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Reaply to Seamus MacNemi's reply

Reader comment on item: Where the Nazi "Big Lie" Endures
in response to reader comment: Reply to Ianus

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), May 6, 2007 at 05:36

Seamus MacNemi wrote :

> I take your thoughts with gratitude for the honesty expressed in your thinking.

I can only repeat your words .

> I do, however, disagree somewhat. I have lived in communities where Moslims and Jews get along quite well together

I'd like to hear more documented voices to that effect. In the meantime I am concerned about voices telling me how increasingly insecure Jews living in France or the UK feel whenever they happen to be in a Moslem neighbourhood.

> and I know that in the past, especially in Spain and in Turkey there was quite a famous collaboration between Muslims and Jews.

It's very kind of you to call it "collaboration", although the Jews at that time might have preferred "partnership" and "equality" which Islam is most enemical to.

> The "Rambam", Moses Ben Maimon or Maimonides as He is sometimes called, was the physician to the Sultan of Cairo,

With such unrepresentative examples you can prove anything. Tell us instead the story of Shabbatai Zevi , the would-have-been Messiah , who ended his career as a good Moslem .

> and when my ancestors were driven out of Spain by Queen Isabella and her inquisition along with the Jews and Moslims, The Turkish Sultan invited many, not only Jews, to live in his lands. He recognised the advantage that people like us who were industrious and far sighted would be to him in his reign.

He was really far-sighted. By inviting and privileging the Jews he created at least one class who was not opposed to the Ottoman tyranny . The rayas (literally "the cattle" - the nations subjected by the Turks) were at last disunited in their hatred against the oppressive and blood-thirsty Turks.

> The only thing we could not do was to aspire to the position of the Sultan.

I'd imagine there were many other things the Jews could not aspire to. E.g. evading the humiliating jizya and hoping that in case of a conflict between a Jew and a Turk the qadi would aquit the Jew . Instead of relying on your eulogy of the Turks I'd rather point to Bat Ye'or 's study "The dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam"

The link below gives a review of the book with Dr. Pipes' very positive comment on it .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dhimmi:_Jews_and_Christians_Under_Islam

> So, we were given, more or less, a free hand to pursue our own interests without fear of outside interference.

You call it "a free hand" ? Strange freedom it must have been as it did not rest on any fixed and respected laws or contracts , but depended totally on the caprice of individual rulers.

> Of course, this all meant little of nothing to us as we were free to be who we were and we didn't have the authorities always breathing down our necks and spies running about the place looking for any excuse to betray us.

"Free" ? Some other successful minority also fancied they were free. I mean the Turkish Armenians.

> It might suprise you to know that many of my folk rose to some quite prominent positions in the Muslim world even though we were not Muslims.

No , it doesn't surpise me. What surprises me is that you don't mention how precarious any high position in the Ottoman Empire was.

> We were who we were and no anount of fancy ritual gibberish or majic words and spells would ever change any of that.

Are you sure ? In the Ottoman Empire you had no rights protecting you. An arbitrary whim of a vizier or a sultan could deprive you of all your wealth and influence within minutes. And if reports of foreign trevellers and diplomatcs are to be trusted , the wealthier a raya , the more he was exposed to Turkish envy, malice and greed .

> So He didn't even try to convert us.

How merciful of Him ! You didn't even have to pay the devshirme.

> That was the real fear of the church and one major reason for the crusades. We were beyond the pale of the church in every way and they could not touch our thinking. So they sought to eliminate us and the Jews along with us.

Times were unenlightened and crude.

> In our history, my folk have born many of the same libel accusations as the Jews, and I am often given to wonder who they would hate and fear more, Me or the Jew who stands next to me. Given a true choice of targets I think I would be the prefered choice simply for the fact that in matters of aquisition and money as well as political power, my own ambitions would far outstrip any the Jew might have.

You speak all the time "my folk", "my folk" ... Now you mention euphemistically your insatiable greed of power and money ... Who are you anyway ? ... A free mason , a scientologist with medieval pedigree or what ?

> After all, my folk wrote much of the book that the Jew reads when it comes to wealth and power. As well, we tought him how to fight and we put the gun in his hands so he could fight. So if anybody has a beef, now you know where to bring it.

You and your folk seem to possess all the virtues the Jews may dream of aspiring to. Any vices though ?

> Leave the Jew alone to live his life as he sees fit and all will be well with you.

Are you directing this sentence directly at me ? In that case either there is a misunderstanding or you have chosen a strange phraseology.

> Think to do otherwise and you will have us to deal with.

.... "us" ? Your constant reference to "my folk" , "my folk" sounded in my ears as "my tribe" , my clan", "my herd" ... With the language you apply now , I feel confirmed in my presentment . The historiographer has imperceptibly sunt to the phraseology of a thug .

> That, I can assure you, will not be a pleasant experience for you.

As to "my folk" (we are no tribe, and we have long since overcome the clan system) , we can be also extremely unpleasant if treated unpleasantly , but we are quite susceptible and grateful to rational discourse .

Submitting....

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