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Rupert Murdoch holds Muslims collectively responsible for violent jihad

Some have sought to shift the blame away from the killers in Paris and onto their victims, implying that they had it coming. Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece is well worth reading on this topic. Now Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of News Corp and Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, has weighed in, shifting blame in a different direction.

“Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible,”

Jihadist violence impacts heavily on Muslims.  In Nigeria, where 2000 have recently been massacred, Christians and Muslims are fighting Boko Haram togetherAnd, as has been widely reported, one of the victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, Ahmed Merabet, was a Muslim police officer.

Of course many Muslims do work to combat extremism in different ways, and many more unequivocally condemn such acts of violence. Obviously if particular Muslim countries, groups or individuals respond equivocally, hypocritically, or worse to the recent horrific violence in Paris then they can be held to account, just like non-Muslims, but Muslims cannot be held collectively responsible for extremist criminals.



An equal opportunity offender

A reminder that when it came to crude offensiveness, Charlie Hebdo did not play favorities:

I find those cartoons horribly nasty and unfair. I have the right to say so. And the cartoonists (who are probably dead now) would have the right to reply, “So what?”

Such is the nature of free expression.

Update: Charlie Hebdo didn’t much care for the anti-immigration Marine Le Pen either.

And finally, this:


The Jew hatred that makes us stronger

While our eyes are transfixed on the terrible events currently unfolding in France I am struck by the bitter irony that those who seek to hurt Jews end up making us stronger.

More Jews made aliyah from France than any other country in the world in 2014. Peaking at just under 7,000 souls the number of French Jews who made aliyah in 2014 was double that in 2013. The reasons why (should anyone need a reminder) are right before our eyes. The logical conclusion from the last few years is that it simply isn’t safe to be a Jew in France any more.

Around the world Jews gasped at the stories of anti-Semitism coming out of France, each one shockingly more extreme than the one before. I don’t want to guess at how much worse things are going to get in the years to come.

Lowlights from 2014 include a mob attacking a synagogue during Israel’s war with Gaza, a synagogue shot at three times in the same week, a Jewish woman raped in her own home in an overtly anti-Semitic attack. The list of outrages goes on and on.

While the terror incidents capture the headlines it is the stories of day to day intimidation which serve as a constant reminder to Jews living in France that they are no longer welcome. Nothing embodies this more than the rise of the inverted Nazi salute, the Quenelle among so many people on the streets of France. On Israeli television French Jews have spoken about their fear of roaming the streets wearing any visible Jewish symbols.

While watching the news I am reminded of the fact that a hundred and twenty years ago in Paris, on the very same streets now running red with blood, the screams of “death to the Jews” by a Parisian mob, heard by a man named Theodore Herzl set in motion events which directly led to the nation state to which French Jewry can now flee.

By the same token the anti-Semitic terror in France and elsewhere in the world will only make us stronger.

Just as the Jews forced out of Arab countries made Israel stronger, just as the arrival of a million Jews from the former Soviet Union made Israel stronger, just as the arrival every day of Jews from around the world to Israel make us stronger so the anti-Semitism in France will see the arrival of thousands of French Jews who will serve only to make our nation state that much stronger.

The anti-Semitism exhibited by so many different people and groups holding ideologies disagreeing fundamentally on everything except for their Jew hatred have succeeded only in making Israel stronger. And by extension the Jewish people stronger. In the twenty first century Jews no longer have to suffer intimidation, persecution and terror with no recourse. Now Jews can come home.

Israel is here, ready and waiting to embrace all Jews, wherever they’re from, whatever their circumstances. By embracing our brothers and sisters we will grow stronger while our enemies, the worshippers of death, will whither away and die.


‘Essential Background’

Socialist Worker knows who shares the blame for yesterday’s Paris shootings:

The media present Charlie Hebdo as simply a “satirical magazine”. But it is not the French equivalent of Private Eye as some commentators have suggested. It may have been once, but it has become a specialist in presenting provocative and racist attacks on Islam. That does not justify the killings, but it is essential background.

Wow. Just wow.


Liberal Saudi blogger to receive first of a thousand lashes

Yes, yes, I know all about realpolitik.

(Obama’s foolish bow, by the way, did not prove him any more obsequious than the hand-holding Bush Jr. or any other recent American president.)

But at what point do we get to tell the medieval creeps who run this kingdom to fuck off?

A Saudi blogger who was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes will be publicly flogged for the first time after Friday prayers outside a mosque in the Red Sea coastal city of Jiddah, a person close to his case said Thursday.

Raif Baddawi was sentenced on charges related to accusations that he insulted Islam on a liberal online forum he had created. He was also ordered by the Jiddah Criminal Court to pay a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals, or about $266,000.

Rights groups and activists say his case is part of a wider clampdown on dissent throughout the kingdom. Officials have increasingly blunted calls for reforms since the region’s 2011 Arab Spring upheaval.

Badawi has been held since mid-2012, and his Free Saudi Liberals website is now closed. The case has drawn condemnation from rights groups.

He called from prison and informed his family of the flogging, due Friday, said a person close to the case. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal, said Badawi was “being used as an example for others to see.”
…..
London-based rights group Amnesty International has said that Badawi is to receive 50 lashes once a week for 20 weeks.
…..
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. was “greatly concerned.” She called the 1,000 lashes an “inhumane” response to someone exercising his right to freedom of expression and religion.

“The United States government calls on Saudi authorities to cancel this brutal punishment and to review Badawi’s case and sentence,” Psaki told reporters. The U.S., she said, opposes apostasy laws that restrict freedom.

Yes, but where are the consequences? Where have they been, under both Republican and Democratic presidents, for the past 30 years and more?


And what can you say?

Background here.


Victim-blaming on the Catholic Right

It’s not just far-left moonbats and Muslim extremists who are indulging in victim-blaming following the Charlie Hebdo atrocity on Wednesday.

It’s also at least one prominent rightwing American Catholic– Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Donohue wrote:

Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.

Those who work at this newspaper [Charlie Hebdo] have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures. For example, they have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms. They have also shown Muhammad in pornographic poses.

While some Muslims today object to any depiction of the Prophet, others do not. Moreover, visual representations of him are not proscribed by the Koran. What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.

Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.

The Catholic League’s Board of Advisors includes some fairly influential figures on the American Right: Brent Bozell, Linda Chavez, Lawrence Kudlow and Michael Novak.

Perhaps they’ll advise Donohue to put a sock in it.

Update: Our old adversary Inayat Bunglawala gets it right this time.

So does David Aaronovitch (his message applies equally to adherents of all belief systems):

And an encouraging message from Aleppo, Syria:


London seminar for trade union supporters of Israel

Guest post by Eric Lee

We Believe in Israel, along with Trade Union Friends of Israel, is hosting a special seminar in London on Sunday 25 January 2015 from 11.15am to 5.30pm.

This is aimed at trade union members who support Israel, with the objective being to help you network with each other, to give you the latest information about Israel and particularly about the work of Histadrut, and to help you understand how you can influence your union to take a more constructive stance towards the Middle East.

TULIP co-founder Eric Lee is one of the speakers at this event.

If you are a supporter of Israel and a member of a trade union and would like to attend, please register by emailing [email protected] quoting your name, phone number and which trade union you are a member of.

Thanks — I hope to see you there!

Gene adds: While I can’t be there, I extend my wishes for a successful seminar.

If anti-Israel trade unionists would take off their ideological blinders for a moment, they would notice that Israel has one of the world’s most successful and growing trade union movements, in which both Arabs and Jews are active participants.

Who knows? They might even learn a thing or two about how to build stronger trade unions.


Habibi Where are you now?

I first discovered Harry’s Place while studying for my Masters in 2008. The big draw for me then were the constant, highly factual posts by a blogger going by the pseudonym ‘Habibi’.

These posts proved to be quite far ahead of their time in recognizing the dangers to society posed by radical Islamic preachers in various venues, including at Kings College where I was studying.

At some point Habibi dropped off the radar, apparently discouraged at the lack of success he was having in convincing anyone in a position of responsibility to stop pandering to apologists for the kind of terror we have just witnessed in France. It is at times like this when I think back to those accurate, devastating analyses and exposes of things that were happening rather openly.

Those posts were a tremendous credit to Harry’s Place and the wider discourse in general IMHO. So if you’re out there and listening Habibi, I urge you to consider returning. I am sure you had a larger affect than you might have thought.


We are all Charlie Hebdo, except those of us who aren’t

This is a cross-post from Kevin Higgins

This morning four cartoonists, including the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, and eight other people were shot to death in an attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo.

The magazine often ridicules the likes of the Virgin Mary, the Prophet Muhammad, and that general crowd. There are those who think Muhammad, Mary, and religious icons in general, should be beyond such light hearted criticism. In 2011 some religiously minded souls firebombed the magazine’s offices, the day after it rather wittily announced the Prophet Muhammad as its new Guest Editor.

It appears – that is all we can say yet – that today’s fatal gun attack was carried out by Islamists, which is of course not at all the same thing as saying that it was done by Moslems. Your average crazed gunman shouting “Allahu Akbar” generally has about as much in common with his local Imam as Pope Frankie does with the most demented loon to attend one of Youth Defence’s anti-abortion demos in Dublin last year. It could be said that the Catholic church’s stance on abortion gives licence to the crazy fringe elements who go about the place with colour photos of aborted foetuses; as it could be argued that Moslem leaders who do not openly come out and say that a magazine such as Charlie Hebdo has every right to ridicule any aspect of any religion, including their own, are guilty of helping create an ambivalence on this issue which makes it easier for the crazies to pretend, to themselves and others, that they are in some way representative of Islam. You are either for free speech or you are against it; it is, more or less, that simple. About Moslem leaders who unequivocally condemn the murders in Paris but go on to say that they do not believe that a magazine such as Charlie Hebdoshould be allowed publish what it does, it can credibly be argued in mitigation that no organised religion – at least none I am aware of – has ever actively campaigned for the right of others to ridicule it.

Do read the rest of Kevin’s post here