Showing posts from July, 2008

Shaykh Safar Needs a State to Humiliate the People of Falsehood

The relationship between state and Mosque is one of the hottest topics in the world today.

The Islamists across the board believe in a role for Islam in government though they disagree on the details. But the concept of citizenship and the modern state is absent from at least some of the discourse, if not most of it.

Shaykh Fadel al Safar, a professor of Islamic law in Iraq, wrote a book on the subject entitled the Jurisprudence of government in Islam. He starts the book with a wish and a prayer. The wish is for an Islamic state.

But the prayer--This is not a prayer for the end of hunger, corruption, and torture and death squads -God forbid.

Instead he starts his worthy book by asking God for a State that honors Islam and its followers and humiliates falsehood and its followers…

A state is for all its citizens. Not Mr. Safar's. It’s a state that is used to "humiliate the other." The other is anyone who does not belong to the privileged faith group.

This is one of the reasons w…

Suha Bishara: on Palestine and Sunni-Shia Tensions

The late PA leader Yasser Arafat once answered a question about his governance of the Palestinians by telling The New York Times, give me the Swiss to rule and I will rule like Switzerland does.

It seems he was onto something. Switzerland does have a good influence on people.
Leave it to a woman, a Christian, a communist Lebanese, married to a Swiss and living in Switzerland, to speak freely and clearly about Lebanon- in particular about the Palestinians and about Sunni-Shia tensions.

On Palestine:

On the occasion of the release of the Lebanese prisoners from Israel in an exchange between Hizbullah and Israel, the Lebanese daily al- Safir interviewed Suha Bishara. Many years ago-Suha Bishara tried to assassinate Antoine Lahd, the head of the Lebanese militia set up by Israel to guard its Northern border-- the South Lebanon army. Suha Bishara was part of the secular national and leftist resistance movement that was fighting Israel before the Syrians colluded with Iran and its Islamists to …

Lebanon War Memoir: Cobra's book

A controversial book on the Lebanon war from the Christian militias' experience as told by a former militia man is posted online.

When Not to Sue the Bastards?

Why Do Bigots Defame Arabs and Muslims and Get Away with It?

It is often said that the US is a highly litigious society. Individuals are suing and being sued at a rate that surprises many people- the US has way more lawsuits than China, for example.

Sue the bastards. It's a classic response that a person that is wronged hears. However, many times suing is not the best way of dealing with a problem. One of the areas where suing might not be the best way to go is in cases of defamation of a "public figure"- a celebrity, a politician or even anyone who injects themselves in the "public eye."

Take the case of a number of Arab and Muslim leaders that are being targeted by American bigots. Arab and Muslim personalities involved in public affairs find that the American bigots are targeting them with a campaign of organized libel (written defamation) and slander (spoken defamation). The labels are terrorist, terrorist sympathizer, former terrorist, terrorist apolog…

The Wall Street Journal Matchmaker Cabbie Story

The media can fairly represent Arabs and Muslims in the US when they cover them as ordinary people-and sometimes extraordinary people.

Stories about bad Arabs and bad Muslims, even when true, help perpetuate biases and prejudices when not balanced by the overwhelming other reality- the non- terror or foreign policy reality.

One story of the other reality is in the weekend Wall Street Journal of June 5-6, 2008, the Fourth of July weekend, about an Egyptian cab driver who plays matchmaker in Manhattan.
"These Singles Just Wanted a Taxi, But Mr. Ibrahim Drove Them to' I Do'" by Jane Spencer.

The Jerusalem attack and the Failure of Hamas

Today a Palestinian from Jerusalem used a bulldozer to run over a number of cars and people in West Jerusalem area.

Two died and a number of people were injured.

This was a classic act of terrorism. Indiscriminate violence against noncombatants. A despicable crime. No nuancing needed.

I watched a Hamas spokesperson on Aljazeera speaking from Gaza say that this attack is "understandable."


It 's impossible for the Palestinians to achieve an independent state without the support of fair minded Israelis and world public opinion. Condoning such terrorism is not only immoral- it is also foolish politically.

Hamas seems intent on keeping the label of a terrorist organization and ruling over an isolated and impoverished Gaza strip.

I can't recall how many times I heard and read that Islam does not condone indiscriminate attacks of this nature.

Regardless of the politics of the matter and the legitimate grievances of the wronged and occupied Palestinian people- pl…