To Jaladhi - about censorship and - Mea Culpa.
Submitted by Michel C. Zala (United States), Feb 1, 2007 at 14:34
Since you are new to this thread, and refrained from insulting me other than calling me a "fraud",
If you in fact made the effort of going through the thread from the beginning, you may have seen, that the fundamental disagreement with Noah - whom I engaged with in an initially good debate - lays in the angle of approach to a "problem" I see myself in many aspects too, believe it or not.
As opposed to Noah however, I see our (admittedly) needed reaction to various challenges, ISLAM poses as a sum of many specific, focused tactical measures to address a variety of different levels and shades of that threat across the globe.
Susan, Noah and admittedly the vast majority of the bloggers here see ISLAM as one comprehensive category in the process of destroying our way of life, hence call for one comparably simple, extreme strategy to counter that threat.
Plato and I (hope to be allowed to interpret your position, Plato) on the other hand believe for instance that our domestic Muslims should not be put into the same category as for instance Al Khaeda types. I even feel that a difference of approach should be taken in the case of Turkey or for instance Muslim Countries of the PacRim. Jordan is to our opinion a different ballgame than Saudi Arabia. I tried to move away from the religious component towards a political dimension. We made an effort to move the discussion away from the "letter of the book" towards the people practising the religion while living here for example.
Much evidence was mounted as to recent events and occurrences of intolerance, fanatism, even militancy, committed by Muslims. I and Plato deplore such as much, as you do, but simply draw slightly different conclusions. We also dared to mention aspects of the very same originating from our very own culture and hence reasoned for a bit of consideration and caution when calling for radical measures.
We all shared some personal experiences and I admitted often, that such were my own and that I had not considered them as representative.
Have you seen that I promoted very drastic and intrusive means to "handle" the threat originating from IRAN? Have you paid attention that I feel almost as strongly towards Syria and Saudi Arabia? That Al Khaeda and the likes should be treated like the animals they are?
So - what does that mean to you? Does that make me a hypocrite Muslim Lover?
You are absolutely right, when you felt that I called for Censorship.
While I admire the US consitution as a document which could easily be the common denominator for the entire species no matter the origin, I nevertheless see clear tendencies of perversion of the meaning of these freedoms. I see these tendencies right here in the USA and Europe. The guy, who swears his oath of Office as a Congress Rep on the Koran, the lawyer who mounts a lawsuit against a city in my neighborhood (Ventura) to remove a decade old Cross from a mountain..... the movement trying to remove "under God" from our pledge of allegiance, our legal system being perverted by (rich) murderers (OJ Simpson) or corporate execs(Enron), while shoplifting can result in life in prison for the poor bastard who happens to do it three times. The Mosque in Birmingham, where a US Immam is allowed to spread fanatism, militancy and intolerance freely, tax incentives here for any cult or movement, as long as it is called a "church." Right here in the USA equal treatment is no longer good enough, reverse discimination led to continuously moving targets, where one does no longer know in the coporate world how to address a certain minority. Remember Diana literally being hunted to death by the press? The News are no longer news, but driven by profit and ratings, expressions of political views. Even the once in a time world renowned BBC is by now a platform for liberalism of the worst kind. Ever watched O'Reilly of Fox news? to list the other extreme.
What I am trying to say is, that for a moment only discussing the domestic subcategory of the treat, that we must look inwards first and repair our own system which is being manipulated and perverted from all sides, not just the Muslims. All these organizations (CAIR, ACLU, political lobbies, the defense and industrial complex, heck even Microsoft) are perverting a well intended system, seek loopholes rather than common sense interpretatons of our current laws.
I have not disputed one single of the many references and incidents, Noah, Susan have listed. But again in a domestic context spoken, for every single one I could list another, demonstrating intolerance, fanatism and hate against another minority originating from our own people.
This Blog has in fact confirmed, what Dr. Pipes started up with. The silence of the self-absorbed, desinterested, desillusioned, passive average john doe speaks of fanatic opinions and hatred from the extreme ends of the spectrum and pretty much nothing in between, other than a few lone voices like Plato, who in the process get drowned out by anger and outright hatred.
Maybe, just maybe, it would be time to revisit our Freedoms and tighten them? Look at the discussion here, where there is no restraint anymore, where people are being insulted, belittled and patronized, just because they have a different viewpoint.
Let's be honest to ourselves here, take a step back and read this tread: Do we really deserve "freedom of Speech in its current form? Have we proven to be worthy of such a grand responsibility? Do we not without moderation or consideration or restraint hide behind the anonymity of the Internet, then call for intolerance and radicalism? This blog has become a platform for the "immams" of our own, and I am ashamed to say that, what I read here, is not so much different from the positon of that moron in Birmingham - just voiced from the other side.
The problem is - as Plato pointed out - the keyboard or pen is a powerful weapon which can as easily be misguided or misused as a nuclear device. Ironically working directly into the hands of exactly those Muslims, even I condemn and most strongly oppose.
Why that terrible logic is so easily dismissed, is beyond my understanding. But I dare to offer a possible explanation:
For a variety of reasons, I just can't buy into that. I am sorry - (no sarcasm this time).
I will also admit, that my posts are intended to undermine any radical Immam trying to go back to his congregation and label us as one coherent group of haters of the Muslim world. I know that this may sound arrogant or ambitious to say the least, but my posts shall lend a touch of credibility to any moderate, modern Muslim, willing to oppose his own radical factions and intolerance in response to ours.
In conclusion, I do absolutely agree with Noah on the needed Reform of Islam, but see a different MO to get there. Why that finds such "strong" (!?!?*&^) opposition, is truly depressing. Why the Platos of this world have not stood up en masse to support me in this endeavor, pains me on a deeply personal level.
The silent majority of moderate Christians, Buddhists and Muslims has been so far my biggest disappointment. Tragic confirmation of Pipes depiction of our (western) society righ there - in this blog.
I say it again:
At least you are willing to contribute and do something about it. In the context of my analogy about the gangrape in a NY subway, I despise the bystanders almost more, than the actual rapists.
The first are animals, hence have in a legal context almost mitigating curcumstances. The latter have no excuse, no justificatiion, but are passive, sefl-absorbed cowards, who will eventually become victims themselves, due to their inactivity.
Something else: I do feel the need to unconditionally apologize to y'all, as I myself fell into the trap of becoming emotional and offended. I responded with acryd sarcasm and nicely wrapped insults myself . In that sense, I found, reading my own posts, applying exactly the methods I condemned you for. This blog has brought out the worst in me, and for that I am ashamed. I failed my own principles miserably, while my hands on the keyboard ran away with me and left the brain wanting.
My response, especially to Dhimmi was uncalled for and I deserved the resulting beating.
Lastly - take it or leave it - check my website and see that I spoke the truth about myself.. You can even verify, when that site was updated last - months before I engaged here.
While I ask you to not see it as "excuse", but maybe a mitigating circumstance, the story of my dad is something I still chew on. He died before he saw me becoming a US Citizen. he was a hero, a holocaust survior, who managed to never once voice one single snite remark against the Germans or any minority so ever. He was passionate in his support for ISRAEL, yet never condemned Muslims as a whole.
How he managed to overcome reflexive instincts, having seen sister, father and mother killed in the very same camp, I can not fathom.
Honoring the memory of Dr. Janosz Zala, Baron Weisz v. Horstenstein, I simply try to do the same. Because you dared to doubt it, I degraded in my response to an emotional outburst of the worst kind.
Please go ahead and doubt my position, question my arguments, even question me - but please do not touch on that aspect, the memory and history of a truly great man. I can not enforce it, can only respectfully ask for restraint in that regard.
Thanks and Farewell.
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