah has not yet totally been fulfilled, but this is a precursor of it because the United Nations represents all of the nations of the earth and they have now come against Jerusalem." He looks forward to and works for the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Apparently, so does "ex-terrorist" number three, Walid Shoebat who is quoted by Arutz Sheva, the Israeli news service:
As an afterthought, but said with a sense of great urgency, the former terrorist turned lover of Zion implored the Nation of Israel, "Please take back the holy Temple Mount."
As a Palestinian "ex-terrorist", former Muslim, and a current Christian Zionist, Shoebat must know that his call is nothing less than a call to apocalyptic holy war to many Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

I'll have more to say about Shoebat's talk, suppression of free speech, press coverage, etc. in the next day or two, so check back then.

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As salaam alaikum,

I am a Canadian Muslim writer of short fiction, poetry and ‘daily news commentary’. Come by inshallah for a quick read when you have 59 seconds or so.

Wa salaama,

nuh ibn
Have you even read the Bible before quoting anything from it? have you read the part of the Bible where it says: 21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Matthew 5:21-22

The Bible verses that you've quoted were orders to the people of Israel that took place in the past and are NOT orders to all the Jews to KILL THE NON BELIEVERS like with ISLAM.
"Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan" Quran 4:6

Jesus Christ fulfilled the law of Moses by his new commands:

38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Mat: 5:38-42

If you ever happen to read the entire Bible, you will notice the huge difference between it and the Quran. I would not try to make the Bible look evil to justify the violence of ISLAM because the Bible is a book of peace.

E-mail me your address and I would happily send you an Arabic copy of the Bible for you to read.

sorry, my email is: about_religion@yahoo.com
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