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Madness in the Middle East and in the West

By David Warren

On the front of the Arabic index page of the Al-Qassam website, any reader yesterday would have found an animated cartoon. It consists of the Star of David -- the symbol of the Jewish faith -- being obliterated by a mushroom cloud.

Al-Qassam speaks for the “militant wing” of Hamas, the party that recently won the Palestinian election, by a landslide. The distinction between Hamas and its militant wing is meaningless. Western reporters habitually make this distinction, and stress that the “non-militant” branches of Hamas run orphanages and distribute welfare. This is like implying that President Bush is not responsible for the Pentagon, because the U.S. government also has a Department of Health and Human Services. It is a brainless distinction, that can only serve to confuse people.

Hamas, like the PLO before it, is reasonably adept at managing the “useful idiots” in the Western media. It does not take much. If you flip over from their Arabic to their English website, you will find much that is frightening, but couched in a mealy-mouth that is less than candid about the party’s chief purpose. According to its own charter, this is killing Jews. In their defence, I could say of many Western newsmen, that they cannot conceive of an organization so evil, that this would be its principal purpose. They should remember the Holocaust, and wake up.

Hamas is now the duly elected government of “Palestine”. Because it rejects the late Yasser Arafat’s nominal undertakings, in English only, to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and to condemn terrorist violence, Western governments feel obliged to cut the very generous funding with which the Palestinian Authority has been supported.

Enter the Organization of the Islamic Conference, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The OIC’s members include all 56 of the world’s majority-Muslim states, plus quasi-state Palestine. No other organization of states exists for the purpose of advancing a religion. Most of these states are authoritarian regimes, or absolute monarchies; a few are counted as democracies, with qualifications necessary in every case. The OIC contains a fair selection of the world’s poorest and most desperate countries, but also, six of the world’s 15 largest arms importers (and none of the suppliers). It is rapidly becoming the respectable front for what Salman Rushdie called, "Paranoid Islam, which blames outsiders, ‘infidels’, for all the ills of Muslim societies, and whose proposed remedy is the closing of those societies to the rival project of modernity.”

Pakistan has now called an “emergency meeting” (almost all the OIC’s meetings are such), to deal with the issue of the Danish cartoons. And no sooner called, than many members have put the funding of Hamas on the agenda. Such oil-rich states as Saudi Arabia and Iran already direct money to Palestine, explicitly to encourage violence against Israelis (e.g. bounties to the families of suicide-bombers). And there being no credible opposition to the scheme, we cannot doubt the OIC will officially replace the U.S., the European Union, and Israel, as the financial backers of the Palestinian regime under Hamas. By doing which, they all explicitly condone terrorism.

Some dubious cartoons in a private Danish provincial newspaper -- versus psychopathic graphics on an official website, unambiguously projecting the extermination of the Jews. Or if you want better, listen again to President Ahmadinejad of Iran, member in good standing of the OIC, repeatedly promising to “wipe Israel off the map”, while his country races to produce nuclear missiles.

On the Danish cartoon front, here is what Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turk who is the OIC’s current secretary-general, is demanding: “The OIC member states expect from the European Union to identify Islamophobia as a dangerous phenomenon and to observe and combat it like in the cases of xenophobia and anti-Semitism, by creating suitable observance mechanisms and revising its legislation, in order to prevent the recurrence of the recent unfortunate incidents.” (He makes similar demands of the United Nations.)

In other words, Europe must monitor and censor its media, and introduce criminal punishments, to prevent any affront to Islam ever happening again.

What makes this poignant is that, Javier Solana, the EU’s bureaucrat-in-chief, who has already delivered several obsequious apologies, gratuitously on behalf of all Europe, has personally promised Prof. Ihsanoglu that action will be taken. According to one report, he is considering going to Jeddah to make an act of obeisance before the assembled Muslim foreign ministers. Similar, continuing, cringing apologies are coming from politicians in many Western countries -- and contrived gestures of “respect for Islam” from Western media.

This beggars the mind. The West is apologizing for what? And to whom?

Were we crazy to start, or has our bedwetting fear of Muslim fanatics deprived us of our judgement?

The more we apologize, the more we appease, the larger the demands will get. Yet we have not one prominent politician in the West, able to stand before the OIC and say, “How dare you!”

otiosus@sympatico.ca

Copyright 2006 Ottawa Citizen


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