An attempt is made to share the truth regarding issues concerning Israel and her right to exist as a Jewish nation. This blog has expanded to present information about radical Islam and its potential impact upon Israel and the West. Yes, I do mix in a bit of opinion from time to time.
following last week's horror in Woolwich it is correct to point out
that there are Muslims and there is Islam. And that they are not always
the same thing.
But it is no good to say such
acts have nothing to do with Islam. It is an evasion to assert such acts
are based on "extremist" misconceptions and deviations, not "true
Islam", or are responses to "Islamophobia".
will it do to say (as British Prime Minister David Cameron did) that
such acts have no place or basis in Islam, that this act dishonours and
misrepresents Islam, that it is "a betrayal of Islam".
was not just an attack on Britain - and on our British way of life. It
was also a betrayal of Islam," he said. "There is nothing in Islam that
justifies this truly dreadful act," he added.
there are Muslims and there is Islam, and they are not the same. But
Muslims must acknowledge their ownership of Islamic history, cultivate
what is good in it and take a clear stand against what is not.
people's or faith's history is a record of unblemished virtue. Islam is
no exception. Modern Muslims, especially in the West, must be prepared
to clearly acknowledge from where the evils, such as last week's
depravity, have come. They must stand up openly against those otherwise
wellmeaning Muslims who will not do so. They must stand openly against
the claims "extremists" make of a legitimate religious basis for their
our kind of multicultural society, with its subtle codes of interfaith
etiquette, others cannot easily take a stand against terrifying Muslim
zealots - or the dire actions they justify in the name of Islam, and
against the criticism-silencing, opposition- disabling claims that
raising these matters is hostile - if Muslims "of good faith" will not
take the lead publicly themselves.
When it is
put to them, some thoughtful Muslims of democratic and secular
inclinations agree with this argument. But only privately. We cannot do
so publicly, they plead, when our people are under attack and feel so
vulnerable. Not wishing to offend, I have often sympathetically replied,
"Yes, I understand."
But what I should say, I
now realise, is something tougher. "If Muslims who think as you do would
only show a bit of the everyday public courage of the modern citizen,
your community might not find itself feeling so isolated and
To give tacit assent to the
proposition that beheadings have no place in the history of Islam - and
that those who behead others are acting (as London Mayor Boris Johnson
rushed forward to suggest) purely out of their own private tortured
imaginations and draw nothing from Islamic tradition - is simply
dishonest, intellectually and politically.
is completely wrong to blame this killing on Islam," Johnson said. "The
fault lies with the warped mindset of those who did it." For him this
was an "obvious point", not a gesture of appeasement nor the thin end of
a capitulationist wedge.
It is condescending.
It fails to take Islam and its history seriously. It is irresponsible
and it is disappointingly inadequate. Better is needed and owed.
society needs to be able to conduct a mature and responsible discussion
about Islamic civilisation, its evolution and its relation to the
societies of the West.
To do so, we must find, and make available, a place for that kind of informed consideration.
place lies in the space between two extreme positions - two polar
opposites that, in so many ways, are mirror images of each other and of
each other's terrible simplicities.
On the one
side stand those, the defensive community apologists, who say: Islam is
ours, it is us, and it is without flaw or fault. Don't you who are not
part of it dare to speak of us or to touch upon it in any way.
the other are those such as Geert Wilders, who say: Islam is you over
there and it is no part of us, it is the other; moreover, it is
inherently bad and for decent people it is beyond the pale.
neglected, and still largely uncultivated, space in between them is the
terrain where responsible discussion of these issues may take shape,
where the "clarification and negotiation of differences" can occur - and
where the basis of a decent "sharing of the world" can be worked out.
space, and that process of engagement, needs to be filled with
something better than the facile - and ultimately fearful, not
respectful - evasions of Cameron and Johnson.