Ramadan Mubarak

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Gary Gunnels hips us to the case of Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss scholar and grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna who will not be teaching at Notre Dame this fall, after the DHS took steps to have his visa revoked. State Department spokeswoman tells the NYT Ramadan was blocked under a provision that "bans espionage agents, saboteurs and anyone the United States 'knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, is engaged in or is likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity.'" Former CIA official blames "pro-Likud organizations" who "want to block people who can speak articulately and present the Muslim dilemma in a way that might be understandable and sympathetic to Americans." Anti-discrimination group objects. Daniel Pipes lays out the case against Ramadan.

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  1. Having read Mr. Pipes’ article, I’m not convinced. He notes some very circumstantial-sounding connections (an address in a bank’s documents, a translation from French without context) and seems to draw too much conclusion from them. There may be a solid case against admitting Ramadan to the U.S. but I don’t think this is it.

  2. I had the opposite conclusion after reading Pipes’ article. The guy seems to have numerous connections with various terrorists, and I don’t think moderates refer to the 9/11 attacks and the Bali and Madrid bombings as “interventions”! True, we don’t have his Al Qaeda photo ID and membership certificate, but given the nature of this war, it makes sense to keep him out based on less-than-perfect information.

    Although I’d also support letting him in, as long as we bugged every conversation he has.

  3. Papaya,

    Maybe your French is better than mine. Take a look at the article Pipes links to for the “intervention” statement. My efforts, supplemented by a Google translation, left me uncertain that Pipes was correct on this point — even if the relevant word translates as “intervetions” the context may be substantially different than he implies.

  4. There may be a solid case against admitting Ramadan to the U.S. but I don’t think this is it.

    Perhaps it is not a solid case. However, it isn’t the case the government was using; it’s just the evidence Pipes found by skimming the papers. Even then, I think it’s strong enough; visa applicants are guilty until proven innocent.

  5. Pipes:

    “(Ramadan is a) cold-blooded Islamist whose “cry of death to the West is a quieter and gentler jihad, but it’s still jihad.”

    What nonsense! “Cold-blooded” describes someone actually involved in terror. All Pipes can really complain about is Ramadan’s alleged “cry of death to the west”. An alleged thought crime! As is pointed out, the man is a recognized scholar. In their ongoing campaign, these pro-Likud factions are attacking Academic freedom. This is a nightmare prospect.

    They were the movers behind House Resolution 3077: (The bill passed the House of Representatives, after a suspension of the rules, by a voice vote in October 2003. The bill was then referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, which is now taking up the issue.)

    House Resolution 3077 passed the house last fall. It included a provision to establish an advisory board to monitor campus international studies centers in order to ensure that they advance the national interest. While the law would apply to all federally funded institutes with an international focus, the target is clearly the nation’s 17 centers for Middle East studies. The driving force behind this provision is the same group of conservative ideologues who have long promoted the war on Iraq and who support the extreme right-wing politics of the Sharon government in Israel. Their aim is to defend the foreign policy of this administration by stifling critical and informed discussion on U.S. campuses.

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/167348_academic02.html

    Neocons believe it is better for the government to control teaching and research rather than to allow established policy to be questioned. But we are more likely to understand “why they hate us,” and what we can do about it when old ideas can be challenged without fear.

    http://www.antiwar.com/article.php?articleid=2236

    Contact your senators and tell them to preserve academic freedom and say “No” to this monstrosity.

    http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

    .

  6. if there’s any evidence, pipes surely wouldn’t know about it — he’s a simple blowhard looking to justify the actions of the holy department of anti-terrorism.

    as always when faced with the acts of a byzantine government, one is reduces to heuristic evaluation. this administration and this department have an interest in suppressing conciliatory talk that would undermine a well-propagandized vision of islamism as fascism. without an open vault, it’s going to be impossible to dismiss the probability that DHS is trying to close off the exchange of ideas for that or other reasons.

    it seems to me that ramadan, whatever his faults, is the kind of man we should be listening to. he’s an islamist? he’s questioned the reasoning of french jewish intellectuals? he’s spoken openly and often against antisemitism in the arab world? he believes the secular west and islamic east can coexist and share many values? he’s the grandson of the founder of the muslim brotherhood? he may have been in contact with active islamist extremists? he spurns violence as a political tool?

    there’s no doubt — this is an interesting many from the other side of the fence from whom we could learn something, and we should hear more from him. i’m sure he doesn’t have all the answers, and might be dead wrong on a lot of things — but we should be finding excuses to get him over here and speaking, not finding ways to keep him out.

  7. *sigh* — “…interesting man from the other side…” — pardon the errors, please.

  8. When ideological differences over big questions are at the fore (Israel, Islam, empire), it’s not surprising to find that one man’s academic is another man’s terrorist liason.

    Consider, for instance, Mr. Pipes, himself, and his ties to the Mujahidin-i Khalq terrorist organization:

    http://www.juancole.com/2003_12_01_juancole_archive.html#107242280617729101

    Mind you, many, many intellectuals were overly optimistic about the implications of deposing Saddam Hussein, but, why downplay the fall of the Taliban as did Pipes in the following interview:

    http://rightwingnews.com/interviews/pipes.php

    John Hawkins: Let’s say we go into Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein. What do you think the effect on the surrounding region is going to be?

    Daniel Pipes: I think contrary to the deposing of the Taliban regime with few implications, the deposition of Saddam Hussein will have vast implications on every sort of level. On militant Islam, the energy market, the Israeli conflict, the general problem of the Arab states modernizing, you name it, it’ll be a large event.

    John Hawkins: Largely positive or largely negative?

    Daniel Pipes: Every single way positive that I can think of.

  9. It included a provision to establish an advisory board to monitor campus international studies centers in order to ensure that they advance the national interest.

    it’s a free country, though, you know. free speech. free exchange of ideas. yep.

    what an abhorrent place my sulking poppy is becoming. maddening and profoundly sad.

  10. “Cold-blooded” describes someone actually involved in terror

    “Cold-blooded” is a term used to describe people who lack feeling or emotion. It has nothing to do with whether or not someone is involved in terrorism. For example, a suicide bomber who murders a bunch of Jewish schoolkids because he really, really hates Israel is not cold-blooded; a scholar who calmly labels the act “an understandable consequence of Israeli actions” is.

    it’s a free country, though, you know. free speech. free exchange of ideas. yep

    Free speech, yes. Consequence-free speech, no. Ramadan has the right to say whatever he wants. But he’s not an American, so he does NOT have the right to say whatever he wants and then move to the United States. He has freely spoken; he has freely communicated his ideas. We have listened, and concluded that he’s an asshole.

  11. Rick B. –

    The only letter I’m sending any of my deaf-to-all-my-pleas “representatives” is to stop all federal funding of any such institutions, no matter what their ideology is.

    Kevin

  12. Lots of talk about ?suspicion of having links” and “routine contacts” with Islamist and/or terrorist groups and implications based his presumably dead relatives.

    In terms of “contacts”, it seems to me that this is part of his job as an academic studying various aspects of Islam. Communication with people is one important way to figure out what is on their mind. It is especially important with distasteful types who may want to do you harm someday. If our intelligence agencies had more “contacts” with such groups over the last 50 years we’d be in a much better position than we are today.

    His granddad was Hassan al-Banna and his dad maybe went to school with OSBL. Interesting. I studied with a very nice blond, blue-eyed girl from Kansas who also happened to be the niece of Ahmed Jabril; a very violent, leftist, Palestinian terrorist. She never met him and her dad had not heard from him in decades. Who knows, maybe my phone is tapped.

    Of more importance is what Ramadan has said. Saying in an article published on Sept 22, 2001 that there was no “certain evidence” that bin Laden was behind 9/11 was probably an accurate statement. Saying on Sept 22 that he was likely behind 9/11 would also have been an accurate statement.

    I agree with Shelby on the “intervention” statement. I don’t understand enough French. If it’s meaning in French corresponds directly to English its just weird. It would be easier to point to it as an apologist statement for terrorism if the word actually made sense in the context.

    For anyone who?s interested, the Economist did a short but well-rounded profile of Ramadan in their March 4, 2004 issue. Link is below. Unfortunately, its premium content.
    http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=S%27%298%3C%24PQ%5B%24%210%224

  13. Dan:

    “Cold-blooded” is a term used to describe people who lack feeling or emotion.

    “Cold-blooded” is also often used to refer to people lack any sympathy or remorse for their victims. For example Charles Manson was called a “cold-blooded murderer” at the same time as his insane rage was chronicled. Any way, the term is usually used to describe an actual perpetrator, but Pipes’ use of the expression is consistent with his usual hyperbole and lack of honesty.

    For “cold blooded”, rather than academics, you would have done better to use the example the Israeli generals who casually dismiss the deaths of innocent Palestinian children at their hands. BTW, more innocent Palestinian children have been murdered by the Israeli military than the total number of Israelis (both innocent and soldiers in the occupied lands) that have been murdered by Palestinians since Sharon took office.

    Also; of course one should feel for the terrible tragedy of death that suicide bombing is and despise the bomber (just as the Israeli troops who murder and otherwise victimize innocent Palestinians should be despised), but at the same time realize that suicide bombing is indeed an expected consequence of Israeli government’s occupation.

    :We have listened, and concluded that he’s an asshole.”

    An “asshole” huh? Nice. More like someone who has views that Pipes and his powerful allies don’t like. Also, the actions of our government are not “we”. Lastly, if professor Ramadan is an “asshole”, what do you consider Ariel Sharon?

  14. Kevin:

    “The only letter I’m sending any of my deaf-to-all-my-pleas “representatives” is to stop all federal funding of any such institutions, no matter what their ideology is.”

    I think that, that is the best, and most principled solution of all. Among the reasons is that without federal funding, the leverage of the people who are pushing the government to twist scholarship to their liking is greatly diminished. This is a strong general argument against federal funding.

  15. “It included a provision to establish an advisory board to monitor campus international studies centers in order to ensure that they advance the national interest.

    it’s a free country, though, you know. free speech. free exchange of ideas. yep.”

    If this refers to what I think it refers to: the international studies centers are partly funded by the federal government as think tanks for evaluating foreign governments and countries. In short, they are supposed to be an intelligence analysis asset. Many of these centers have been staffed by people who have gone “native” and are producing multi-culti claptrap rather than useful analysis. I beleive the intent of the advisory board is to keep the centers within their scopes of work, not suppress free speech.

  16. Thanks, Raymond. I wish we knew the basis for the DHS decision; I hope they were going on more than Pipes’ fairly thin evidence. Lord knows we need to build more connections with the Muslim Middle East, whether via Ramadan or other scholars. That’s why I hope DHS is being scrupulous here — not because I want an open-borders policy.

  17. Rick: While I’m sympathetic, ultimately I can’t agree with this:

    Also; of course one should feel for the terrible tragedy of death that suicide bombing is and despise the bomber (just as the Israeli troops who murder and otherwise victimize innocent Palestinians should be despised), but at the same time realize that suicide bombing is indeed an expected consequence of Israeli government’s occupation.

    I despise those who willingly pursue the deaths of those who are not reasonably suspected to be causing the death or suffering of innocents. This means that, on balance, I condemn Palestinian bombers and snipers, and not Israeli soldiers. I do condemn the latter where they willfuly attack people who do not (in a reasonable, informed person’s mind) pose a threat to others. It’s awfully hard for us to know what information is available to, for example, an Israeli helicopter attack team. Based on my (limited) knowledge of Israel, I give them the benefit of the doubt. They are likely to have specific knowledge of the background and intent of their target, and to hit that target with as much specificity as possible.

    That does not mean I give them carte blanche. I think Israeli soldiers are human, all are prone to make human mistakes, and some are more prone than others. I think the Israeli military tries to account for that in how it evaluates and trains its members, and that it is not 100% successful. I think they sometimes fuck up spectacularly, and that this causes innocent deaths. I also think these errors occur in the course of serious attempts to prevent the unwarranted deaths of Israeli civilians.

    On balance, Israeli forces try far harder than Palestinian ones to limit casualties to actual combatants. They strive for (but don’t always meet) standards I consider ideal, given physical reality. Their opponents, the Palestinians, do not. (Again, on the whole. Some do strive for this.)

    To the extent bombings are an “expected” result of Israeli actions, they are so only because we have LEARNED to expect them. There is nothing a priori to suggest that such bombings are reasonable. Particularly in light of Palestinians’ reproductive advantage; keep increasing population faster than Israel and you’re guaranteed to win eventually, because Israel will not utilize Third Reich solutions to that problem.

    So on the whole, while I’m sympathetic to the Palestinians’ position (and condemn Israeli settlements into areas it has not formally claimed as national land), I do not endorse the means employed by Arafat and his ilk under the cover of Palestinians’ oppression.

  18. Hi Rick B.

    Pipes was quoting an article I wrote for the American Prospect about Ramadan. I didn’t mean to suggest with the phrase ‘cold-blooded’ that he was a terrorist; if he were I would’ve said so. He is an Islamist and he never equivocates about this; however, his positions on terrorism and jihadism are unclear. To my knowledge, he’s never clarified or changed his belief that OBL has not been proven responsible for 9/11. At any rate, DHS believes there’s a problem, which they are apparently prohibited by law from disclosing. However, I do not believe it is against the law for Ramadan to say why his petition for a visa has been rejected. Maybe if he has nothing to be concerned about and he wishes to show he’s being unfairly treated he can make this case publicly. Maybe he still will, or maybe Notre Dame has told him to keep it quiet right now; or maybe there’s a real problem he doesn’t want to disclose.

    To the extent that he is not sympathetic to the secular values of the West, he is saying death to the West, or death to the West as it is now. Essentially, what Ramadan wants is the political liberties of the West with the cultural values of Islam. It’s an interesting idea, but whether or not those political values would be sustainable under those cultural values is a question for someone else to ask and answer because that is not Ramadan’s concern.

    Gaius writes re. Ramadan:

    “he’s questioned the reasoning of french jewish intellectuals? he’s spoken openly and often against antisemitism in the arab world? he believes the secular west and islamic east can coexist and share many values?”

    The way in which he questioned the reasoning of French Jewish intellectuals reduced their ideas to what he called “communitarianism.” That is, the only way they could fail to condemn Sharon or support the war in Iraq is because they are Jewish. I don’t know if this is precisely anti-semitic, but it is very shoddy reasoning for anyone, never mind an “intellectual.”

    And he does not believe the secular West and Islamic East can co-exist. Ramadan believes Muslims can live in the West if they keep in mind that the West’s spiritual life needs to be rekindled and Islam is the only faith up to the task. This is why he calls the west “dar al-dawa,” or the land of preaching, Islamic call, etc. He is very appreciative of the West’s political freedoms–not surprising given the fact that his grandfather was at war with the Egyptian government and his father was banished by it to Europe– but he is very much against the West’s secular cultural values. He is a bit cagey about this in interviews, but he is very straightforward about this in his books. I recommend reading Western Muslims and the Future of the West.

    It is good that Ramadan believes Muslims can live in secular societies, but it is not so good he tells them they must drive this society toward embracing Islam. Why should any of us have to embrace anything but the principle that others are entitled to practice whatever faith they wish but we’re under no obligation to follow? Is Ramadan’s dawa compatible with the secular West? Can evangelical Christians live in secular liberal societies while they fulfill what they believe is their divine mission? Sure. Is evangelical Christianity compatible with Western secular ideals? Well, it’s a critique of secularism. Should that critique prevail in a society it will no longer be based on secular principles. Liberals know this about evangelical Christians, which is one reason we resist the political power of evangelicals when it affects our lives; why we think it is different with Western Islamists is baffling. Or do you think we should engage Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, “moderate” evangelicals, in dialogue because that will help us better understand the militant evangelicals who blow up abortion clinics?

    yrs, Lee

  19. Des banlieues fran?aises aux soci?t?s musulmanes, vous ne trouverez pas de soutiens, sauf infimes, aux interventions de New York, Bali ou Madrid. On ne peut pas confondre les r?sistances irakienne ou palestinienne avec les actions pro-Ben Laden. (Le Point)

    intervention: Action d’intervenir dans une affaire, un proc?s, etc.

    intervenir: Prendre part volontairement (Petit Larousse)

    “From French suburbs to Muslim societies, you will find only the tiniest (ie, virtually undetectable) support for the OPERATIONS carried out in New York, Bali, or Madrid. One cannot put Iraqi or Palestinian resistance in the same bag with pro-Ben Laden actions.”

    In French, “intervenir” means “to take part volontarily”.

    You’re welcome.

    ps – Here‘s how we see it.

  20. “hips us”?

    🙂

  21. Lee Smith,

    It is good that Ramadan believes Muslims can live in secular societies, but it is not so good he tells them they must drive this society toward embracing Islam.

    I have to ask you what makes Ramadan any different from a Christian fundamentalist in these terms? Pipes and many of his allies appear to argue that the mere fact that Muslims might try to convert people or have a say in government or might try to elect people that agree with their religious preferences.

    Liberals know this about evangelical Christians, which is one reason we resist the political power of evangelicals when it affects our lives; why we think it is different with Western Islamists is baffling.

    There is a difference between engaging both groups in open debate and attacking their ideas and simply lumping Western Islamists in with terrorists (as Pipes and others do).

  22. Raymond probably dances around and ululates like a soi-disant ‘Palestinian’ on 9/11 every time a Jew gets killed in what used to be called the City of Light. Now Paris is of course little more than Mecca on the Seine. Charles Martel isn’t turning in his grave. He’s spinning.

    Spent three years of my life in France, Alsace to be specific. Was there two years ago and have to go back for a wedding in November. I have taken to referring to my family there as the Finzi-Continis.

    Because of our idiotic immigration policy that fails to take into account the fact that the Islamic world is and has been in a war with civilization for the last 1300 years or so, we admit too many Muslims as it is. One is in fact too many. This Ramadan character is a Holocaust-denier, an anti-American gangster and a friend of terrorists. America has an obligation to protect its citizenry from terrorists, or why have a government at all?

  23. Shelby:

    “This means that, on balance, I condemn Palestinian bombers and snipers, and not Israeli soldiers”

    When we’re talking about innocent victims, I believe that the actions of the occupiers, every bit as much as the occupied, should be condemned. Also, it should be remembered that the victimization of the Palestinians also includes the theft of their land and other property (this has tragically accelerated with the wall) as well as wide spread long term detention with out charges ever being brought against the victims.

    It’s routine (although, thankfully becoming less so) for Palestinian intellectuals, professors and others to be picked and detained as “dangerous persons” (administrative detention) if they vociferously and effectively argue for a Palestinian state or decry the occupation. Typically, after six months to two years, they are released with out charges being brought. The intent of a “chilling effect” is obvious. This effort also manifests itself in military attacks to silence local Palestinian media:
    http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/07/01/isrlpa8991.htm

    My main point is that our government should not be paying for any of the maintenance of the occupation.

    “On balance, Israeli forces try far harder than Palestinian ones to limit casualties to actual combatants.”

    I don’t believe that they could possibly be trying harder to limit casualties to actual combatants because the number of innocent Palestinians killed is about three times greater than the number of total Israelis killed. As I said, there have been a greater number of innocent Palestinian children killed by the Israeli military than the total number of Israelis killed (both innocent, and soldiers in the occupied lands) by Palestinians since Sharon took office.

    This is consistent with the observation that the Israeli government is trying to make life as hard as possible on the Palestinians in the occupied lands. The brutality and inconvenience imposed is always greatest in the areas of the occupied lands that the Israeli government wants to annex for more settlements.

    ” They (the Israeli military) strive for (but don’t always meet) standards I consider ideal, given physical reality.

    To the Israeli’s credit, (due, in part, to pressure from decent Israeli citizens who oppose the occupation) in a few cases where Israeli soldiers have murdered, tortured or otherwise brutalized innocent Palestinians, they have been prosecuted.

    “There is nothing a priori to suggest that such bombings are reasonable.”

    They are most certainly not “reasonable”, but they are an expected reaction to the occupation. This type of terror is often the way the weak fight. The proto Israelis used it against the British.

    “while I’m sympathetic to the Palestinians’ position and condemn Israeli settlements…”

    Ending our government’s paying for the occupation will hopefully hasten its termination and make piece possible.

    ” Israel will not utilize Third Reich solutions to that problem.”

    There are “Third Reich” type solutions short of genocide that the Israeli government seems quite willing to pursue. Such as the anti-Palestinian mixed marriage impediment law:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/01/international/middleeast/01MIDE.html?ex=1072933200&en=b3bdb3489e181def&ei=5070

    And even forced separation of its own Arab citizens. The Israeli government actually supported racist “Jews Only” housing area laws on government land:
    http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html

    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    To understand the background of the racist, fundamentalist Jewish religious extremism that Israeli polity is currently gripped by, see the fascinating: Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Israel Shahak and also Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel by Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky. Shahak was a non-leftist human rights activist and a a Nazi concentration camp survivor.

    “I do not endorse the means employed by Arafat and his ilk under the cover of the Palestinians’ oppression.”

    Also, Arafat and the PA currently oppress the Palestinians as well. The corrupt PA works hand in hand with the Israeli government to repress free enterprise in the occupied lands and benefits from, and helps enforce the requirement that the Palestinians purchase almost all of their consumer goods from a few politically well connected Israeli concerns. The result is that almost everything in occupied Palestine is about 4 times more expensive than they should be. Malnutrition for the Palestinian people is a result of this situation and it’s unconscionable that we are forced to support the maintenance of this suffering. see: How Israel Lost by Richard Ben Cramer for this and other aspects of the occupation.

  24. Unreasoned hatred has this going for it: It’s not shy.

  25. First, the jawbone on the back, then…

    Hips of Gary Gunnels made on order in the box of Tariq Ramadan

    Story on page 3.

    ————————————

    Gunnels: Looking good!

    The hips of Gary Gunnels, which were made on order in the crate by Tariq Ramadan are svelte the way only a fine Swiss watch can be.

    Speaking from his crate on rue du Mont Blanc, a smiling Mr. Ramadan stated…

    ————————————

    The first one is just English?>French?>English… The second added a smidgeon of German.

    We’re talking babelfish here, of course. We’re talking about an I-could-solve-world-hunger-if-I-used-my-time-more-wisely kind of Sunday morning.

  26. He has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Mr. Turabi in turn called Mr. Ramadan the “future of Islam.”

    Since he was willing to provide us with links in other cases, why not here?

    Mr. Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.

    And were these links ever substantiated; did the French government ever come to a conclusion based on these suspicions; has he been able to enter France since 1996?

    Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian indicted for Al-Qaeda activities, had “routine contacts” with Mr. Ramadan, according to a Spanish judge (Baltasar Garz?n) in 1999.

    When (before the fellow became associated with al Qaeda or after)? What was the nature of these contacts? Did they happen to bump into each other at a Mosque, or were they meeting intimately together over coffee?

    Djamel Beghal, leader of a group accused of planning to attack the American embassy in Paris, stated in his 2001 trial that he had studied with Mr. Ramadan.

    So what? This is a guilt by association fallacy.

    Intelligence agencies suspect that Mr. Ramadan (along with his brother Hani) coordinated a meeting at the H?tel Penta in Geneva for Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy head of Al-Qaeda, and Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, now in a Minnesota prison.

    One has to say “so what?” here. Is there any evidence that demonstrates this claim or not? Pictures? Governments allege all sorts of things, in other words, but that doesn’t make said allegation true.

    Mr. Ramadan’s address appears in a register of Al Taqwa Bank, an organization the State Department accuses of supporting Islamist terrorism.

    Another guilt by association fallacy. Can we assume that every individual registered with this bank a terrorist?

    Then there is the intriguing possibility, reported by Olivier Guitta, that Osama bin Laden studied with Tariq’s father in Geneva, suggesting that the future terrorist and the future scholar might have known each other.

    Another guilt by association fallacy.

    Ramadan denies all ties to terrorism, but the pattern is clear.

    No, the pattern is NOT clear; indeed, there is much to be questioned here. He’s provided not one shred of actual evidence that directly links this man to terrorism, and he’s been sloppy in his reasoning to boot.

  27. There has been no ‘theft’ of ‘Palestinian’ property, any more than America has ‘occupied’ California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, etc. The entire ‘occupation’ was the result of Arab aggression in 1967. If the so-called ‘Palestinians’ can’t deal with it, let them move to Jordan.

    Had it not been for the behavior of White Christian Europeans and their descendants in colonies like Australia, the US and Canada, there would have been no need for an Israel to be created. The fact that you spend so much time and effort whining about Israeli self-defense indicates to me that you miss the good old days of ovens and yellow stars.

    The absence of any reference to the roughly one million Jews forcibly evicted from the Islamic Middle East and their property and other rights demonstrates what your motivation truly is.

    The US government should give no government-government aid to anyone. It is the most inefficient way to aid people, as even the World Bank can tell you.

  28. Bart-

    The Islamic world has been at war with civilization for 1300 years? OK…

    Obviously a troll.

  29. btw, I don’t have a strong opinion on this Ramadan fellow, since I haven’t examined enough information. Please don’t interpret my post as taking any particular stance on Mr. Ramadan. I’m just responding to Bart’s obnoxious comments. “Mecca on the Seine.” “One is in fact too many.” Right…

  30. Thoreau,

    Sorry to disrupt your Waldenesque reverie.

    One needs only look around the world to see the crimes of Islam. Whether it is the murder of one third of population of East Timor, an on-going genocide in Irian Jaya, the butchering in the Philipines, the murder of Buddhist schoolteachers in Thailand, the fact that over 50% of all Norwegian inmates are Muslim, the recent terrorist attack on two Russian jets by Chechen thugs, the on-going genocide against Blacks in Sudan, the slavery which has been documented by Henry Louis Gates in Mali, the destruction of Buddhas in Afghanistan, the terrorism by Uighurs in Sinkiang, the gang-rape-of-non-Muslim-women-as-coming-of-age-ritual in France, Australia, Sweden, Holland and Norway, there is on simple common thread, the perpetrators are Muslims all doing so in furtherance of their alleged culture.

  31. I’ve looked over Mr. Pipe’s article a bit more carefully.

    imo, It’s fundamentally dishonest.

    I’ve already dealt with the “intervention” problem. It is, possibly, a simple question of not knowing French. (Perhaps in Mr. Pipe’s French, “tu es versatile” is a compliment.)

    However, when he states Along with nearly all Islamists, Mr. Ramadan has denied that there is “any certain proof” that Bin Laden was behind 9/11, he is deliberately twisting Ramadan’s thought.

    The link he provides to back up his accusation is to an interview given by Mr. Ramadan on September 22, 2001. Eleven days after the events of 9/11.

    Here’s the original:

    -Ben Laden est-il bien le principal responsable des r?centes attaques contre New York?

    Tariq Ramadan: Jusqu?? maintenant, les enqu?teurs n?ont pas apport? de preuves d?finitives et claires de sa culpabilit?. La probabilit? est grande, mais quelques questions demeurent sans r?ponse: la diff?rence entre l?extr?me sophistication en amont et le cumul des maladresses apr?s l?attentat est impressionnante. Pourquoi laisser de pareilles traces et ne pas revendiquer ces attentats? Il y a encore trop d?incoh?rences pour que l?on puisse d?j? d?signer d?finitivement les coupables. Mais quels qu?ils soient, Ben Laden ou un autre, il faut qu?on les trouve et qu?on les juge.

    This means, basically

    -Is Ben Laden really the person principally responsible for the attacks?

    TR: So far, the investigators have not presented clear and decisive evidence of his guilt. The pobabality that he was behind it is great, but there are some questions which still have not been answered. … There are still too many things which don’t make sense for one to know who did it. But whoever they are – Ben Laden or someone else – they must be found and judged.

    I checked some of Mr. Pipe’s other sources.

    “Le Parisien” – which seems to be his most important source – is the newspaper of “La France Radicale ? Gauche D?mocratique et R?publicaine”.

    fyi – “Gauche” means “leftist”.

    On their “Principles” page, two things caught my attention:

    Propri?t? priv?e (anti-capitalisme)

    and

    Universalisme (contre la globalisation)

    But what really amused me was this (on another “principles” page, this one entitled “ideas”):

    Le “laisser-faire, laisser-passer” absolu : tyrannie de la globalisation libertarienne

    (“Laisser-passer” means, basically, “anything goes”, “lack of discipline”. As in: The teacher’s classroom was a monstre bordel. He was guilty of laisser-passer.)

  32. Lee:

    At any rate, DHS believes there’s a problem, which they are apparently prohibited by law from disclosing.”

    Or, as the former CIA official maintains, they are just acting at the behest of; “pro-Likud organizations want to block people who can speak articulately and present the Muslim dilemma in a way that might be understandable and sympathetic to Americans.”

    It’s an interesting idea, but whether or not those (western) political values would be sustainable under those cultural values (of Islam) is a question…”

    It seems that western political attributes would certainly survive, even the most obnoxious cultural values of Islam, because cultural values may be maintained with out resort to political force. The general populations next to the Islamic communities in Michigan do not have their liberties threatened in the least. Nor, btw, do the communities proximate to other secularly illiberal sects, such as Amish and Hassidics. Even in Utah, the reduction of the liberty of non-Mormons is very minimal. It’s excessive political force that is the death knell of western political values, not culture.

    Note that in case of France, it’s the reaction by the state to the culture of Islam; a French state that too easily accepts the subjugation of the individual, that is further imposing the destruction of western political values with laws that limit the wearing of religious attire! Of course, the motivation for this type of restriction is that since they have compromised western political values by giving too much power to political majorities, the French government does indeed have reason to fear Muslim, or any other growing population.

    BTW, it should be noted that not all cultural values of even fundamentalist Islam are illiberal.

  33. Rick,

    I take it you engage in the liberal use of hallucinogens.

    We have already seen in Hamtramck, Michigan, the City Council has approved the broadcast of Islamic prayers, disrupting the mornings of the majority non-Muslim population with a screeching sound that at best approximates someone having dropped a heavy crate on his foot. We have seen as well Muslim women suing Florida to bar unveiled photo driver’s licenses. That whole Equal Protection thing just eludes you then.

    Islam is far worse than even the Roman Catholic Church when it comes to imposing a totalitarian system on any area where it becomes the majority. We as civilized people have an obligation to prevent that from happening, and any means we use to prevent that from happening is fine by me.

  34. Bart,

    “The entire ‘occupation’ was the result of Arab aggression in 1967.”

    Even if that ahistorical nonsense was true, the Palestinians couldn’t be held accountable for the action’s of Arab regimes in the region. It serves as no legitimate excuse for the occupation.

    “If the so-called ‘Palestinians’ can’t deal with it…”

    What racism! Things are so much easier when you can deny your victims an identity.

    “you miss the good old days of ovens and yellow stars.”

    Yet YOU make unfounded accusations of racism! thoreau is right, you deserve the “Troll” lable.

    “The US government should give no government-government aid to anyone. It is the most inefficient way to aid people.”

    Amazing, you said something that was right! So you will join me in advocating that our government cut off the Israeli, egyptian and Jordanian government’s. Besides being “inefficient”, government foreign aid is unfair.

  35. I’ll agree to cutting off all the aid so long as you agree that the US and the EU should just shut the fuck up if Israel should decide to grow a pair and forcibly expel the Muslims from Israel, Judea and Samaria, and if Israel decides that it needs to nuke Teheran or Mecca that the US and the EU won’t say a peep, it being an absolute right for each nation to decide what it needs in self-defense.

    The 1967 borders didn’t stop Arab aggression in 1967, and they won’t stop it in the future.

    The simple observation of the behavior of Muslims across the world is now ‘racism.’ It is tragic how the language gets debased.

  36. Bart,

    You have said nothing to justify your ridiculous hyperbole that:

    “The Islamic world has been at war with civilization for 1300 years?”

    Also, in Hamtramck, Michigan the threat of civil suits will force the Mosques to turn the volume down. They are already negotiating.

    Your example of Florida driver’s licenses photos isn’t germane to the question of the maintenance of western political values any more than laws that restrict liquor from being sold on Sundays are.

  37. just shut the fuck up if Israel should decide to grow a pair and forcibly expel the Muslims from Israel, Judea and Samaria,

    Yeah, we wouldn’t want folks protesting ethnic cleansing now, would we?

  38. Ever since the Romans nailed that mountebank, Jesus, up on a stick, we’ve been getting ethnically cleansed by Christians, so cry me a fucking river.

    So all the crimes being committed by Muslims, especially by Muslim governments, against non-Muslims all over the world just escape your notice.

  39. Bart,

    If by “we’ve” you mean Jews; I agree, and at times it’s happened in murderous proportion.

    The crimes of any governments don’t “escape my notice”, in fact that’s one of the reasons why I want to cut them ALL off tax aid from our government; Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Uzbekistan…

  40. Bart,

    I’m not a Christian (or a Jew, or a follower of any religion) but IMO, calling Jesus a “mountebank”, seems kind of insensitive and certainly unnecessary for this discussion.

  41. Rick,

    I’m glad to see that you at least understand somewhat where I’m coming from.

    Like Herzl, I would have picked Uganda as a Jewish homeland. Hell, I would have accepted Julius Streicher’s proposal of Madagascar over what eventually happened. The rational thing for the Anglosphere to do after 1945 would have been to encourage the millions of Jewish refugees to come to the US, Canada and Australia. However, political realities prevented that. So the argument of whether Israel should exist is now moot.

    Had my grandfather not gotten a job doing desserts for a company that supplied NYC French restaurants in the 20s, I would probably not be here to discourse with you today. A visit to the Natzweiler-Struthof camp in the Vosges will reveal a fair number of victims of the Nazis with my last name, as well as that of my paternal grandmother. You don’t have the experience of looking through family albums and seeing pictures of great-aunts and great-uncles who ended up extra crispy, people who looked like you, people your grandparents tell you that you remind them of. I do.

    It is unfortunate that Arabs were forced to bear the burden of solving what was in essence a European problem. However, them’s the breaks. Had the so-called Palestinians behaved like Gandhi or Mandela, they would have had a state a long time ago, which would have encompassed much of the now-disputed territories. They chose violence instead. .

    The other reality that you seem unwilling to confront is the proclivity of Muslims towards violence against non-Muslims. Why is it that when Indonesian Muslims murder 1/3 of East Timorese, thousands of Chinese, thousands of Christians in Ambon, people like you say nothing? Why is it that when Muslims murder Buddhist schoolteachers in Thailand, people like you say nothing? Why is it that when millions of Christian and animist Sudanese are murdered or sold into slavery by Muslims, you are silent? Islamists behave like medieval Christians on steroids and crack and should be called on it, but you are remarkably silent.

    Of course, Muslims are not unique in this regard in any respect than volume. One of the most depressing things about Israel is the impact that the Orthodox have there. In the States, we must be vigilant about the efforts of Christian extremists who would mandate the Creation myth in the schools. Religious violence by Hindus is apparent in India and by Buddhists can be seen in Sri Lanka. Few places are as retrograde as Buddhist Bhutan or as Tibet was.

  42. Rick,

    My comment about Jesus was a tad rough. However, if you were familiar with the writings of Philo Judaeus, a Romanized Jew of the period, you would know that Jesus was just one of tons of self-proclaimed Messiahs roaming about Judea at the time. It was not unlike the ‘Burnt Over District’ of NY and New England in the early 19th century which produced Mormonism, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventism, abolitionism, womens’ suffrage and Prohibition. The reaction of the Jewish leadership, eager for accomodation with the powerful Romans and viscerally opposed to anything bad for business, was to support the killing of anyone who ‘rocked the boat.’

  43. Rick, don’t feed the troll. He’s either crazy and actually believes the stuff coming out of his keyboard, or he’s just doing it to get a rise out of you.

  44. And, by Murphy’s Law, while I’m typing that Bart produced a more reasonable post.

    We’ve all had our bad weekends. I suspect that Bart is in a bad mood right now. I shouldn’t have been so harsh in my judgement.

  45. It is curious that the alleged expulsion(If Israel expelled the Arabs why is 17% of the population of pre-1967 Israel made up of Arabs? By the 20th century standards of ethnic cleansing, this doesn’t even count as a light rinse.) of the so-called Palestinians from Israel gets your attention, but the expulsion of over a million Jews from the Islamic Middle East escapes your notice. Israel created conditions which allowed those Jews to survive in freedom and dignity, so let’s call it even.

    Sharon was out of government until the actions of Arafat brought him onto centerstage. The betrayal of Israel by the Reagan Administration in 1982 during the invasion of Lebanon had ended his career. The Israeli electorate by a 65-35 margin brought him back after Arafat started the Intifada again.

    FYI, the Jordanian regime wants an Israeli presence on the border between themselves and a ‘Palestinian’ state, because about 75% of Jordanians are ‘Palestinian.’

    As I said earlier, I don’t want any state getting foreign aid money, least of all kleptocracies like Egypt or Jordan. America and Indonesia have a close relationship that goes back since Suharto deposed Sukarno. In 1974, when Indonesia invaded what had been Portuguese Timor and commenced killing its Christian population, the US said nothing.

    The foreign aid to Israel warps the Israeli economy and causes Israel to undertake actions, or refrain from actions, that would make sense for its own security. American-Israeli relations would remain close anyway, as the largest private sector employer there is Intel, and the cooperation in high-tech weaponry between the Israeli and American defense industries is endemic.

    Uzbekistan is pretty bad but Turkmenistan is worse and if people weren’t being killed would be comical. There is something out of Woody Allen’s Bananas when the leader starts naming months after himself.

    States which allow religion to retard the development of the society get no sympathy from me. Even the most cursory visit to a halfway decent Tibetan Art exhibit will show a decadent society. The mandalas produced in the 12th century CE were far superior to those from the 19th. It was a xenophobic place, murdering visiting travellers. At any given time 1/4 of the male population were monks, not contributing to the economy. THen, there is always that drum made from human skin which hangs at the Potlapa Palace in Lhasa.

  46. Bart:

    “If Israel expelled the Arabs why is 17% of the population of pre-1967 Israel made up of Arabs?”

    Because they weren’t all expelled.

    “A light rinse.” Doesn’t accurately describe the murderous forced exodus of 750,000 Palestinians at the founding of Israel. see: Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict by Norman Finkelstein

    It takes a very tortured Calculus to conclude that two tragedies make a “wash”.

    “the cooperation in high-tech weaponry between the Israeli and American defense industries is endemic.”

    In part, because as a proviso of the military aid, it is required that 66% OR 75% (I can’t remember which) be spent with American firms.

    Uzbekistan gets lots of our tax dollars, but Turkmenistan doesn’t. There are going to be thug regimes in the world. I just don’t want to finance any of them. The less they depend on the US taxpayer, the more appealing trade will become.

  47. raymond_m,

    Bart has certainly said some insipid and hateful things about Islam and Palestinians. Perhaps he’s bitter because of the Holocaust. Which, as you point out, is no excuse. I assume he was telling the truth about his family, but what ever, all families touched by that horror have my sympathy.

  48. raymond_m-

    Well, Bart’s last few posts adopted a comparatively more moderate tone. Maybe he wasn’t at his best, or maybe he’s a troll who decided it might be more fun to actually discuss instead of hurling verbal Molotov cocktails. Either way, he’s improving.

  49. Some of the Arabs of Palestine went into exile upon the advice of Arab political leaders. Others were chased out, pace Finkelstein. In the latter case, the Israelis did them dirt, while in the former it was their own “brothers” who screwed them over. Being kept in permanent refugee status in various states since then has been awfully crummy, too. A bad business all around.

    Kevin

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