Archive for September, 2012

Ahmadinejad and his death cult

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

On Yom Kippur yesterday 26 September 2012, the Day of Atonement when Jews reflected on and begged forgiveness for their sins of the past year and prayed to be inscribed in the Book of Life, the Iranian regime’s President Ahmadinejad instead talked about the “death” and “elimination” of the Jewish state and said Jews have “no roots” in their own spiritual, historical and legal homeland.

It would of course be beyond Ahmadinejad’s meagre intelligence to either understand history or show respect for his fellow human beings, but here is Psalm 121, which expresses the Jewish people’s timeless yearning for spirituality, peace in their home and, above all, LIFE. Listen to the song and read the translation below.

The psalm is particularly poignant bearing in mind Palestinian Authority President and Holocaust-denier Mahmud Abbas’s constant complaints over the “Judaization” of Jerusalem and Israel. That would be like complaining about the Swedish nature of Stockholm or the Englishness of London. Jerusalem and Israel are ours – get over it.

Psalm 121:
1. A song of ascents. I lift my eyes to the mountains-from where will my help come?

2. My help will come from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.

3. He will not let your foot falter; your guardian does not slumber.

4. Indeed, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.

5. The Lord is your guardian; the Lord is your protective shade at your right hand.

6. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

7. The Lord will guard you from all evil; He will guard your soul.

8. The Lord will guard your going and your coming from now and for all time.

An evolving Swedish view of Islamism

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Note that most of the references in this article are to source material in Swedish – this to ensure authentication of my sources. This article was first published in The Times of Israel on 24 September 2012.

Middle East democracy faces enemies in the form of regimes such as those of the mullahs in Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, and various Arab and Muslim dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia (the only country in the world with apartheid roads), Pakistan (where churches are routinely burned to the ground) and Syria (whose Alawite regime is currently massacring a sizable proportion of the country’s Sunni population). These are all issues on which the Swedish media either soft-pedal or refuse to report.

Swedish media warfare

Recent Swedish research published by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs indicates that “68 percent of Swedes have a negative perception of the Jewish state, compared with an average of 51 percent among EU citizens and 32 percent of Americans.”

Swedes are not anti-Semitic or anti-Israel by heritage. Sweden’s White Buses saved thousands of Jewish concentration-camp survivors at the end of World War Two, including this writer’s mother-in-law; Swedish hero Raoul Wallenberg saved thousands of Jews during that same war; and Sweden’s bilateral business dealings with Israel today are valued at 4 billion kronor a year.

But Sweden has two forces whose agenda transcends the interests of its people and government: the media, and a significant proportion of the country’s Muslim minority. It goes without saying that there are exceptions in both cases.

‘A message to the police’

Breaking the mould, the Swedish daily Sydsvenskan publishes articles, editorials and op-eds that spotlight media bias and the often-abrasive Muslim immigrant sub-culture. On September 13 it ran an article entitled “A message to the police” – a quote from rampaging Arab youths bent on terrorising the country’s third-largest city, Malmö, into submission. One youngster proudly claimed “People are determined to drive out the police”.

It’s not an article that would be published in any other Swedish paper. In fact, it’s not a story most other Swedish media would even report. Partly because they do not want to be targeted the way the Swedish police, fire service, ambulance service, postmen and everyday Swedes are targeted in certain Muslim-majority suburbs. And partly because it does not dovetail with their anti-Israel – which for them means automatic pro-Islamist – agenda.

Herd mentality

However, not even the Swedish media could ignore the story when US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were murdered in Benghazi. Most of the Swedish media gleefully published what quickly proved to be a lie, that “an obscure film made by an Israeli Jew” had affronted the Libyans and “caused” their violence. Thankfully, there were exceptions: Swedish journalist Mats Tunehag wrote that this was as absurd as claiming that “The girl’s mini-skirt caused her to be raped.” Per Gudmundson in Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) also correctly attributed the blame for the Benghazi attack, writing that “The murder of the US ambassador shows just how remote democracy is in the Arab world.” Gudmundson wrote earlier, on September 6, an article entitled “Sweden in the dock at the UN regarding human rights in Malmö.” The English-language Tablet Magazine highlighted the issue in “Sweden’s Damn-Jew Problem.”

The media dam started cracking

Following this lead, the rest of the Swedish media started publishing in a similar vein. GP ran an editorial stating that “Muslims in the West must make their voices heard.” An SvD editorial asked “Why should only Sweden provide a haven?” for Muslims fleeing their homelands. Ten percent of all Syrian refugees, 33 percent of all Somali refuges and 50 percent of all Iraqi refugees in the EU end up in Sweden, whose population totals just 9 million. This represents not only a financial burden on the Swedish economy but also an increasingly significant demographic for the Swedish media, who for some reason feel obliged to pander to the fundamentalist element.

And then the dam burst completely. Nima Gholam Ali Pour wrote “So let the Islamists feel insulted.” SvD published an op-ed entitledThere’s no simple path to good integration.” The author, Thomas Gür, revealed that the Swedish Migration Board expects a 40 percent increase in the number of asylum-seekers in 2013. Bitte Assarmo opined that “Swedish journalists kowtow to Islamic fundamentalists,” and Lars Åberg wrote “Call a murderer a murderer” with reference to the Swedish media’s propensity for excusing Muslim oversensitivity and violence. Signature Avpixlat reported that another 100 million kronor in tax revenues is being diverted from essential Swedish infrastructure to finance the failed “Arab Spring.” Annika Borg said it is “One-sided to blame the (Muslim) rioting on the West.” And this author wrote an article entitled “A few words about carefully orchestrated ‘spontaneous’ Islamic rage.”

Bloggers lead the way

The point of this long list? They are all bloggers. Writing as usual, but now gradually being admitted into the mainstream media. The Swedish media have not suddenly decided to prioritise journalistic integrity. They are merely responding to a groundswell of public opinion – reader demographics – in the wake of the Benghazi outrage.

No longer can public opinion be bottled up by the old media. With the impact of social media, that old monopoly is dead. Newspapers either have to embrace keen, edgy bloggers – which means reporting the news and not just what suits their editorial agenda – or shut down.

So no real change of heart in Sweden; more a healthy evolution, one where editorial bias can no longer be passed off as journalism. Because, post-Benghazi, Swedes are finding the courage to speak their minds. There finally seems to be a dawning understanding that what happened in Benghazi could easily happen in Stockholm. After all, it was just two years ago that a Swedish Islamist detonated a suicide bomb in Stockholm.

Undercover in Malmö

The question is whether this evolving Swedish media climate will welcome Israeli Channel 10’s revealing TV series “Allah, Islam” in which Israeli reporter Zvi Yehezkeli went undercover to document first-hand the thinking and attitudes of Swedish Muslims. This exposé of Islam in Malmö and elsewhere is probably too honest for Swedish media barons to stomach. Meantime, the series is going viral in social media. Perhaps it is only a matter of time before the Swedish media are forced to acknowledge that despite attempts to bury the truth about Islamist fundamentalism in large swaths of its non-integrated Muslim population, the problem is spiralling and Swedes are finally talking openly about the issue, forcing the country’s media and ultimately its politicians to do the same.

On September 2 simultaneous manifestations in support of Israel and democracy were held in Stockholm and Gothenburg (another report on the Gothenburg event can be read here, in Swedish). Apart from two Christian newspapers, no Swedish media covered the event. Swedish bloggers did the job instead, with immense national and global success. A fortnight later, following the Benghazi murders and subsequent global Muslim violence, Islamists held manifestations of their own in Stockholm and Gothenburg. There were al-Qaeda banners, Kalashnikov-emblazoned Hezbollah flags, cries of “heil Hitler” and Nazi-style clenched fists raised in the air. Both events were covered by the Swedish media. The media did not ask the participants a single penetrating question, they tried their best to edit out all the Hizbollah flags showing the Kalashnikov machine-gun symbol, and somehow they all managed not to record a single person shouting “heil Hitler”. But they were there, and that marks a change in the Swedish media mindset.

So a change is in the air.

But is it a lasting one? Time will tell.

A few words about carefully orchestrated spontaneous Islamic rage

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

The Islamic world seems to have an unlimited capacity for hurt feelings. Sparked by a cartoon, an article, a film, a taxi passenger who MAY be carrying duty-free alcohol, a blind bus passenger with her seeing-eye dog. 

Anything that doesn’t meet the standards of the self-appointed guardians of the Islamic faith can automatically and immediately unleash massive, carefully orchestrated “spontaneous days of rage”, from Afghanistan to Libya, from Bangladesh to Tunisia, from Sudan to Egypt. 

The outrage expressed over perceived insults to Islam by the foremost leaders of the Islamic faith could perhaps be taken seriously – even at the risk of compromising the West’s dedication to freedom of speech – were it not the fact that it is these very same people who openly insult other religions in the most racist, vicious and disgusting ways imaginable. In mosques, TV studios, the printed media, social media, radio. 

Not convinced? See the following short video clip, courtesy of MEMRI TV, entitled “New Trends in Arab Anti-Semitism” presented at a session of the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva, September 28, 2010. 

It would thus appear that insulting religion is in fact perfectly acceptable conduct – provided it is perpetrated by fanatical followers of the Islamic faith and targets followers of the Jewish faith. Insulting religion is only deemed unacceptable when it is Islam that is insulted. 

In all the “expert analysis” prompted by the vile murders of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and his three colleagues, and the subsequent attacks on other embassies – including the German embassy in Sudan, for heaven’s sake! – a few salient points arise.

  1. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s first words following the murders were not of support for the embassy staff but of condemnation of the idiotic film that was assumed to have ignited the Islamic flame of violence. This is politically correct appeasement gone mad.
  2. Self-proclaimed experts claim that it was this film that “caused” the widespread violence in the Islamic world. That is much the same as claiming that it was a woman’s attractive perfume that “caused” her to be raped. Wearing an enticing perfume is no more justification for being raped, than the making of a film in California is for killing Americans in Benghazi. Unfortunately some of these “experts” are within the US administration; they should now be looking for new jobs – starting from the very top.
  3. It is time for the West to acknowledge the hydra that is Islamism: a violent, racist, global, political force hiding behind the protective shield of the religion of Islam. It is a force hell-bent on recreating the glories of old in the form of the Caliphate – the spread of the religion of Islam come what may. Christians, Jews, Bahai’ists, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and others living in peaceful coexistence in the West may be perfectly happy to accept both one another and Muslims as diverse peoples living side by side. But the radical interpreters of Islam – the Islamists who today have seized the sole right to interpret what Islam is supposed to mean – do not want to live alongside others; they demand mass conversion to Islam – or mass destruction. How difficult is it to see that Islam is a religion, whereas Islamism is a violent political movement focused on the destruction of Western values? Only a politician could fail to see the distinction.
  4. Question: So a person with US citizenship says or does something that is offensive to Islam (or indeed any other group). Why does the US government feel the need to apologise on his behalf? We’re still waiting for the Egyptian, Palestinian Authority, Saudi, Hamas, Jordanian and other governments to apologise for the disgusting comments about Jews made by their citizens. And we’re still waiting for the Bangladeshi government to apologise for the fact that people in Dhaka carried a banner vilifying Christians and Jews – yesterday. The list goes on and on.
  5. We hear time and again that Islam is the Religion of Peace, and of course it would be stupid to suggest that all followers of Islam are violent jihadis intent on killing followers of other religions. That is patently obviously not the case. We hear that the vast majority of Muslims are as peace-loving and embracing of co-existence as are followers of any other religion. That is no doubt the case. The problem is that this vast – silent – majority is just that: silent. Cowed into silence out of fear of their violent, radical co-religionists. Which means that since the majority of peace-loving Muslims cannot or will not deal with the fanatics in their midst, ridding their own religion of the fanatics who claim sole right to represent all Muslims, then it has to be followers of other religions who have this unenviable task. Which of course feeds into the paranoid Islamist discourse that Islam is under attack by “crusaders” and “infidels”. So, in the West, we are damned if we do act to save ourselves, and doubly damned if we don’t.
  6. The time has therefore come for us to state clearly and proudly that we don’t really care whether or not we hurt the feelings of racist, extremist, fanatical Islamists – we will continue to aggressively protect our freedom of speech in the West and, in doing so, protect the freedom of the vast majority of Muslims in the West who do not subscribe to the Islamist mindset.
  7. What is it we are so afraid of in the West? Are we afraid that by aggressively confronting Islamist intransigence – to the benefit of the majority of moderate Muslims – we will suddenly lose our right to continue donating millions upon millions of dollars to regimes that in turn export just two things back to us – hatred and a flood of Islamist fanatics? The US alone supports the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood regime of Egypt to the tune of 1.3 billion dollars a year. Tunisia gets 300 million US dollars, Yemen 345 million. Yet these are the countries that lead the way in anti-US sentiment and violence. And that’s before we even begin to factor in EU funding of these countries, funding sorely needed in Europe’s own troubled economies.

Finally, one simple question: when was the last time you heard of Christians or Jews outraged at affronts to their religion, going around burning buildings, slaughtering people, demonstrating on the streets of London, Sydney and Paris for the right to “behead those who insult our religion”?

Never heard of such a thing? That’s because it never happened. But it is everyday discourse in the Islamist world. While mainstream moderate Muslims observe in silence.

So Obama, Hollande, Cameron, Merkel et al: get your act together and follow the brave and principled lead of Canada’s Stephen Harper, who closed the Canadian embassy in Iran and ordered Iran’s embassy to close owing to Teheran’s overt anti-Semitic statements, violent Islamist actions and its role in perpetuating sectarian strife in Syria and the Lebanon. Perhaps the time has come to disengage from the Islamic world and let them solve their own differences. After all, what are we getting in return for all our money, efforts, and blood?

Read also:

Daniel Pipes – Another Islamist assault, another Western cringe

Barry Rubin – Libya: Not just a tragedy but the start of another endless war for America

Caroline Glick

Jake Wallis Simons – The Islamist rioters should learn to see the funny side

The Onion – No-one murdered because of this image

The Weekly Standard – The video didn’t do it

Saudi Grand Mufti calls embassy attacks un-Islamic

Jihad Watch – Michael Coren interviews Robert Spencer on the murder of US ambassador Chris Stevens

Pope Benedict visits the Lebanon, a country torn up and divided by Iranian terrorist proxy Hizbollah