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Response to Mr. Shoebat

Reader comment on item: Walid Shoebat: "Palestinian turns from radical Muslim to true Zionist"
in response to reader comment: jhubers

Submitted by jhubers (United States), Apr 5, 2009 at 00:32

Walid,

... Is it not possible to discuss these matters without abuse? I assumed you were filled with the Spirit of Christ. I don't hear that in your words.

My concerns about your background actually arose out of conversations I've had with a good Palestinian Christian friend of mine who knows your family as he, too, grew up in the Bethlehem area. He is deeply disturbed by the hate you preach, and saw through your story long before others did. I may, in fact, ask him to respond to you on this post. My only concern would be exposing him to you ..

. I also, by the way, spent a dozen years in the Middle East. The first two years I spent there was as a teacher in a school whose principal was a Palestinian Christian from Bethlehem, as well as two of the other teachers, one of whom was the niece of the man who was the mayor of Bethlehem at that time. I still have contacts in the Bethlehem area, as my last job had me making regular trips there. All the Christians I've spoken to when reading what it is you have been preaching are deeply disturbed by you ...

But let me return to your answers which you seem to think are satisfactory. They aren't. If anything they open up even more questions. You insist, for instance, that you were brought up as a fanatical Islamicist at a time when there were no true Islamicist groups. Even the Egyptian brotherhood was not the radical group it later became. So what we are supposed to believe is that as a teenager on the West Bank, whose mother was American you stood nearly alone as a radical Islamicist setting the stage for what would later come - a "trend setting" Islamicist, as it were, anticipating a movement that didn't exist.

My comment about Hanan Ashrawi was not meant for you to hold her Christianity up in judgment. You are well aware that religion is as much as identity marker in the Middle East as it is a matter of personal commitment. The point is someone like Hanan Ashrawi would not be welcome as a prominent member of an Islamicist organization both because she is a woman and even more because she is a Christian. This alone suggests that the PLO was not, as you want to say, an Islamicist group.

But even more to the point I mentioned Mrs. Ashrawi because you often tell your audiences that you were taught to hate all Christians and Jews, hate them and plotted to kill them. Yet here was a Christian serving as one of the most prominent leaders of the PLO. Wouldn't this, at the very least, have made you want to start your own organization. How could you possibly be a member of an organization that promoted a hateful Christian to such a position?

Of course Muslims who join the PLO didn't then and don't now give up their Islamic identity. That would never happen. But the Palestinian resistance at the time you would have supposedly belonged, was much more about political liberation than advancing the cause of Islam. What's clear to anyone who has read your story is that you are playing on the fears and ignorance of an American audience to give credence to your message by mixing metaphors, in this case Islamicism with political liberation.

I still haven't heard anything that challenges the points I am making. And you would have an even harder time convincing any of my Palestinian Christian friends who find some of what you say laughable, most simply disturbing.

In your response please try to remain civil.

Submitting....

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