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De fire relationsdræbere

 

 

 

 

Offentliggjort 10. september 2005 22:30 ; Jyllandsposten

Islam er den mest krigeriske religion

Kommentar:
Vi vidste det
vel egentlig godt, vidste vi ikke? At islam er en religion der også  prædiker vold og terror. Nu er dokumentationen her - en litterær analyse viser at opfordringer til undertrykkelse og vold i religionens navn er meget større i islam end andre religioner. Det er (nok måske ikke) så stort et problem for dem der fortolker islam ind i vores tid. Men for ortodokse muslimer der mener ord for ord at koranen er guds ord, er dette sprængfarligt.
Endnu et tabu er brudt - vi kan måske begynde at tale realistisk om islam og ortodokse muslimers farlige tro og holdninger. Uden at blive beskyldt for racisme eller at være fordomsfulde

Af ORLA BORG

En dansk sprogforsker har over tre år analyseret 10 religioners grundtekster og konkluderer, at teksterne i islam skiller sig ud ved at opfordre til terror og vold i højere grad end i andre religioner. Danske imamer kan ikke tage kritikken alvorligt.
 


På fire års-dagen for terrorangrebet på World Trade Center fremlægger den danske sprogforsker Tina Magaard en analyse, der sætter spørgsmålstegn ved islams forhold til terror, vold og hellig krig.

Islams tekster opfordrer i langt højere grad end andre religioners grundtekster til terror og kamp, konkluderer Tina Magaard, der er uddannet fra Sorbonne i Paris som ph.d. i tekstanalyse og interkulturel kommunikation, og som i et treårigt forskningsprojekt har sammenlignet 10 religioners grundtekster.

»Teksterne i islam adskiller sig klart fra de øvrige religioners tekster ved i højere grad at opfordre til vold og aggression over for anderledes troende. Der findes også direkte opfordringer til terror. Det har længe været et tabu i islam-forskningen, men det er et faktum, som man er nødt til at forholde sig til,« siger Tina Magaard.

Desuden er der i Koranen hundredvis af opfordringer til kamp mod anderledes troende.

»Hvis det er rigtigt, at mange muslimer opfatter Koranen som guds egne ord, der ikke kan fortolkes eller omformuleres, har vi et problem. Det er indiskutabelt, at teksterne opfordrer til vold og terror. Derfor må det være legitimt at spørge muslimerne selv, hvordan de forholder sig til teksten, hvis de tager den for pålydende,« siger Tina Magaard.

Imamer fortørnede

Imamerne Ahmed Abu Laban og Abdul Wahid Petersen, begge København, er stærkt fortørnede over sprogforskerens analyse.

Abu Laban: »Jeg vil ikke fanges ind af en enkelt stupid, fordomsfuld og uærlig forsker. Hvorfor spilde tid på nogen, der vil skabe en vrangforestilling om islam?«

Abdul Wahid Petersen kalder analysen »noget forskerpladder«:

»Man kan ikke pille citater ud og konkludere, som hun gør. Langt de fleste Koran-vers skal ses i en specifik historisk sammenhæng og kan ikke gøres generelle. Hvis der er så mange voldsopfordringer, hvorfor har muslimer så ikke udryddet alle anderledes troende i de samfund, hvor muslimer er i flertal? Fordi vi ikke læser Koranen sådan.«


 

 

UN members a bigger problem than Kofigate

September 07, 2005 , fra avisen The australian -  http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,16515960%255E32522,00.html

Kommentar: Artiklen nedenunder påpeger FN´s  styrke og svaghed. Et sted for dialog og fælles forståelse, men et elendig forum for forandring og til at tackle kriser: FN er ikke bedre end medlemmerne og mange af dem er diktatorer og korrupe regimer. Stol ikke på FN - men arbejde for forståelse mellem landene. "
This is not to say the UN is useless. It is a useful talking shop, and to jaw-jaw is, as Winston Churchill said, better than to war-war. Though, even here, don't expect stellar results. The UN hasn't yet agreed on a definition of terrorism, no doubt because some members dabble in terrorism. And therein lies the rub. While reform may at least reduce corruption in the administration of the UN, it can never make member countries less corrupt or more democratic. So, we should never take the UN too seriously. More to the point, we should never cede sovereignty to it. It is, inevitably, as deeply flawed as its members. "

A FEW weeks back, when US President George W. Bush picked John Roberts to be the next Supreme Court judge, he reportedly warned the judge he was about to suffer an examination much like one gets from a proctologist. Bush was right. The media went mad. And they are still scooting down every warren. For days, The New York Times even obsessed over whether Roberts was a member of the Federalist Society, a legal group that believes in upholding the original interpretation of the US Constitution. Scary, huh?

It's funny then that the media proctologists fail to display the same zeal on a genuine scandal. Around the same time an inquiry set up by the UN and headed by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker found, in its third interim report, that the Iraq oil-for-food program was riddled with corruption and fraud. Media scrutiny lasted all of a day or two.

Perhaps like groping on Big Brother Uncut, graft at the UN is a little ho-hum these days. But it's worth getting on top of this oil-for-food story because Volcker's latest report exposes all the dirty bits of UN business. And it's not just about a few corrupt cronies with Egyptian accents. This scandal exposes the inherent flaws in the UN, a body routinely accorded more legitimacy than it deserves.

Republicans in the US have been keen to turn the scandal into Kofigate. And it is true that under Kofi Annan's stewardship, the oil-for-food program, which ran from December1996 until November 2003, was mired in corruption. The Volcker report found that Benon Sevan, the former director of the program handpicked by Annan, received $US150,000 in kickbacks, and a procurement officer, Alexander Yakovlev, was attempting to solicit bribes. A final report due out soon will decide on Annan's role in Cotecna, a Swiss company that secured an oil-for-food contract and paid his son, Kojo, $US370,000 between 1996 and 2005.

The evidence so far suggests that half of the 4500 companies that took part in the $US110 billion oil-for-food program - the world's largest humanitarian program - were paying kickbacks to Saddam Hussein. That's a lot of fraud and corruption under Annan's watch. Were he the chief executive of a public company, he would be booted out before you could say humanitarian relief.

But were the UN a public company, its directors -- otherwise known as Security Council members -- might also find themselves turfed out. The Security Council created and supervised the oil-for-food program. British and American negotiators let Saddam choose to whom he sold oil and which goods Iraq would buy in return. Oil-for-food contracts went to the Security Council 661 Committee for approval. Moreover, despite the UN raising specific concerns about dubious pricing, none of the members, which included the US, knocked back a contract based on corrupt pricing practices.

As James Traub wrote in The New Republic in February, the five permanent members of the Security Council were making political decisions according to their own priorities. "Officials from the major countries understood the game in all its complexity and cynicism," says Traub. "It was ugly, but it worked."

And that is the UN's central flaw. The UN's governing council comprises countries that make decisions based on one fact alone: their self-interest. Decisions may be couched in the feel-good, sound-nice language of some higher good. But in the end, no country makes a decision not in its self-interest.

The upshot of that is obvious: just because the UN says something is a good thing does not make it so. It probably just means a number of countries have been bribed into taking that position. Keep that in mind next time you hear the UN described as the repository of international legitimacy.

John Bolton, the new US ambassador to the UN, was roundly condemned for once saying "there is no such thing as the United Nations". Yet Bolton is right. How often has the UN been united enough to act? Not on Iraq. The Security Council passed a dozen or so resolutions against Saddam but enforced none of them. Not in Yugoslavia. The Americans responded to that civil war. Not in Rwanda. Not in Darfur. Not in Zimbabwe.

Indeed, as The Economist points out, by one count the body set up to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" has sat by while countries have taken up arms against one another 680 times between 1945 and 1989. That's a lot of un-united nations.

Bolton also once quipped that if the UN secretariat building in New York lost 10 storeys, it wouldn't make a bit of difference. Again, he's not far off the mark: if the UN is to continue to do nothing, it may as well do nothing for less money.

So, where is all this bad news taking us? Next week, at a special world summit in New York, the UN will attempt its biggest overhaul yet. More than 170 world leaders, including Prime Minister John Howard, will listen to highfalutin talk about refocusing the UN to reduce poverty and deal with climate change, genocide, arms control and peacekeeping. There will be much talk about structural reform by introducing more Security Council members. That is all well and good. And the oil-for-food scandal suggests the UN needs a large dose of transparency and the occasional audit. But in the end, the real stumbling block for the UN will always be the same: its members.

Since its inception, UN supporters have looked to the UN with unworkable idealism about what it represents and what it could achieve. Given that it is nothing more than a collection of despots, dictators and the odd democrat, it was never going to be more than its members allowed it to be. The oil-for-food program was corrupt because members allowed it to be.

This is not to say the UN is useless. It is a useful talking shop, and to jaw-jaw is, as Winston Churchill said, better than to war-war. Though, even here, don't expect stellar results. The UN hasn't yet agreed on a definition of terrorism, no doubt because some members dabble in terrorism. And therein lies the rub. While reform may at least reduce corruption in the administration of the UN, it can never make member countries less corrupt or more democratic. So, we should never take the UN too seriously. More to the point, we should never cede sovereignty to it. It is, inevitably, as deeply flawed as its members.
 

 

 

 

Being Muslim in a mad, sad world

Kommentar: Selv om selve udgangspunktet er forkert - "mad, sad world" - verden er ikke vanvittig - det er mennesker der bruger mulighederne forkert som er vanvittige. Vi har aldrig haft så mange muligheder i verden som nu - SÅ BRUG DEM DOG GODT.
Trods dette - En god artikel - god til at forstå muslimske følelser og ekstremister - men hvorfor skal lidelser udløse terror. Det gør den ikke i Dafur, det gør de heller ikke i Kina, Syd-Amerika. Jeg er bange for at vi også må se på det muslimske værdi set og holdning til muslimsk verdenssyn - retfærdiggørelse af væbnet kamp jihad - som heldigvis ikke findes i kristendom. Muslimer, som alle andre må lære at kæmpe med politiske, demokratisk midler, gennem dialog. Det har vi gjort i Europa og USA. Og så bør de lære at se mere på sig selv, tage ansvar for sin egen skæbne og mindre på andre (f.eks. amerikanerne). Volden i Irak skyldes ikke amerikanerne - den skyldes de mennesker som skyder. Den amerikanske/internationale invasion har givet muligheder for forandring - indtil nu har Irakerne brugt denne mulighed dårligt. Vi må håbe de tager ansvar og bruger denne historiske chance konstruktivt og godt. Til at skabe et bedre land for sig selv og sine børn, og for os andre.
Du kan finde link til artikelen her. Skrevet i Tehran Times 28.8.2005. Og åbenbart hentet fra Washington Post.

By Sabaa Saleem
Since I began working as an editor in The Post's foreign section a year ago, I have come into the office every day hoping only one thing: Please do not let there be another story about a bloody attack perpetrated by extremist Muslims. Not in Iraq, Britain, Egypt, not anywhere.

I'm often disappointed.

Raised in the United States, I have felt fear in my heart as an American treading the vicious new world we all inhabit in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. As the daughter of Pakistani-Muslim parents, I have ached at seeing an entire faith -- my faith -- often vilified because of the actions of a few.

The recent bombings in London and Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt came as punishing one-two blows to me, pushing me to ask the question that I know many Muslims ask: Why do young people who are supposed to be my brothers or sisters in faith terrorize innocent civilians to make a point I can scarcely fathom?

Perhaps the reason I cannot find the answer to this question is that it is rooted in the non-Muslim American reality, a reality that is categorically rejected by extremist Muslims. This rejection incites an equally vehement condemnation by Americans of the extremist worldview.

Thus, we have an impasse: Two realities sharply separated. No nuances, no gray area.

Or is there?

Growing up in the United States, I have learned that we Americans stride across the world's stage with an assured gait, a confidence born of the belief that we act in the interest of freedom, democracy and an ineffable yet essential goodness. The images that have pulsed through me since my youth are of an ascendant America, an icon of liberty and hope.

These are the reasons my parents immigrated here, the reasons so many Muslims have come here. Rooted in this reality, I reject everything extremists say, every excuse they make, and I see only my reality and their misguided outlook.

But there is some inner voice nagging at me, reminding me that when I speak with peaceful Muslims from America, Australia, England, Pakistan and Scotland, I become aware of their reality, which conflicts on some very deep levels with my own. With fresh eyes, I begin to see their point of view. And I realize that their voices have been adopted and warped by Islamic radicals.

I feel that the concerns of moderate Muslims are legitimate when I read this: According to two British organizations, at least 25,000 Iraqi civilians have died so far in the war, more than one-third of them killed by U.S. troops and their allies and more than 1,000 of them children. Killed in a war that the Muslims I have spoken with found difficult to justify.

And when I read this: Nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica in July 1995, and callously tossed into mass graves in the surrounding area. They were murdered with U.N. troops standing by, unable to act. Murdered after the world had vowed that genocide would never taint Europe again. And while some implicated in the atrocity have been tried, its two main architects remain at large.

And when I read this: Muslim men, who had not been tried or charged with a crime, were subjected to sickening acts of torture and humiliation. Acts that came at the hands of soldiers from our home, the United States, one of the foremost proponents -- at least publicly -- of human rights and the Geneva Conventions.

And when I read this: U.S. citizens and permanent residents with Middle Eastern ties have been arrested and held without charge or access to lawyers for months at a time, while their families have struggled against an officially imposed wall of silence.

These incidents, and others, loom as large in the minds of moderate Muslims as 9/11 does in the minds of Americans. The Muslims I have spoken with, and many others I know, have stressed that these events contribute to their formulation of history, their sense of what is right with this world, and of what is horribly wrong. It is these incidents, however, that are taken up by extremists and used to justify acts of violence that, by their very nature, are unjustifiable. And thus, the worldview and anxieties of mainstream Muslims are painted with the black brush of extremism.

As a Pakistani relative in Australia said, mainstream Muslims "do not support bloodshed. What they do support is a representation of their concerns."

But representation is often difficult to find, he said, expressing what is becoming a familiar sense of frustration.

Hearing his words, my mind seemed to open, and I realized that perspective is not black and white, defined as "us and them." It is nuanced and multifaceted, and it can be easily skewed to serve the will of whoever has the wiles to use it, including extremists.

As I continued talking to Muslim friends and relatives in Britain after the first London bombing, this point became clearer, as person after person expressed moral repugnance at the attacks in London and Egypt, but still showed concern and frustration about what is happening to Muslims daily.

"Those bombers were brainwashed," a Scottish relative said of the London Underground bombers. "They hear about Muslims dying in Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and emotion takes over." The bombers, she continued, wanted revenge, even if it made no sense, even if it was wrong.

Another Muslim friend, who was minutes away from a blast in London on July 7, put it this way: "Any moderate Muslim would be horrified with this. I could never imagine myself, in the name of my religion and what my religion stands for, killing another innocent human being, never. But we feel so outraged and traumatized by this, even though there are people out there who have been living with this, day in and day out, their whole families wiped out, and where is the shock and horror for them?"

The more information I come across, the more I realize how essential it is to understand the nuances of the Muslim perspective. I also realize that those nuances are present within my own mind.

I am appalled by the bloody-minded terrorists, who spew poison about America and think nothing of taking innocent life. And yet, I have come to understand that my belief in the United States and all it stands for has been shaken, and I am afraid to look at what lies underneath.

With a jolt, I realize I have an insight into the reality of so many Muslims, those familiar and those faceless, and this is what I realize they see: a seemingly endless parade of death and misery; a siege whose innocent victims are mothers, brothers, old men and children; an onslaught often brought on by countries singing of democracy and freedom, but offering neither. An onslaught made all the more horrifying by the searing reality that Muslim extremists continue to befoul the name of Islam with their killing of innocents, their indiscriminate war.

These realizations have not been easy ones. All my life, I have felt torn between my Pakistani-Muslim heritage and my American upbringing. Often, I would grow frustrated with the constant balancing act. Now, I believe this turmoil was preparation for the difficult times ahead, when my dual perspective would coalesce to form an outlook that can bridge two worlds.

I stand with a foot in both of these worlds, not a relativist, not an apologist, but a Muslim American woman hoping that one day Americans and moderate Muslims around the globe will emerge from the ominous shadow of violence, and try to understand each other.

Sabaa Saleem is a British-born Muslim of Pakistani descent who came to the United States at the age of 1.

(Courtesy of The Washington Post)

Mary Laney

Omissions in 9/11 report hamper fight against terrorism

Kommentar:
Juridiske barrierer og friheds rettigheder som vigtige årsager til at 9/11 angrebet ikke blev forebygget - rystende ik`.  Der er store huller i 9/11 rapporten - angrebet kunne have været forhindret. Gør vi i Europa samme fejl - jeg er bange for det. Vi har tilladt hadske mullahers arbejde i mange år - grunden til had mod vesten er allerede lagt i dele af det muslimske miljø i Danmark og andre steder. Og det er tolerancens og kontakt-skyhedens skyld - årsagen ligger hos de Radikale Venstre og så længer ud mod venstre og deres undvigelser og manglende konsekvens.

August 22, 2005 , Chicago Sun-Times.

BY MARY LANEY


 

It's amazing what you read when you go from place to place. One newspaper had an editorialist calling for someone to tell President Bush that the war is over -- the war has ended.

Really?

I don't think so.

This war is against terrorism, and it appears to be very clear that the terrorists are still going strong.

Did we Americans turn them into terrorists, as some people would have you believe?

No. Warped understanding of the Quran did that. Islamofascist brainwashing turned them into terrorists. They are told to kill anyone and everyone who does not follow the same warped teachings as they've come to follow. They're taught that this is their duty. They're promised that if they die along the way they'll be met with great celebrations and surrounded by virgins.

To set things straight -- America isn't at fault for the terror, nor is England, nor Spain, nor Israel, nor anywhere else in the world. The fault lies with the Islamofascists themselves.

How do we stop them? How do we keep them from fomenting another attack on our country? How can we learn from what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, so it never happens again?

Well, it won't be from the 9/11 commission's report. We could learn more from what the commission omitted from its final report than from what it included. We can learn from the omitted fact that America's military had identified a terrorist cell of Islamofascists as early as 1996, but was prevented from sharing the information with the FBI because lawyers wouldn't allow it. That fact wasn't included in the 9/11 published report because commission members decided not to include it.

Members also decided not to include this information: Four of the hijackers who flew planeloads of innocent people into the Twin Towers in New York, into the Pentagon outside Washington, and into a Pennsylvania field -- four of them -- had been identified by a military unit called "Able Danger" a full year before they struck. Members of the 9/11 commission neglected to add the fact that "Able Danger" wanted to warn the FBI to be on the alert for these men but was stopped because of a directive from commission member Jamie Gorelick, who was then deputy attorney general under Janet Reno.

When the 9/11 commission members were asked about these stark and important omissions -- and how, had the information been shared, the 9/11 attacks might have been prevented -- commission members at first denied they had ever been told of the information.

When declassified documents recently proved the commission had been advised of the information -- and advised more than once -- commission staff finally admitted that they were told of the "Able Danger" information -- naming Mohamed Atta and three other terrorists a year before the 9/11 attacks -- but they insisted the information was "historically insignificant."

I don't think so.

Months ago I wrote that Gorelick ought to step down from the commission due to her apparent conflict of interest. She was supposed to investigate how 9/11 happened, and yet her memo creating a "wall of separation" and ordering all agencies to stop sharing any information could turn out to be the key reason why America did not know it was going to be attacked. It now appears that the commission's failure to look into "Able Danger" and its report on Mohamed Atta had less to do with the military unit's credibility and perhaps more with protecting Gorelick.

The 9/11 final report fails to include memos sent by New York U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who prosecuted the first Islamofascist attack on the Twin Towers. White wrote a series of memos complaining that Gorelick's "Wall of Separation" was dangerous to the nation because it would keep the country from stopping would-be terrorists before they strike. White's memos were sent to the Clinton Justice Department. They were also shown to the 9/11 commission, but there's not a mention of them in the final report.

Why?

Investigators are now looking into these questions and going to the National Archives to learn whether there are more items the 9/11 commission overlooked. What they'll find in the archives is anyone's guess. What they're looking for could turn up to be unfindable -- maybe some of those documents former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was heard flushing down the toilet, or stuffing into his shoes or pants, or the papers he admits he somehow lost when he illegally took them home.

Now it's time to ask him some real questions. After all, the 9/11 commission's book is obviously going to have to be updated.

This is the real story of the summer -- not Karl Rove, not Cindy Sheehan, not a sideshow. The real story of the summer is how a commission, filled with highly intelligent people, could have missed so much.

Extremists Do Not Know the Harm They Do
Dr. Khaled Batarfi, kbatarfi@al-madina.com; Forside artikel i www.arabnews.com 21.8.05

Læs andre kommentarer Khaled har fået på artikelen
 

 Kommentar: Moderate stemmer i Saudi Arabien - dejlig, befriende at læse.
Jeg har sendt et svar og en tak til forfatteren via email:
I am very happy to read your article in Arab News:”Extremist don’t know the damage they do”. 
You have a democratic and balanced view of things. Know
ing all the suffering, persecution, hardship  even death many of my Christian  brothers and sisters experience in The Arab World, As a devoted Christian I  am very pleased and moved to read your concert regarding the reactions to: “Christian resident for leading a peaceful Sunday prayer in their country……”

 In my country, Denmark, all religions including Muslims are allowed to gather, preach, live  and spread their faith without punishment or negative reactions from the authorities. There are regularly broadcasting from Muslim meetings and Friday prayer in television and radio..

We have to give each other mutual respect, space. You are providing that. Thanks

Helge Borven
Copenhagen
, Denmark

 

 

Traveling thousands of miles, a man once carried a question from the city of Kufa in Iraq to Madinah. This was during the Umayyad era. On arrival, he wouldn’t rest before meeting one of the greatest scholars of his time, Alhasan bin Sereen. The question was: Does the mosquito blood invalidate wudhu?

The scholar was astonished: Can you believe these people? They kill the Prophet’s grandson Al-Hussein and worry about the blood of a mosquito!

This is exactly the trouble with religious extremists, then and now. They are like the fishnet of the law.

It tends to catch crabs and let the sharks get away. They may get concerned about a mosquito’s blood, but not the blood of river they caused with their illegitimate jihad. They worry about the way a sheep is slaughtered, but not how an innocent hostage’s throat is severed.

They cry foul when a hate preacher is deported from London, but demand prison for a Christian resident for leading a peaceful Sunday prayer in their country. They accuse the Shiites of deviating from the Sunnah “path” of the Prophet (peace be upon him) without following his example in more substantial matters.

Take, for example, the Friday sermon. The Prophet used to give a short, peaceful, nonpolitical one. Many imams, nowadays, give an hour-long of shouting lectures. When I reminded one of the Prophet’s ways, his response was typical: “Muslims today need more enlightenment.”

But what about the old, sick and busy of us? Didn’t the Prophet censure an imam for reading long surahs of the Qur’an in his prayers?

Besides, what can you say in an hour that you cannot summarize in half?

Mostly, it is repetition and mumbling about social decadence, youth’s deviance from the true path, and Zion-Crusaders’ conspiracies.

Don’t we get enough of this stuff from the media to have more in a day of reflection, peace, rest and celebration?

My imam didn’t like what I said, and accused me of being a Western loyalist betraying Islam. Some believed him.

Now, I am not saying we shouldn’t be concerned with such social and political issues. I write about them myself. But to limit our scope to a small number of problems that are symptoms of larger ones, and neglect more pressing issues is not right.

Satellite TV’s obsession with belly dancing and its negative influence on viewers is a valid concern. But the answer is to call for an alternative programming that balances the needs of the here and the hereafter, like that of Almajd, Iqra and Almanar channels, not to outlaw satellite dishes. Our youth needs exciting options, if we are to shut down the seductive ones. Before we prohibit a desirable road, we should provide a reasonable detour.

We should also discuss other important issues, such as domestic violence, women and minority rights, racism, foreigner bashing, political reforms and a host of other social, cultural and economic concerns. Here is more: Our education needs a lot of fixing.

The economy is long in cash flow, short in investment venues. Our nation is young. Most of us are below thirty-five. Many can’t find a place in universities.

Too many are unemployed, untrained and unarmed with modern tools for the increasingly sophisticated, competitive and demanding job market.

While we complain about the presence of seven million expatriates, most of our seven million women are kept at home. They lack proper training, welcoming environment, family encouragement and social support. They can’t study, work, travel or even have urgent surgery without male permission. They can’t even drive.

Just imagine if thousands of enlightened imams discussed such issues at least once a week! Ours is a conservative society, and we listen to our preachers more than intellectuals and teachers.

If we assign good imams from all schools of thought (there are 3000 mosques in Jeddah alone), they could lead the whole nation to a better present and more promising future.

But first, we should review, study and carefully observe the qualifications and attitudes of existing imams, religious educators and preachers. If needed, we should re-educate, reorient and enlighten the willing. Those who insist on their Dark Ages ways should keep their thoughts to themselves.

It is a different world now, and we need different mentalities to cope with its challenges. A system to monitor mosques and imams is already in place, training courses are now available, and the laws to deal with the situation are being enacted. What is urgently needed is for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to rigorously implement them ... now.

Kommentarer fra andre - til forfatteren:

Thanks, dear Helga. I appreciate your kind comments. Here is the reaction I had today on the article, beside yours.

Salam,

K

I happened to meet so many half-hearted person like you who can make noise for nothing but hardly can do anything constructive. I read a lot of your advice for imams as to what they need to do. Why not you venture to become an Imam to see how many people in the society follow you or how you can change the society in action instead of talking these long talks?

May Allah guide you.

M. Nayem Rahman

Mr. Batarfi,

Congratulations! Your balanced way of seeing things gives us all HOPE.

Also, the fact that finally, articles like "Extremists Do Not Know the Harm They Do" are allowed, shows us that change is coming.

I wish you and the proud Saudi people the best of luck.

Thank you !

Cristian.

Hi Ka....Another target column that reminds me of the old west; the shoot-outs at the OK Corral....

Your words are hardly timid and your rationale will no doubt put you into bad stead in terms of those in Saudi who wish to ignore the realities of our times and of our now flat world.  I enjoyed your recent thoughts regarding Tom Friedman; the guy is genuine and whether we agree or disagree; we understand where he is coming from. I have not met him; pleased that you have, however. Further, the fourth estate is freedom and we must never forget the worthiness of a free press; this is what we are talking about also tonight..
 

In your column this evening, again references to the "Zion-Crusaders ™ conspiracies" stuff, a repetition of social decadence and of recent time, the issue of a Christian resident  who made his prayers/services while in the kingdom. The imam may wish to excite and to plant seeds for division, not unity; thus, long hard lectures tainted and perhaps even twisted.  I agree that unemployment and the lack of focus leads youth to denial and to wandering ways; along with that comes the obvious loss of social and familial values. This is a universal and familiar truth not limited to Saudi Arabia.  The role of the imam is to educate and  some have assumed the right to indoctrinate per their personal political ideologies.  Yes, in fairness, many of the cloth and clergy of other religions in America have also moved into this arena. However, no one here that I know of preaches hatred and jihad against those who are not of the same religious persuasion. Indeed, the Prophet was clear on that point and the Qur'an prescribes that it does not offer a form of government for all civil matters; this is left as an open agenda for those who were to follow; hence, a government needs to establish rules for its time, its place and its circumstances. Islam requires that the rules of government not conflict with the doctrine of the Qur'an but as the Prophet also suggested, there is much to be studied and much to be interpreted from the vast experiences of life. If I am wrong, please tell me so.

 

In terms of the Zionist agenda, as frequently churned between us...there is no such thing; Israel wants to live in peace with its neighbors and be a safe harbor for other Jews who are distressed or are in harm's way. Jews, Christians, Muslims and all faiths have a commonality and membership within our world  community; they share in the human equation. The issues per Palestine and Israel are  a political dynamic and the tragedy of it l remains humbling to us as we search for ways to bring an end to the killings.  Many hostile Palestinians plus other Arab fanatics/fundamentalists wish Israel to be pushed into the sea and then,  counterpoint, there are those who speak of the Arabs as being the great menace and a threat to the peace in that region.  In the final analysis, it is about people wanting to live in peace and in harmony.  Saudi Arabia can help in this regard and King Abdullah is wise and thoughtful in terms of what can or should be done.  Radicals will oppose him but the light rising in the east is only with us briefly; the window of opportunity is here and now.

 

Cultures were shared and enjoyed in the past.  They exchanged and shared via an open dialogue and we seek to stimulate answers that equate to reasonable solutions.  Imams who preach against any religion or faith deny their own destiny and the very teachings they swore allegiance to.  We may not agree on the politics and we may not agree on solutions; yet, we communicate and work together toward the same end,  peace for all beings and  a world that is safe, secure and environmentally healthy. I will agree with you again in advance that the word "freedom" means different things to different people; my own president seemingly does not understand this. His rhetoric is further dulled because freedom is not an overnight  panacea or cure-all. Freedom to one who is starving means little, freedom to another who is ill and cannot obtain medical care is also meaningless; freedom from fear and from want are the pillars that lead to the ultimate freedom of the mind and the spirit. It takes time and it is something to be learned and respected; it is not the instinct given at birth.

 

We are witnessing a dichotomy of the political dynamics in Iraq; some of the women fear the new proposed constitution because it takes away some of the "freedoms" they enjoyed under the Saddam dictatorship. The great white hope of America is that the factions will find a way to compromise and to launch a modest form of democracy within the Iraqi federal structure. I do not see this happening and it is my sincerest hope that I am totally wrong. To fail is to deny the sacrifices of the many who will not return to their families and homes ..... what more can I say?.

Be well, salam and shalom,

ed ...

Re: The Trouble With Thomas Friedman

So let's see if I have got it straight, if or when someone writes something that suits your prejudices, he or she is doing OK. Anytime they disagree with your preconceived notions they are despicable!

Arthur Flynn, Baton Rouge

Would you quit obsessing with America, Ameircan culture, American icons and the American people and get on with your life already? You are truly pathetic. If America is as evil as your ilk wish to believe, then try to do what most Americans do regarding the rest of the world: pretend like America doesn't exist! Geeze! You're like a broken record!!!!

Mario Sanchez

Hi and Salam. I've been a regular reader of your writings since I served in Iraq with the US Army. I'm also an Arab American. In reference to your last story, I have a few qualms, while I generally find Friedman very erudite, he does make some odd zig zags from time to time. I think the logic he uses to sell energy independence is flawed, but its still important that we engage in a national program to move past oil, not so much to spite oil but protect the US economy which the entire world depends on running smoothly. Right now a few well placed explosive charges near the Baku-Ceyhand Pipeline (Caspian Sea) or the loading ports on the Red Sea or Straits of Hormuz could cause massive chaos, as well as strengthen foriegn policy hawks in American politics even further. When I went up to the Kurdish areas of Iraq in the Summer of 2003, I still remember the words of a farmer, "the oil has been a curse for us".

People have often said that terrorists are symptomatic of poor devastated societies, yet a look at many of them reveals they often come from well educated and middle class

backgrounds. This didn't dawn on me until I went to an Afghani hairdresser here in California that told me she told clients she was Indian because she didnt want them to look down on her. Its societies that aren't proud of who they are that create terrorists. It was the devastated and demoralized Post-World War I Germans that became the Nazis. It was the children of Afghan refugees growing up in Peshawar that became the Taliban, and its the unemployed and overindulged Saudi youth who become the 9/11 hijackers.   Fear and a Sense of Inferiority are two of the most self destructive forces a society can encounter.

Salam, Shalom, Godspeed.

Omar Masry

 

Dear Khaled

 

That's the trouble with most journalism today!!! You could even say he wasn't far sighted enough (or use a worse turn of phrase) over these two paragraphs of yours:

"Take for example his stand on Iraq's invasion. For months he was admirably taking the stand that this was a war of choice not necessity. He rightly warned the US administration of the illegality of a war based on unproved accusations. Time proved him right. 

"When the tide was overwhelming he suddenly changed lanes and took the apposite direction.  ...... "

Reading between the lines - through many layers - might be the thing of the future. Isn't this an illustration of layers and layers of presumtions and advice based on just those? Your comment demonstrates just this that, there could be no other rationale than the one sided assumptions made about the "opposition" of the US official stance.

(Thomas) ... designs a mission for himself, and then keep hammering on the issue for ever. Lately, he became obsessed with lowering US dependence on certain Middle Easter countries' oil, especially from Saudi Arabia. His rationale is: Let's punish those medieval nations for supporting terrorism, and force them to reform. Rich dictatorial nations tend to resist reform and support terror. Get them poorer and they will embrace Western democracy, America, the West and "his" Israel. Poverty will make those people more educated, market oriented, worldly, and less religious."

I wonder how Friedman would react to the news paper reports here:

"For Peace  Mom camped near Prez ranch,

Bush is "disconnected from humanity

Cindy Sheehan's antiwar vigil in Texas makes her a worldwide celebrity"

(Times of India - International section Page 28, August 15, 2005)

Kind regards 

 

WH1008

 

Brother Khalild,

Friedman did not change but he stepped in your territory and start hearting your feeling by taking about KSA. He was and stills a Jewish and follows this direction not trying to amaze or please any other followers.

Let us try to be wiser when we admire any one in the future.

  Regards,

 

The only difference between Thomas Friedman on the one hand and people like William Safire, Charles Krauthammer and Max Boot on the other is that the latter are honest. People knew where their sympathies lay and whom they supported with regard to Iraq and Israel/Palestine.

Ahmad Sayeed

 

 

 

Unlike Khaled Batarfi (Aug. 14), I have never been fooled by Thomas Friedman. Since the ‘80s, when I was a student and read Friedman, I could see through him.

At the end of the day, he was an Israeli man in Beirut, and an Israeli lobbyist in Washington. To gain credibility he put on the mask of morality. I am surprised others could not see through it. Never fooled me.

 

Elias Bayeh, United States, published 18 August 2005

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to Khaled Batarfi. He told it like it is!

 

Steven Cain, United States

 

Jury: Parents Share Blame in Son's Attack
Sunday August 21, 2005 9:31 AM  -
I Gardian Unlimeted
 

Sammendrag og tanker:
Forældre skal styre og disciplinere deres drenge og bliver holdt ansvarlige fordi han går med kniv. Det vidste de jo og skulle have taget affære - rimelig ik`. De bliver holdt anvarlig og fik 70% af ansvaret - tankevækkende. Hvornår tager vi ansvar og sætter grænser for vores mindreårige børn??

CINCINNATI (AP) - The parents of a teenager who stabbed a 13-year-old girl must bear most of the responsibility, jurors decided as they awarded $10 million to the injured victim and her family.

Lance and Diane White share 70 percent of the blame for the 2003 attack on Casey Hilmer, the Hamilton County jury found Friday. Their son Benjamin, who was 17 at the time, bears the rest.

``It sends a message to parents that even if the child is 11 days shy of 18 years old, a parent is liable for the supervision and control of their children and what they entrust them with,'' said attorney Stanley Chesley, who represented the Hilmer family.

Benjamin White had grabbed Casey as she was jogging in suburban Indian Hills, dragged her to a wooded area and stabbed her in the face and neck.

Attorneys for the Hilmers argued that the Whites knew their son carried a knife. Ohio law says parents can be held liable if they negligently entrust a weapon to their child.

Benjamin White, now 20, was convicted as an adult of attempted murder and felonious assault last year and is serving a 10-year prison term.

Casey has recovered physically but is still afraid to go anywhere alone, her mother, Meg Hilmer, testified in the two-week trial.

The Hilmers sought $25 million in their lawsuit.

The jury awarded them $6.5 million for medical bills and pain and suffering, with Benjamin White's parents expected to pay $4.55 million and Benjamin White the rest. They ordered the son alone to pay $3.5 million more as punishment.

There was no immediate word if the Whites would appeal. Diane White declined to comment Saturday. Lance White owns a sanitation company and is president of the Indian Hill Board of Education.

Attorneys for the Hilmers presented evidence that Benjamin White had a history of aggressive attacks on classmates and drug abuse, according to court records.

The jury foreman, William Freudiger, said jurors held the parents responsible because they found no evidence that they had disciplined their sons.

``I'm not saying they're bad parents, but under the law they have certain responsibilities - and at the time, their son was legally a minor,'' Freudiger said.

 

Report on terrorism must be heard

Sammendrag og tanker
 Denne artikel  udtrykker meget godt min oplevelse: Terroristernes forfærdeligheder underdrives- amerikanernes overdrives - og vi kan ikke acceptere terror af nogle afskydning - heller ikke at mennesker støtter den - det er kriminelt og skal straffes. Vi tror at amerikanerne er problemet det er det ikke - terrorisme og de bagved liggende værdier er problemet. Det er vi tvunget til at forholde os meget mere kontakt til
Helge Børven

By KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ
First published: Friday, August 12, 2005

 

A recently released Amnesty International report highlights the cold-blooded attacks, assassinations, suicide bombings, and civilian and aid worker killings carried out by terrorists in Iraq.

 

It may seem pointless that Amnesty has to explain that "international humanitarian law strictly prohibits the intentional killing of people who are not taking an active part in the hostilities. It also prohibits torture or any form of inhuman treatment."

Does anyone really doubt that this is a pure evil, which civilized people cannot tolerate?

Take, for instance, one mid-July suicide bombing in Baghdad. U.S. troops and the Iraqi children they were handing out candy and toys to were the target. Twenty-seven people were slaughtered, including 18 children. As The Associated Press reported: "Parents heard the shattering explosion and raced out to discover children's mangled, bloodied bodies strewn on the street in the Shiite Muslim neighborhood."

Of course, anyone reading this was horrified.

Or are they? Recently, MSNBC's Monica Crowley received grief for daring, during a broadcast, to take on an Islamic scholar, who was not only advocating suicide bombing but admitting that he'd volunteer if he ever had "the opportunity." Speaking on Syrian TV, Saddam Hussein apologist George Galloway, a member of Britain's parliament, wants you to believe George W. Bush and Tony Blair are the real terrorists.

But it's not just extremist scholars and dangerously nutty politicians with such myopic views. Amnesty International's "In Cold Blood" report should be screamed from the rooftops, in part, frankly, to mitigate the mess Amnesty created when it decided to equate President Bush with Joseph Stalin by making the ludicrous contention that the enemy-combatant prison we have in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is "the gulag of our times."

We in the United States actually respect human rights. There are lapses -- which are investigated and prosecuted as they absolutely should be. But we're still coming from the "life, liberty" mind-set, as are our closest allies.

What better irony have we seen of late than the failed subway bomber in England, who when arrested in Notting Hill declared, "I have rights." Terrorist though he may be, Ramzi Mohammed got it.

It's a message I'm not sure we all really understand. Consider, for instance, how many of us have not had to really give serious thought to what Saddam Hussein did to people when Iraq was his to tyrannize. One torture tape discovered in Iraq showed fedayeen (Hussein's military) gleefully slicing off a tongue; whipping a prisoner so badly that the Roman beating scene from Mel Gibson's "The Passion" was a preschool timeout by comparison; severing a man's hand -- you get the idea. Yes, these were brought to you by Saddam Hussein, the man who is getting a trial in the liberated Iraq, complete with legal representation; the same "butcher of Baghdad," who has been held under the watchful visiting eyes of international human-rights monitors.

Why do I relive all of this, besides to kill your appetite for the day? Because this month in Basra, a writer whom I was fortunate enough to publish, Steven Vincent, was murdered by these same bad guys who murder "in cold blood." Vincent was killed because he did something they couldn't tolerate -- he told the truth, what he saw on the ground there.

But that's what the enemy we are fighting in the war on terror does. Sometimes they do it with a specific target in mind for a particular purpose. Sometimes the kill is just to send a message -- "leave us alone to tyrannize and terrorize" -- punctuated with dead bodies. Regard for human rights, or even basic humanity, is simply not there.

Despite his monstrous acts against his own people, Saddam (who gets all the Doritos he wants in prison) knows that. If he didn't, if Saddam thought we wouldn't respect his rights and be as ruthless as he, do you think he'd have surrendered as quietly as he did?

I wonder if our own media elite understand this.

If they did, wouldn't Amnesty International's report on the Iraqi terrorists be at least as well-covered as their criticisms of American treatment of detainees at Gitmo? Wouldn't we all know that, as Amnesty reports, that the bad guys in Iraq say that "every Iraqi or foreigner who works with the coalition is a target. Ministries, mercenaries, translators, businessmen, cooks or maids, it doesn't matter the degree of collaboration." Wouldn't there be some collective sense of perspective?

Describing the foreign jihadist fighters who kill in Iraq, Amnesty writes, "Those who order or commit such atrocities place themselves totally beyond the pale of acceptable behaviour. There is no honour (or) heroism in blowing up people going to pray or murdering a terrified hostage. Those carrying out such acts are criminals, nothing less, whose actions undermine any claim they may have to be pursuing a legitimate cause."

Those who are lethally anxious to stop democracy (and who, by the way, want most of us -- you and I -- dead) from happening are different than us. Intentionally or not, that becomes clear from reading this recent Amnesty report, even if you're not hearing too much about it.

Kathryn Lopez is the editor of National Review Online. Her e-mail address is klopez@nationalreview.com.

 

 

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2005, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.

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28.07.05 Che Guevara som terrorist og Fidel Castro som uduelig, autoritær og destruktiv politisk leder - det er nye og realistiske toner fra Informationen.

AF: » Bjarke Møller, 28. juli 2005  Fra Informationen

'Den vrede venstrefløj tager fejl'

[INTERVIEW]
Latinamerikanerne har meget at lære af Europa, mener den cubanske eksilforfatter, Carlos Alberto Montaner. Han går dog skarpt i rette med de unge vesteuropæere, der stadig går rundt med Che Guevara T-shirts. 'Det svarer til at bære en T-shirt med Stalin'

"Jeg ikke kender nogen, der er villig til at dø for Mercosur-samarbejdet, og jeg kender heller ingen europæere, der er villige til at dø for Europa. Men jeg kender mange, der stadig er villig til at dø for deres nation."

Det siger den 62-årige forfatter og journalist, Carlos Alberto Montaner, hvis syndikerede klummer læses af millioner af mennesker i Latinamerika og Spanien. Han har også været på listen over de 100 mest indflydelsesrige mediepersoner.

"Jeg føler mig stadig som cubaner - og som udlænding," siger Montaner, selv om han i de sidste 35 år har boet i Spanien og har spansk statsborgerskab. Han er lige kommet tilbage til Madrid efter en længere turné i flere latinamerikanske lande, og rejsen over Atlanterhavet gør han tit.

"Det er berigende som person at bo en tid uden for sit eget land. Man ser alt med nye øjne," forsikrer han.

Det er dog stadig som cubaner - omend eksileret cubaner i Europa - at han i dag iagttager den europæiske integrationsproces. Det seneste franske og hollandske nej synes ikke at overraske ham:

Store forskelle
"Europæerne følte efter Anden Verdenskrig, at det var nødvendigt at forene sig på tværs af landegrænserne, så man kunne undgå nye krige. Truslen fra Sovjetunionen i Den Kolde Krig var reel, så det tysk-franske lokomotiv gik i spidsen for opbygningen af EU. Europa er stadig i en opstartsfasen for en overnational superstat, men der er langt igen. Efter det franske og hollandske nej er EU løbet ind i en identitetskrise."

"Europæiseringen virker som en kunstig konstruktion, for sprogene og traditionerne er stærke nationale symboler. Forskellene mellem en dansker og portugiser er større end mellem en argentiner og en ecuadorianer. I Europa er der ingen konsensus om en fælles identitet og de sproglige forskelle er kolosale. En hollænder, en tysker, en ungarer og en slovener taler vidt forskellige sprog."

- Er det tænkeligt, at de latinamerikanske lande via f.eks. Mercosur-samarbejdet vil efterligne Europa og danne en union fra ildlandet i syd til Mexicos grænse mod nord?

"Der findes i Latinamerika en sund misundelse af Europa. Det ville være fremragende, hvis vi en dag kunne få dannet en latinamerikansk union, men vi er meget langt fra det. Der eksisterer en Rio-gruppe, som omfatter alle amerikanske lande minus USA og Canada, der kan være kimen til en fremtidig union. Men som det er i dag, er det utænkeligt, at Latinamerika får et fælles parlament som Europa-Parlamentet," mener han.

Strudsepolitik
"Der har været relativt få krige i Latinamerika. Og det har ikke været kollektive krige som i Europa, hvor de store lande var med i de samme krige. De har fælles erfaringer fra Napoleons-krigene til Anden Verdenskrig, og europæerne ønsker ikke en gentagelse af disse krige. Den latinamerikanske erfaring er meget forskellig fra den europæiske," siger han. Viljen til at formulere fælles kontinentale interesser er mindre end de partikulære interesser i de enkelte lande:

"Der er udtalt skinsyge mellem de store nationer. Brasilien har ambitioner om at tage lederskabet, men argentinerne kan ikke tåle det. Og de synes begge, at Mexico er for tæt på USA. Venezuelas præsident, Hugo Chávez, vil derimod gerne lave en slags bolivariansk revolution i hele Latinamerika. Han og Fidel Castro drømmer om en ekspansiv erobringspolitik, men det er politisk vanvittigt."

- Der er store forskelle mellem højre og venstre, og mellem landene, men hvordan ser latinamerikanerne på EU's rolle på den globale arena?

"Jeg kender ingen i Latinamerika, der ønsker at Den Europæiske Union bryder sammen og slår fejl. Men latinamerikanerne har en tradition for at være indifferente over for omverdenen. Siden 1920'erne har latinamerikanerne bestræbt sig på ikke at blande sig i andre landes krige. Argentina var med i den første Irak-krig, men for det meste foretrækker latinamerikanerne at stikke hovedet i busken som strudse. De vil helst være fri for at formulere en udenrigspolitik. Selv Ecuador, der er plaget af krigen i nabostaten Columbia mellem narkobaronerne og den columbianske stat, har erklæret, at det ikke er deres anliggende. Hvordan skal Latinamerika med en samlet røst forholde sig til det, der f.eks. sker i Irak-krigen, når de ikke engang har en mening om krige i deres nabolande?"

Carlos Alberto Montaner mener, at Latinamerika kan lære noget af Europa. De latinamerikanske er "ekstremt dårligt regerede", siger han og efterlyser en dyb selvransagelse i Latinamerika.

"Den vanlige undskyldning er, at USA og de gamle kolonimagter har ansvaret for Latinamerikas problemer og fattigdommen. Men ingen person, der er ordentligt informeret, kan klamre sig til den forklaring. Lande, der for 40 år siden var fattigere end mange latinamerikanske lande - som f.eks. Taiwan, Sydkorea og også Spanien - er i dag meget rigere. Spanien, der så sent som i 1976 eksporterede arbejdere til Chile og Argentina, er nu så velstående, at folk fra Latinamerika nu rejser til Spanien for at arbejde der. Spanien er i dag den andenstørste investor i Latinamerika efter USA," forklarer han.

Han mener, at de latinamerikanske lande har meget at lære af Spanien, der i løbet af få årtier gik fra at være et autoritært diktatur til at være et velstående demokratisk land med en åben markedsøkonomi.

Statens kortslutning
Carlos Alberto Montaner efterlyser et opgør med den autoritære statstænkning, og han tror, at vejen frem er reformer af mere liberalt tilsnit.

"Siden den mexicanske revolution i 1910 har der i Latinamerika været en rodfæstet forestilling om, at det er statens opgave at skabe social retfærdighed i samfundet. Og den har været delt af både højrefløjen og af venstrefløjen. Fra Peron i Argentina til Castro på Cuba og sandinisterne i Nicaragua har alle kræfter satset på en stærk og autoritær statsmagt, mens man svækkede og udplyndrede det civile samfund. Dengang José Figueres Ferrer kom til magten i Costa Rica og nationaliserede banker og forsikringsselskaber, var vi mange - mig selv inklusiv - der klappede i hænderne. Fra 1950'erne var der også mange, der med henvisning til keynesianismen troede, at løsningen lå i statsmagtens fordeling af goderne. Men keynesianismen duede ikke. Det var en stor fejltagelse at tro, at staten skaber rigdom."

- Hvilken vej bør Latinamerika gå?

"Chile er et succesrigt eksempel på, at åbning af økonomien, liberaliseringer og også privatiseringer kan give et positivt resultat. Chile har lavet frihandelsaftaler ikke alene med USA, men også med Europa, Japan og Korea. Den vrede og frustrerede venstrefløj, som foretrækker at skyde skylden på USA og tror, at der er et økonomisk magtcentrum i verden, som bare søger at holde periferien i den tredje nede. De tager grusomt fejl," siger han.

"Det er noget vås, at de industrialiserede lande anstrenger sig for at forhindre den økonomiske udvikling i Latinamerika og holde disse samfund nede. Økonomen Rodríguez Braun har meget rigtigt sagt, at latinamerikanernes bedste ven ikke er hunden, men den ydre syndebuk."

Carlos Alberto Montaner er bekymret over, at populismen - til tider med autoritære træk - breder sig i Latinamerika. Han skelner dog mellem Ricardo Lagos i Chile, Kirchner i Argentina og Lula i Brasilien, der er populister, som accepterer de demokratiske spilleregler, og på den anden side autoritære populister som bl.a. Venezuelas Hugo Chávez :

Montaner skjuler ikke, at han har en vis sympati for Brasiliens præsident Lula:

"Han er en mand med fødderne på jorden, der har demokratiske overbevisninger og et ægte ønske om at modernisere økonomien. Han slås for tiden med korruptionsskandaler, og de svækker ham. Men det er langt ude, når venstreorienterede som professor James Petras påstår, at Lula opfører sig som en nyliberalist."

Fire neuroner
Den autoritære populisme fra venstre giver dog Montaner kuldegysninger:

"Hugo Chávez har før flirtet med fascistiske tanker og troet, at de latinamerikanske revolutioner skal gennemføres på basis af en stærk leder og et militært kup, som kan sikre, at klasserne dør bort. Hans nye chefideolog er den tyske kommunist Hans Dietrich, der bor i Mexico og taler om at opbygge en ny socialisme for det 21. århundrede. Chávez har maksimalt fire neuroner i hjernen, og de er besat af to ulykkesvangre ideologier."

- Hvad mener De om Fidel Castro?

"Han er en diktator, der slæber rundt på fejlslagne marxistiske ideer fra første halvdel af det 20. århundrede, der i dag er fjernt fra virkeligheden. Han er meget stædig og ude af stand til at forstå forandringerne. Han har en udtalt narcissisme, der er meget farlig. Som Hitler og Mussolini er han ude af stand til at føle og forstå Den Anden og De Andre. Og han er en elendig statsleder. Efter 46 år ved magten har denne mand været ude af stand til at løse sit lands store problemer. Jeg tænker her på helt basale ting som at elektrificere landet, at sikre cubanerne rent drikkevand, at skaffe boliger nok og sørge for, at alle borgere får en basal ernæring. Cuba var engang blandt de fire rigeste latinamerikanske lande, men efter 46 år med Castros diktatur er Cuba et af de fire fattigste lande. Det er et land, der er gået helt i stå."

- I de vesteuropæiske storbyer kan man stadig den dag i dag se unge gå rundt med Che Guevara T-shirts. Hvad synes De om det?

"Che Guevara er et stadig et ikon for nogle unge, der betragter ham som prototypen på en ukorrumperet revolutionær. Men Ches figur er tragisk. Og han var en farlig personlighed. Han sagde de forfærdelige ord, at 'en god revolutionær er en perfekt dræbermaskine'. Han var villig til at gøre alt for den revolutionære sag, og han henrettede personligt dusinvis af personer. Han er en af de myter, der har været skadelig for Latinamerika. Helt til det sidste i sit liv kritiserede han Sovjetunionen og Kina for ikke at hjælpe Cuba tilstrækkeligt med at udbygge revolutionen. Det var ikke, fordi han var kritisk over for Sovjet eller Kina, men fordi han ønskede at indføre deres model i Cuba og andre latinamerikanske lande. Når unge i Vesteuropa i dag går rundt med en T-shirt med Che Guevara, svarer det til at bære en T-shirt med Stalin."

bjm@information.dk
 

24.07.2005 Muslimer bliver selvmordere fordi de er splittet mellem friheden i vesten og sin egen strenge tro og foragt for sig selv

Interessant artikel i Informationen:
Mange muslimer er på samme tid interesserede i og fordømmende over for den vestlige 'dekadence'. Et modsætningsforhold, der kan have alvorlige konsekvenser

Den dygtige franske historiker med speciale i Første Verdenskrig, Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau, fremførte for nylig det synspunkt, at Vesten har arvet en meget voldelig form for krigsførelse. "Efter 1945," skrev han, "førte de vestlige lande denne krig i andre lande: Korea, Algeriet, Vietnam, Irak ... vi holdt op med at tænke over selve oplevelsen af krig, og vi kan ikke forstå, at den vender tilbage til os i forskellige former, f.eks. som terrorisme ... Vi vil ikke indrømme, at der nu er opstået en anden form for konfrontation ..."

Han kunne have tilføjet, at politikere – og her referer jeg til lord Blair af Kut al-Amara – med fuldt overlæg nægter at erkende det. Vi kæmper mod onde kræfter. Det har intet med besættelsen af palæstinensisk jord, besættelsen af Afghanistan, besættelsen af Irak og torturen i Abu Ghraib-fængslet, i Bagram og på Guantanamo-basen at gøre. Nej, slet ikke. "En ond ideologi," en utydelig, uspecificeret, mørk kraft – det er dén, der er problemet.
Der er to ting galt med udsagnet. Den første er, at når først man begynder at tale om 'det onde', taler man om religion. Godt og ondt, Gud og Djævelen. Selvmordsbombemændene i London var muslimer (eller mente selv, at de var det), og derfor må hele det muslimske samfund i Storbritannien råbe vagt i gevær og – som muslimer – fordømme dem.

Vi 'kristne' behøver ikke at gøre det, fordi vi ikke er muslimer. Det blev heller ikke krævet af os 'kristne' at fordømme den kristne serbiske massakre på 8.000 muslimer i Srebrenica for lidt over 10 år siden. Det eneste, vi skulle gøre, var at sige undskyld, fordi vi ikke foretog os noget som helst dengang. Men muslimer skal – fordi de er muslimer – helt rituelt fordømme noget, de ikke havde noget som helst at gøre med.
Jeg er bange for, at det lige præcis er dét, der er sagens kerne. Jeg spekulerer på, om vi ikke inderst inde mener, at deres religion faktisk har noget med det at gøre, at islam er en tilbagestående religion, uden fornyelse, potentielt voldelig. Det passer ikke, men vores orientalske arv siger os noget andet.

På en mærkelig måde både foragter og misunder vi den 'anden'. Mange af de tidlige vesterlandske besøgende nærede både afsky og fascinaton for Østen. De væmmedes over straffene og pashaerne, men de var ret begejstrede for kvinderne; de var næsten sygeligt optagede af haremmer. Vesterlændingene syntes, at tanken om at have mere end én kone var ret tiltalende. På samme måde tror jeg, at der er dele af vores vestlige 'dekadence', som muslimerne er interessede i, selv om de rask væk fordømmer dem.

Det pludselige skift
Jeg blev meget forbløffet for nogle år siden, da en af mine libanesiske venners søn rejste fra Libanon for at læse på et universitet i det sydlige England i tre år. Når jeg rejste fra Beirut til London, havde jeg nogen gange breve og kassettebånd med fra hans forældre – det var de herlige dage før internettet blev opfundet – og den studerende og jeg mødtes som regel på en pub i Bloomsbury. Han dukkede altid op sammen med en pige og drak flere øl, før han tog hjem til hende og tilbragte natten dér. Da han var i gang med sit sidste semester på universitetet, ringede han hjem og bad sin mor om at finde ham en passende brud. De sorgløse, legende dage var forbi. Mor skulle finde ham en jomfru, som han kunne gifte sig med.

Jeg tænkte meget over det dengang. Han var – og er – en yderst respektfuld, hæderlig mand, der valgte at afvise mere profitable jobtilbud for at undervise unge i Beirut, men hvis han havde haft en svagere karakter, kan jeg forestille mig, at han ville have fået visse problemer i sit liv. Hvad lavede han i Storbritannien? Hvorfor morede han sig ligesom 'os' for derefter at vende ryggen til den livsstil til fordel for et mere konservativt liv?
Et andet eksempel – selv om de to mænd ikke har noget tilfælles – er Ziad Jarrah. Han boede i Tyskland sammen med en tyrkisk kæreste, de gik ikke bare ud sammen, men levede sammen, og den 11. september 2001 ringede han til sin kæreste og sagde, "jeg elsker dig". Hvad er der galt, spurgte den unge kvinde. "Jeg elsker dig," sagde han igen og lagde røret på. Og så gik han ombord på et fly, skar halsen over på flere af dets passagerer for derefter at smadre det ned i en mark i Pennsylvania.

Hvad foregik der i hans hjerne, da han hørte kærestens stemme – den kvinde, han sagde, at han elskede? Hans far, som jeg kender ret godt, var lige så lamslået som forældrene til selvmordsbombemændene i London. Selv i dag kan han ikke begribe det, Ziad Jarrah gjorde. Han venter stadig på, at Ziad kommer hjem.

Hader og elsker Vesten
Det er ikke svært at indtage en kynisk holdning til den måde, hvorpå arabere både hader og elsker Vesten. I arabiske hovedstæder kan jeg læse de glødende, rasende protester mod Bush i de lokale aviser for kort efter at køre forbi den amerikanske ambassade, hvor hundredevis af arabere står og venter langs murene i håb om at få et indrejsevisum til USA. Koranen er et dokument af umådelig værdi. Det er en opholdstilladelse også.
Men ud fra de mange breve, jeg får fra muslimer – især i Storbritannien – tror jeg efterhånden, at jeg forstår en del af den vrede, der opstår iblandt dem. Mange af dem kommer fra lande, hvor undertrykkelse er hverdagskost og fra egne, hvor uhyre strenge familieregler og religiøse regler styrer deres liv. I kender resten af historien.

Det betyder, at der i Storbritannien – og selv de muslimer, der er født her i landet, vokser ofte op i stærkt traditionsprægede familier – opstår en kraftig modsætning mellem deres personlige liv og livet i det samfund, der omgiver dem. Frihedsprivilegierne i Storbritannien, de sociale såvel som politiske, kan være meget tillokkende, men muslimernes viden om, at landets regering sender sine soldater ud for at invadere Irak og dræbe mange muslimer, kan samtidig forvandle modsætningsforholdet til noget langt, langt farligere.
Vi har et land – Storbritannien – hvor man kan leve et godt liv. Man kan gå i byen med kønne piger (bemærk, at vi taler om mænd her), gifte sig med dem eller bare bo sammen med dem. Man kan se film – nøgenscenerne bliver ikke klippet ud her hos os – og hvis man vil, kan man gå ned og få en øl eller to på den lokale pub. Alle disse ting er selvfølgelig [Kursiv]haram[Normal] – forbudte – men fornøjelige og en del af 'vores' liv. De fleste britiske, muslimske mænd jeg kender, drikker nu ikke alkohol, og de opfører sig særdeles belevent over for kvinder uanset disses religion (så drop de vrede breve, tak). Andre nyder vores frihedsprivilegier på ganske afslappet vis.

Men de, der er ude af stand til dét – de, der har nydt godt af vores frihed, men skammer sig over det – som bliver forfærdede over, hvor meget de nyder "vores" samfund, men bliver lige så forfærdede over, at de føler sig så fordærvede (især efter en tur til Pakistan for at få en dosis gammeldags, ritualiseret religion), de har et ganske særligt problem.
Situationen i Palæstina eller Afghanistan eller Irak tænder lunten. De ønsker både at bryde ud af 'vores' verden og at give udtryk for deres moralske vrede og politiske afmagt, mens de gør det. Jeg tror, at de ønsker at ødelægge sig selv på grund af deres skyldfølelse og at ødelægge andre, fordi de har 'fordærvet' dem. Selv hvis ødelæggelsen indebærer, at man dræber et par af sine trosfæller og snesevis af andre uskyldige. Så rygsækkene bliver kastet på ryggen – hvem der har leveret deres indhold, er en anden sag – og bomberne ryger i luften. Der sker et eller andet, noget, der kun tager det sekund, der går mellem "jeg elsker dig" og et rør, der bliver lagt på.

Information og Independent
 

23.07.05    Nok et terrorangreb - denne gang i Ægypten - et muslimsk land - hvad tænker de folk på - det er ondt er det ikke?

Fra Jyllandsposten- d.d.

Mindst 49 dræbt i Ægypten

Udland: Mindst 49 blev dræbt og 136 såret, da en række bilbomber natten til lørdag eksploderede i turistområdet Sharm el-Sheikh i Egypten. Ingen danskere meldes dræbt.

 

22.07.2005 Citat fra Jyllands Posten i dag

Min kommentar:  - Terrorister skal stoppes - de vil gøre verden muslimsk- islam er problemet  - lad os se det i øjnene: Det er en ond, hadets ideologi.

Teksten fra Jyllandspostens leder:

"VESTENS VÆRDIER er under pres i disse år. Formørkede bombemænd med et middelalderligt livs- og samfundssyn har erklæret de åbne og frie samfund krig. Det er nu, det skal vise sig, om den standhaftighed og vilje til selvforsvar, som hidtil har været så vigtig en del af den vestlige selvforståelse, fortsat er til stede.
 


Vi må ikke give den mindste indrømmelse til disse fanatikere med deres helvedesmaskiner. Demokratierne har gennem tiderne stået over for langt større udfordringer - og vundet hver gang. Det vil også ske med den udfordring fra den radikale islamisme, som i disse år spreder død og ødelæggelse.

Men en succesfuld kamp mod terror forudsætter et nøgternt udgangspunkt. Terroren har intet med Irak-krigen at gøre. Den har intet med denne verdens iboende uretfærdighed og skæve fordeling af goderne at skaffe. De, der smider bomber, har erklæret den vestlige verden krig. De drives af mindreværdskomplekser så store, at det er vanskeligt at fatte i vor del af verden. De ønsker de vantro besejret og verden islamiseret. Det er den barske virkelighed. Alt andet er et skønmaleri og letkøbte forklaringer fra dem, der har en gusten, indenrigspolitisk dagsorden at hyppe.

Til alle tider har der været terror; altså også længe før den 11. september 2001. Den vigtige pointe er, at til alle tider har terroristerne også tabt. De seneste eksempler er Rote Armee Fraktion og De Røde Brigader i Vesttyskland og Italien i 1970'erne. Venstrefløjen havde grumme svært ved at lægge helhjertet afstand til terroren. Man var meget mere optaget af, at politistaten lurede lige om hjørnet. Men set i et længere perspektiv var terrorbølgen kun et par ridser i de demokratiske staters overflade.

Kampen dengang kostede ofre. Også kampen i dag koster ofre, senest forfærdeligt mange liv i London. Men enhver forsvarskamp har sine ofre. Kampen mod nazismen og kommunismen var heller ikke omkostningsfri. Nu har den næste -isme så meldt sig. Man kan diskutere længe, om den er mere radikal end de andre, og om truslen er større. Tilbage vil stå, at den skal imødegås, og at det er os, der ender med at vinde.

En sådan tro på, at kampen kan vindes, forudsætter, at vi er realistiske. Der dræbes ikke flere amerikanske soldater i Irak, end der omkommer bilister på de amerikanske landeveje. Antallet af bombeofre i London svarer til nogle måneders dræbte på de britiske landeveje. Det kan lyde kynisk, men i kampen mod terror er vi nødt til at bevare de kolde proportioner.

Premierminister Tony Blairs stærke reaktion på London-bomberne bør være et eksempel for os alle. De ønsker at skræmme os. De ønsker, at vi skal ændre vores livsstil. De ønsker, at vi skal trække os ud af den globale kamp for fred og retfærdighed. Men vi skal stå fast. Udbredelsen af de universelle menneskerettigheder er en vigtig del af Vestens ambition. Den kan have missionerende karakter, javist, men vi skal have modet til at sige, at disse værdier moralsk er så uendeligt ophøjede i forhold til den dødskult, som islamisterne dyrker, at vi ser en mission i at pådutte dem flest mulige folkeslag.

I dette lys er det ulideligt at høre også den danske venstrefløj tale om, at vi bør trække os ud af indsatsen i Irak som svar på terroren. Den socialistiske regering i Spanien bøjede nakken og trak de spanske soldater ud efter Madrid-bomberne. Som om bombeofrene i Madrid har større krav på respekt og medfølelse end de tusinder og atter tusinder, der blev pint og plaget ihjel i Saddam Husseins torturfængsler.

Bombemændene er ganske ligeglade. De mener at føre en hellig kamp i en højere, om end tåget sags tjeneste. Fornuft og logik er ikke en del af deres bagage.

Ja, idealisme koster; desværre også menneskeliv. Der kommer flere bomber, og der kommer flere bombeofre. Ikke mindst denne realisme har gennem tiderne tjent Vesten godt."
 

10 grund til at støtte Israel

Israel needs our help

Carlos Alberto Montaner

Ten reasons why we must support Israel:

• First: Because Israel is the clear victim of a new aggression, and the moral thing to do is to support the victims. After Israel left Gaza, Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier and launched rocket attacks. Shortly thereafter, short- and middle-range rockets launched from southern Lebanon by Hezbollah terrorists rained on Israel, inflicting casualties among the civilian population. Several soldiers were murdered. Israel is not attacking; it is defending itself. It has the right and the duty to do so.

• Second: Because if Israel does not defend itself and is unable to protect its citizens, there will be a repetition of the massacre of Jews the world witnessed (with considerable indifference) during the Nazi era. Does anyone doubt how a Palestinian government formed by Hamas and Hezbollah would behave if it manages to defeat the Israeli Army and dominate the territory? The threat to hurl the Jews into the sea is not a metaphor but an ominous promise repeated a thousand times by the most radical Islamists.

• Third: Because defeating and disarming Hezbollah would confer on Lebanon the opportunity to exist as a prosperous, peaceful and free society. Hezbollah, with its aggressive militia armed by Syrians and Iranians (a militia more powerful than the Lebanese Army), intends not only to destroy Israel; it has already destroyed Lebanon, plunging it into a war that most Lebanese did not want.

• Fourth: Because Israel is the only pluralistic democracy, respectful of human rights, that exists in the Middle East. For sure, it's the only democracy where the Arabs, even those who detest the Jewish State, vote freely and participate in Parliament. It is the only democracy where women of Islam study without limitations, enjoy the same rights as men and are not treated like second-class citizens.

• Fifth: Because the only solution to that conflict depends on peaceful coexistence between Israel and an Islamic world that finally, as happened with Egypt and Jordan, admits the right of that state to exist. And it seems that that's not going to happen until there is a clear conviction that it is not possible to destroy the Jewish state -- something that will be even clearer once the enemies of Israel perceive that the whole free world backs Israel's integrity unhesitatingly.

• Sixth: Because behind Hamas and Hezbollah hide the Syrian and Iranian satrapies, two regimes hostile to the West that diverge on religious grounds. Syria is a lay dictatorship; Iran, a religious dictatorship. But they converge in their irrational hatred toward liberal democracies.

• Seventh: Because Israel's economic, political, scientific and social success has the potential to become a model for the region. The more sensible Arabs in Gaza or the Palestinian Authority, when comparing the miserable life imposed upon them by the bullies of al Fatah, Hamas or Hezbollah, with the very superior lifestyle of their Arab-Israeli brothers inevitably conclude that liberty and rationality bring dividends.

• Eighth: Because it's in the whole world's best interest to eliminate the terrorists capable of provoking an escalation of a conflict that might drift into a devastating war. Iran is on its way to becoming a nuclear state, and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has repeatedly said that the Jewish state must be wiped out. No one doubts that, if Iran attempted such a task, Israel would respond in kind. And the result would be a catastrophe for the region and the world.

• Ninth: Because the factor that encourages adventurers to attack Israel is the dual language of Western countries, their indifference and false equivalence, as if the actions of some callous terrorists who encourage suicidal murderers to blow up school buses or fire rockets against the homes of civilians had the same legitimacy as the response from a society that defends itself from those aggressions.

• Tenth: Because the history lesson that taught us the moral foundations of Western civilization are found in the Judeo-Christian tradition was right. In the West, Israel is all of us. And if one day Israel should perish, its death in a way will be our death.

July 26, 2006