Category Archives: Islamophobia

Do They Really Hate “US”? Rudyard Kipling and Misplaced American Phobia……..

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Go send your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need

To wait in heavy harness
On fluttered folk and wild—

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child

Take up the White Man’s burden
In patience to abide
To veil the threat of terror      Rudyard Kipling (on America)

CNN network has been pushing a documentary show with a totally silly but sensational attention-grabbing title Why Do They Hate Us. Complete with a couple of the usual well-worn “Islamic” or “terror” experts from the Indian Sub-Continent.

I saw only parts of the show (or program). It gives the impression that Americans are agonizing over Islamic terrorism, which is real, and over why they are not loved over there. I got some news for all Americans: it is true that many of the Salafi Wahhabi Muslims hate Americans (and Europeans as well); but not nearly as much as they hate other Muslims of different sects.

Almost on any single day, the Muslim victims (Shi’a and Sunni) of terror bombings in Baghdad exceed the total the number of Americans killed by “terrorism” since after September 11; that is fifteen years of American agony and Islamic phobia. The same goes for most European countries. Last June, a Saudi ISIS agent blew himself up inside a crowded Muslim Shi’a mosque in Kuwait City. The total dead were 27, plus hundreds wounded and crippled. That is probably more than the number of Americans killed by Muslim terrorists in the USA since September 11, 2001.

If you could read Arabic, a beautiful one of the most expressive of languages, you’d know that most of the vitriol and hatred is usually directed at Shi’a Muslims, and maybe Alawites and other Muslim minorities. Not at Americans. Most of the exhortation in Arabic Wahhabi social media is to kill Shi’as or the Magi (Persians). Or Arabs of another faith. Most of the complaints about America are mainly that this country is helping “the enemy” or the “other” with bombing terrorist hideouts.

It is true that many in “allied” countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and surprisingly many in Egypt, either hate or dislike some vague identity called “America”. But that is the product of Wahhabi ideology, a once-small Islamic sect that has spread from Central Saudi Arabia and across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Fed with oil money and Salafi clerics from the Arab world and South Asia.

Across the Arab and Muslim worlds there is a kind of love-hate attitude toward America. A large part of the people wish to evolve civil societies where institutions rule rather than entitled dictators or clerics or a handful of tribal families. That is an American ideal, at least that was the American trajectory for a long time, although this has become debatable now.

And the fact is, many Arabs also seek (some even yearn) to be recognized by the West (America) as moving toward some local version of that ideal, be it real or illusory. I know, I know, some Arabs would complain that this is pandering to the “white man”.

But facts are what they are: facts.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

United States of Paranoia? Italian Mathematician Terrorist Armed with a Hessian Matrix…….

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“A math equation landed an Ivy League professor on an American Airlines flight in questioning Thursday under suspicion of being a terrorist. Guido Menzio, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, was working on a differential equation while waiting for the Syracuse-bound plane to take off from Philadelphia, the Washington Post reported. He had to present the findings of a working paper at Queen’s University. But a passenger somehow mistook the equation for Arabic or some sort of Islamic code for a terrorist attack……….”

Things are beginning to get out of hand in this election year in the land of Milk and Honey, Fruits and Nuts. Any know-nothing xenophobe (who probably can’t even spell the word) can now point a finger at a fellow flight passenger and cause a lot of inconvenience and maybe some misery.

Guido Menzio is not even a Muslim or an Arab or a Pakistani. He is obviously an Italian or an Italian-American. So , because of his Mediterranean dark looks, and because he was solving some mathematics equations, probably some of the calculus problems we all did in college, he was suspected of terrorism. They thought the mathematical equations were some dangerous foreign language, like Arabic. He was profiled. Good thing he wasn’t writing music.

Moral of the story? There probably is none,  just that some people can’t tell a Hessian Matrix from a proverbial hole in the ground.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Inshallah: a United States of Political Paranoia on Social Media?……..

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“An Iraqi student at UC Berkeley was removed from his Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Oakland earlier this month when a woman overheard him speaking in Arabic and reported him to a Southwest employee…..

UPDATED: Adds new @SouthwestAir claim eavesdropping passenger said she spoke Arabic – not yet clear that’s true.
The Intercept @theintercept
Iraqi refugee kicked off plane for speaking Arabic says Islamophobia boosts ISIS http://interc.pt/1SgOIQB by @RobertMackey

Wajahat Ali Verified account ‏@WajahatAli Apr 17
I explain “inshallah”after this #SouthwestAirlines fiasco where a Muslim kid was kicked off for speaking Arabic……….”

And so it went. But the fact can’t be denied: a young man, apparently an Arab, was kicked off a flight because a fellow passenger heard him speak what she thought was Arabic and “reported him” to the crew. The kind of stuff you’d read in old thrillers of Nazi Germany (no exaggeration here).

Inshallah: God Willing……… Every Muslim and Arab  says this when asked to do something or when asked if he/she will pass her exam or succeed or….. I suspect even some Arab Christians say it, since it means God Willing.

All this precedes the current poisonous Republican election campaign of 2016. Many times people, families, Arab and/or Muslim, some of them possibly Christian, have been reported removed from flights across the USA for suspicion of speaking Arabic (it could be Hindu for all the other passengers know). Since when is the suspicion of a language grounds for serious discrimination?

And does that make everyone who speaks Spanish an illegal? Or anyone who speaks Chinese (Mandarin…..) a spy? Or any unarmed black teenager who speaks and dresses a certain style a life-threatening thug that should be shot immediately?

This is not about one airline. I must add that I and my family here in the USA have had dealings with Southwest Airlines in the past three years with no problem. No signs of prejudice whatsoever. Nor have I experienced any form of prejudice in other venues or with other institutions and businesses. Even with my first name which is the most Muslim of names.

No, I am not blaming the social media for rapidly spreading, embellishing, or  magnifying the news. Not yet.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Donald Trump and the Pussycats: from Washington to Jerusalem……

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Everybody has been following the debates, arguments, and food fights between Donald Trump and “others”. From his Republican rivals to the Pope to the Bush family to the Clintons and former Mexican leaders/oligarchs. He certainly does not back down from a fight, he usually doubles down. In the process, he calls his detractors and rivals some choice words (some of them well-deserved).
Tsk, tsk: politics were supposed to be served discreetly, like a slow Borgia poison, not so bluntly as a broadsword or Roman gladius.

Can you imagine Senator Mitch McConnell, majority leader, saying of a President Trump what he has been saying of President Obama for seven years? Trump would almost certainly call him what he exactly thinks of him: a pussy from Kentucky at best.

Can you imagine Israel’s Benyamin Netanyahu coming to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in order to openly sabotage American foreign policy as he did last year? A right-wing foreign leader? A President Trump would openly call for his deportation, adding the “pussy” and “liar” epithets as well.

Can you imagine a President Trump bowing down to some tribal autocratic  kleptocratic prince? Or walking around holding his hand as Bush did in Crawford?

Can you imagine him politely, too politely, deferring to a foreign leader, be they Chinese or Russian or Middle Eastern?

This is not to endorse him or overlook the tools of bigotry he has been conveniently using against easy targets like Muslims, refugees, and desperate Latin workers that his own businesses probably hire. Cheap shots he takes, but that has become one tool of American politics these days.

As for the nonsense he utters about Obamacare and the Iran Nuclear Deal, it is just political posturing. The horse has already left the barn on these issues, as all Republican candidates know but pretend not to know.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Islamic Hypocrisy, Islamic Phobia: Guess Who Hates (Other) Muslims the Most…….

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اذا لم تستحى فافعل ما شئت
“If You Have No Shame, then You can do what you like……….” Arab saying

Al Jazeera (the news network owned by Qatari sheikhs) was complaining about the treatment of Muslims in Europe. Other media have been complaining about the unwelcome and hostility the Arab refugees face in the West. These dominant Arab media are mostly owned by Saudi princes, and Qatari and Emirati (UAE) potentates. All these three Arab countries, so much responsible for the carnage in Syria and Iraq and Libya and Egypt, have refused to accept Arab refugees. Yet they complain about the European reception of them.

Wahhabi terrorists (who claim to be Muslims) are busy killing and massacring thousands of other Muslims in the Middle East and across the world. Wahhabis are also known to turn away other Muslims from mosques in Europe and America and to fight tooth and nail against the establishment of “other” mosques in Europe. Even as many Muslims demand understanding and equality in the West.

The fact is that nobody hates Muslims more than other Muslims of a different sect or nationality or tribe. Nobody kills more Muslims than other Muslims of a different sect or nationality or tribe. Nobody shows more Islamophobia than some Muslims toward “other” Muslims. Shouldn’t the Muslim house be put in order first, before whining about the Western bigotry?

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Fatwa on Donald Trump and the Republican Dilemma of Arab Princes………

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It is no secret that most Arab princes and potentates would prefer a Republican administration in Washington. That is based on long-standing oil and other mutual business relations as well as on the warlike statements of Republican politicians toward Iran, Lebanon, and others. Most of them believe a Republican would have attacked Iran years ago, something the Saudis openly urged as the Wikileaks cables exposed, although George W Bush declined to do so. On several Middle East issues, they take the same stand as the Israeli Likud rather than the Obama administration.

Yet Mr. Trump presents them with a dilemma in the aftermath of the recent Wahhabi terrorist attack in San Bernardino. Actually even before that attack. You see, they don’t realize that he is unlikely to win the GOP nomination, and if he did he will not win the presidency. Americans have never elected to the presidency a gambling boss with a big mouth who is openly bigoted. Not in the past hundred fifty years anyway. And they are not about to do so now. So the princes worry about his Muslim-baiting and Nazi-like proposals on how to treat Muslims in the United States.

The potentates have not heard of my tweeted Fatwa that by March or April Mr. Trump will be back in the trash-bin of history or on reality TV (both, since he needs the money).  They actually believe he has a chance of winning, and therefore they can’t afford to antagonize him. Hence their official silence from Riyadh to Doha and Abu Dhabi toward his outrageous, politically-motivated, public uttering against their faith.

Of course no U.S. president would do what Trump is proposing, nor would he in the prohibitively unlikely event that he is elected. But going public with such proposals eggs on many people into more violent Islamophobia, especially many Republican voters of the historic know-nothing inclination. In other words the Trump bullhorn makes those so inclined ever more hateful.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Fascist Hootenanny in Denmark? Geert Wilders, New Dawn, Fellow Travelers may Dominate Bornholm Event……..

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“As many as 100,000 participants are expected to attend the Baltic sea island Bornholm event but this year’s first-ever attendence by far-right politicians will prove a challenge to Denmark’s tradition of openness and freedom of speech. The presence of Wilders – who has received scores of death threats over the years for his anti-Islamic views – will also mean a large security upgrade at the popular festival. The press freedom organisation, Trykkefrihedsselskabet, invited Wilders to speak. Georgios Epitideios, a former general and Golden Dawn member of the European Parliament, has also confirmed his participation. Golden Dawn, from Greece, is considered to be a neo-Nazi party. Epitideios was invited by ’The Danes’ party’, a small ultra-right party, which has no elected representatives at the national or local level. “We have chosen to debate, among other things, what we want in Europe. And it is natural to invite a party that is really big,” head of the party, Daniel Carlsen, told Berlingske Tidende. The news has already caused several politicians to cancel their participation…………………”

It looks like the crazies, the Euro-nuts, may take over that particular asylum at Bornholm, Denmark. Especially now that the most prominent speaker may be Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Islamic fellow traveler, fresh from the Texas conference that was closed by an act of Jihadi terrorism. His presence will certainly put Islam and Islamophobia front and center of the event. It should be one hell of a hootenanny in Denmark.  

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The Farce of Selective Free Speech on Public Transport……..

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New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has banned all political advertising on its subways and buses, allowing it to refuse to display an ad about Muslims killing Jews. The resolution passed Wednesday night at the MTA board meeting. The decision comes after a federal judge earlier this month ruled that an anti-Islamic ad which includes the statement “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” is protected speech under the First Amendment and said it must be run on public transportation……….  U.S. District Judge John Koeltl on April 21 rejected the MTA argument in rejecting the ad that it could be seen as a call to violence against Jews and could incite terrorism. The ad is sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is headed by blogger Pamela Geller and is known for its sharp anti-Muslim rhetoric. The ad has run in other cities, including Chicago and San Francisco, without inciting violence……………

“A US appeals court ruled on Wednesday that Seattle-based King County officials did not violate free speech by prohibiting local buses from displaying anti-Israel advertisements. The ruling came in reference to a 2010 advertisement on a bus reading,”ISRAELI WAR CRIMES YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK.” ………..”

A court rules that it is okay to advertise on public transport against Islam: it is free speech to put bigoted ads against Muslims. Another court rules that it is not okay to advertise on public transport against Israel: it is not free speech to have anti-Israeli advertisement on public transport.

So, whenever there is a proposed advertisement on a public transport that criticizes Israel, it is banned. It is not free speech. Yet anti-Islamic ads by islamophobic bigots are allowed by judges like this one in New York. They are free speech. Proposed anti-Israel (not anti-Semitic) ads on public transport in Seattle and other cities were banned in the past. So much for the farce of selective free speech.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                    Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Garry Trudeau: We Are NOT All Charlie Hebdo…………

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“Garry Trudeau, the Pulitzer Prize-winning satirical cartoonist behind Doonesbury, says his fellow satirists at Charlie Hebdo “wandered into the realm of hate speech.” Trudeau made the remark during his acceptance speech of the George Polk Awards in Journalism, according to Peter Bale, the head of the Center for Public Integrity. “Free speech… becomes its own kind of fanaticism,” Trudeau also reportedly said, adding that the job of satirists is to punch up, not punch down…………”

This point of view is not new, others have expressed it during the international cacophony following the terrorist attacks in Paris. But now someone, a great one, at the top of the business of satire has spoken. Funny, it doesn’t sound like blasphemy, either.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Cultures: Willful Arrogant Europeans, Insecure Islamists, Surviving Banu Quraydha……

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So a bunch of willful arrogant French journalists and other European cartoonists draw insulting childish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Probably knowing exactly what it would provoke, maybe with an eye toward circulation and/or publicity or some public accolades among their literati peers. Art of the kind they probably wouldn’t dare do of, say, the Queen of Denmark or Queen Elizabeth, or even Charles de Gaulle. The queen’s head on the body of a dog, for example. Such re the creative inspirations of the Euro-artistes.
They have the right to do it. And they have the right to assert that right by doing it. Even if les arabes don’t have the same right to wear the attire they want on the streets of Paris. Even knowing that les arabes on the fringes of their society would be up in arms. Responsibility is a personal choice.

Then there are the Islamists who could and should just shrug it off as one of the unpleasant facts of living in Europe, along with other distasteful things like free speech, wine, music, and casual sex. Hayat Boumedienne and her tiny bikini photos notwithstanding, of course. But some of them, a small minority, don’t shrug it off. So they kill a bunch of people they deem responsible.

But that is not the end of it. To go back fifteen centuries they need their illusory Khaybar or al-Khandaq. So they seek some Jews or Jewish targets, people who have nothing to do with the blasphemous cartoons, to hit. There is no need: Banu Qurayza (Bani Quraydha) are long gone from Madinah, beheaded and enslaved and expelled. Obviously those in Europe are not populating the settlements on the West Bank or bombing Gaza (but maybe now they will). Which means they are doing (with Jews) exactly as some of the European racists would do with them (with Arabs and Muslims): target them. Using them as convenient targets and scapegoats. But scapegoats for what?
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter