Saturday, January 16, 2016

CUFI Loosely Associating Different Muslims Together

One feature of Islamophobia is to falsely stereotype Islam as a unified, political force. This tendency may be seen in the following article from Christians United For Israel. The article appears to have been written around May 2013.
Last week, a disturbing video made the social media rounds. It shows an armed rebel dismembering a dead soldier’s body. He then extracts and eats the soldier’s heart. According to Human Rights Watch, the cannibal is a Syrian rebel leader named Abu Sakkar. His snack was a Syrian government soldier.

While cutting away at his victim, Sakkar says, “We swear to Allah that we will eat your hearts and livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog.” Bashar Assad is the Syrian President the rebels seek to topple.
So an anti-Assad militant makes a grotesque video of cannibalism. (More on this incident may be seen here, here and here. According to one report dated April 7, 2015 he is now a member of Al Qaeda's arm in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra.) It is good and proper to condemn a violation of common decency and human rights as is done above. But in this article that atrocity is then linked with other events that are not connected to the terrible and ongoing Syrian Civil War.
We’ve seen this movie before. We’ve seen the bloody beheadings of Daniel Pearl and hundreds of others. We’ve seen the lynching of Israeli soldiers by men who then held up their blood-drenched hands in celebration. We’ve seen the blood lust of Assad himself, who’s already killed tens of thousands of his citizens in his effort to cling to power.
There is a bit to get through here so let's break this down a bit.
We’ve seen this movie before. We’ve seen the bloody beheadings of Daniel Pearl and hundreds of others.
So one moment he is talking about an anti-Assad militant's act of cannibalism now he is talking about the murder of Daniel Pearl by terrorists in Pakistan. What does one have to do with the other?
We’ve seen the lynching of Israeli soldiers by men who then held up their blood-drenched hands in celebration. 
That ghastly incident occurred during the Second Intifada (2000-5). The majority of those who were killed in the Second Intifada were Palestinians. The Second Intifada killed about 1,010 Israelis and up to 3,354 Palestinians. Palestinians endured about three times as many fatalities as Israelis.

What does the Second Intifada in the Holy Land have to do with the ongoing Syrian Civil War?
We’ve seen the blood lust of Assad himself, who’s already killed tens of thousands of his citizens in his effort to cling to power.
Well at least that is connected with the act of cannibalism at the start of this article.

We now continue with CUFI's article.
The same day that this video was posted, a group of Israelis was engaged in a similar activity. They too surrounded a prostrate Syrian. They too cracked open her chest. But the Israelis did not consume her heart. They healed it. The Israelis were a team of doctors. Their patient was a four-year-old Syrian girl born with a life-threatening heart defect.
It is good that those doctors saved the life of that child.
This tale of two hearts provides a penetrating insight into what has driven the Arab-Israeli conflict for the last two decades. The radical element in Islam which rejects our reverence for human life cannot be appeased by words, compromises or dialogue. This culture of death demands corpses. Eating them is optional.
But what does an anti-Assad militant have to do with terrorists in Pakistan murdering Daniel Pearl or Hezbollah? (Hezbollah is fighting to prop up the Assad regime.)
As Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has stated it: “The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.” This culture of death is what drives members of Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations to blow themselves up in Israeli buses and cafes. This culture is what drove members of these organizations to dance in the streets last month upon hearing that Americans had been murdered in Boston.
What does Hezbollah's militants have to do with the anti-Assad insurgency? Hezbollah is allied with the Assad regime. Hezbollah have sent their forces to fight anti-Assad insurgents. Many Hezbollah militants have died in this endeavor. They were killed by the anti-Assad insurgency. Why are Hezbollah loosely associated with the anti-Assad insurgency (that they are fighting against), terrorists in Pakistan and Palestinians in this article? These separate issues are loosely conflated as one single issue. This is incorrect.

He then goes on to say that "many Arabs and Muslims" are not like this. King Hussein is then mentioned and his response to a Jordanian border guard murdering seven schoolgirls in 1997. The murderer was convicted for the seven murders and remains in prison to this day.
There are of course many Arabs and Muslims who reject this culture of death. Many do so in words. Some have done so in powerful deeds. In March 1997, for example, a Jordanian soldier Corporal Ahmed Daqamseh opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the Jordanian border. He killed seven schoolgirls and wounded six others before his rifle jammed.

A few days after the attack, King Hussein of Jordan did something extraordinary. He travelled to Israel to express his remorse. He actually knelt down before each of the grieving families. “Your daughter is like my daughter. Your loss is my loss,” he told them. At that moment in time, peace real peace seemed possible.
But the goal of this article is to mobilize people to participate in CUFI's activities so it ends with the following pessimistic statement.
And therein lies the problem. It seems that time has been kinder to Daqamesh than to King Hussein. Time has been kinder to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad than to Anwar Sadat, the Arab peacemaker they murdered.
The radicals are not on the run. They are on the rise. Will the Arab world be led by people with King Hussein’s heart, or will it be led by people who eat hearts? At various times during the past decades, there was reason for optimism. This is not one of those times.
After this was written the Egyptian military overthrew President Morsi and drove the Muslim Brotherhood underground after violently suppressing their protests by killing hundreds of protesters. The coup was prompted in part by the appointment of a terrorist as governor of Luxor. Egyptian Islamic Jihad will be wishing that this article was correct on that topic.

So this little article condemns a "culture of death" and negatively mentions the cannibal anti-Assad militant, terrorists in Pakistan who murdered Daniel Pearl, Palestinians during the Second Intifada, Hezbollah, Hamas, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and a murderous Jordanian border guard.

What connects all these?

Very little.

Rather this shows the unfortunate tendency to view Muslims as politically all alike. But this is not true.

While we may say, "There are a billion Muslims" politically speaking they are divided into many nation states and even within these nation states there are many differing political interests, leftists, rightists, fundamentalists, the secular, etc.

But Islamophobia is inclined to view Muslims collectively as an indistinguishable whole. Differences are minimized. Exceptions may be made (as was made for King Hussein in this article) but overall Muslims are viewed in this ideology as a united threat.

But this is wrong. Muslims are not a unified, political force by any means. We need to stop viewing them collectively in that way. We need to deal with facts, not this harmful and confusing stereotype. It is unfortunate that this article repeats this erroneous view.

Considering that information like this is written it is little wonder why the Center for American Progress have listed the founder of CUFI, John Hagee, as a part of the Islamophobia Network.

No comments:

Post a Comment