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A disgrace

Reader comment on item: The Paterson 'Protocols'

Submitted by Irfan Khawaja (United States), Nov 15, 2002 at 16:11

I have lived in New Jersey most of my life, and have seen some
unedifying spectacles before, but this one takes the cake. "Disgrace"
is too mild a term to describe it.

As I have said before, and will doubtless have to say
for the rest of my life, anti-Semitism is not a fringe phenomenon in
the Muslim American community (or Arab American community). It is
a big problem, and this particular disclosure is just the tip of the iceberg.
My advice would be: keep up the scrutiny, and you will find the rest
of the iceberg. The publication of the Protocols was just a matter of
time. The serialization of Mein Kampf can't be too far off.

I don't mean that every member of that community is an anti-Semite,
but far too many are. I hesitate to write anything at all on this subject,
because it really is the responsibility of believing Muslims and
Arabic-speaking Arabs to do so, and I am neither. But for the most part,
I haven't heard a damn thing from them, and don't expect to. That by
itself is an indictment of their "community." The Muslims regard themselves
as one "ummah." Well, what is that ummah saying about this? Can
we infer that if almost no part of the ummah says anything, the entire ummah is indifferent to the issue? The same people who purport to speak in the name
of all Muslims fall silent when the need to speak really arises. And who then
is left doing the dirty work for them, but people like me--people who don't
even belong to their absurd community, but cannot sit by as the Protocols
of the Elders of Zion go undenounced. I would not go so far as to say that
silence is complicity, but silence is certainly wrong. We should by now have
heard a roar of disapproval for The Arab Voice's actions, but we've heard
nothing of the sort from the Arabs and Muslims of New Jersey. And somehow,
I doubt we will. But I'm sure we'll hear a lot about racial profiling.

Whenever I say things like this (often), Muslims and Arabs get huffy and
offended. But the fact remains: in the two decades that I have paid
attention to Islamic anti-Semitism, they have done precious little to address
it. With some exceptions, we're dealing with a community whose leaders
are skilled at making complaints and chanting mindless slogans, but have
little else in the way of talent, merit, or ability. The same morons who
came up with the slogan "Sharon and Hitler are the same/Only difference
is the name" have fallen deafeningly silent now that Hitler's ideology is
finding expression in their midst. And if the leadership doesn't change, who
is to blame but the people who put it there?

Having said all this, I am still puzzled by many things regarding this incident.
For one thing, I still cannot figure out whether the Protocols were published
once or many times, and whether in August or October (or in between). Nor can I
figure out whether Walid Rabah distanced himself from the Protocols through a disclaimer or not. Nor, if there was a disclaimer, what it said. Finally, I do not understand why Dr. Pipes dragged James Zogby into the issue if he (Pipes) himself has admitted that Zogby's only connection to the paper was that Zogby's column was published in it. Zogby claims that it was published without his knowledge, and I haven't seen anyone rebut that claim yet. So I assume that Zogby was right.

If so, how can Zogby be held responsible for the actions
of The Arab Voice if he had no idea that his column was being published there?
Isn't it a problematic tactic to insinuate that someone is an anti-Semite (or
complicitous in anti-Semitism) if one isn't willing to produce actual evidence
of his complicity? Isn't the accusation of "anti-Semitism" liable to lose its
sting if it's watered down in this way? If you can be an anti-Semite both by
hating Jews AND by your column's being published in an anti-Semitic publication
without your knowledge, hasn't the phrase "anti-Semitism" has been rendered
meaningless? I think the answers are obvious, and that dragging Zogby into
this issue muddied the waters (as well as his reputation) for no good reason.

And finally, I must add this. Here we are, denouncing one set of false and
malicious lies--the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And in order to do it, one
person below (Nonna Berina) insists on perpetrating another set of false and malicious lies--that the Arab residents of Paterson celebrated the 9/11
attacks for a "week." No, I am sorry, but they did not, and there is not a
particle of evidence to sustain such claims. A lie can only be combatted by
the truth, not by more falsehoods. This should be obvious, but in a climate
like this, perhaps nothing is obvious any more.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

As a columnist myself, I know that approval is required for a newspaper to publish one's materials on a regular basis, as the Arab Voice had done with James Zogby's.

DP

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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