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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Giving respect

It seems some British Muslims are upset that Holocaust Memorial Day solely represents the victims of the Jewish Holocaust and ignores victims of other genocides.

Dr Daud Abdullah, Assistant Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, spoke to ABC Radio's Religion Report:

"...Other peoples have suffered grave injustices. Our argument is let us recall and commemorate those victims also, because inasmuch as a Jew may feel the hurt and pain of the Holocaust, so too an African descendant will feel the pain of slavery. Three-hundred years of slavery in America has no comparison in modern history."

One of the most sensitive allegations relates to commemorating the Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression since 1948. Daud Abdullah wants Israel's "genocidal" policies to be given equal footing in British society.

The Holocaust was a unique event in history and resulted in the deaths of around six million Jews and countless others. It deserves to be remembered. And there is simply no comparison to be made between the Nazi onslaught against Jews and Israeli behaviour towards Palestinians. We need to be careful in making some comparisons. I am a strong advocate of a Palestinian state and Palestinian human rights, but there has never been a systematic program of extermination akin to the Nazis. Anybody who says otherwise is purely trying to score political points.

None of this negates the fact that Israeli governments over successive generations have caused untold hardship, oppression and violence against the Palestinian people and at times have attempted ethnic cleansing in one form or another.

Daud Abdullah has a point when he says:

"...What is happening here is that many people use the idea of criticism of Israel to equate it with anti-Semitism, and to silence critics of Israel’s policies, policies which are being condemned internationally by the various human rights bodies, including the United Nations and including Israeli human rights bodies."

No argument there. One can almost predict the vitriol against those who challenge Israeli myths with increased Israeli aggression in the occupied territories.

Let's be proportionate and rational. Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is ludicrous and historically inaccurate. Fighting for Palestinian rights is an important challenge that will continue until a secure homeland is established. The fact that Westerners see their own victims more deserving of commemoration - usually whites of European background - is an indictment of our society.

Perhaps a memorial day to remember all victims of state sponsored terror is in order.

15 Comments:

Blogger Ibrahamav said...

"so too an African descendant will feel the pain of slavery. Three-hundred years of slavery in America has no comparison in modern history."

He's kidding, isn't he? When did slavery end in Saudi arabia? The way women are treated in the Arab world has no comparison in history.

It is an indictment in Arab history that they refuse to acknowledge that the Palestinian leadership desired German and Italian assistance to exterminate the Jews in palestine during WWII.

Perhaps a day for the Arabs world to reflect on their neo-fascist and genocidal dreams is in order.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 11:27:00 am  
Blogger loyal only to the truth said...

"The way women are treated in the Arab world has no comparison in history." And your source for that is? Are we forgetting that women arent exactly honored in the West either? Are we forgetting that the porn industry is supported largely by Western Men? That women in the west are used to sell everything from alcohol to cars? Are we forgetting that Israel is the largest trafficker of human beings (mostly poor eastern european women) on the planet?
Are we forgetting that when the jews were being hounded out of Europe during the middle ages and the inquisition, it was the islamic state that granted them asylum?....How easily we forget.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 12:30:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Israel is the largest tracker? Perhaps you are exagerating? Maybe even lying? Maybe?

The Islamic state was more than happy to accept those who would pay. Yes? Still confused?

Do you believe keeping women covered and hidden their entire lives has a comparrison in history, other than Islamic history?

And you haven't refuted one previous example. Is it out of your league?

Thursday, September 29, 2005 1:27:00 pm  
Blogger MHoward said...

Lets figure this out, 90% of the Jewish popoulation of Europe is exterminated , and the British Muslims, object to us saying Kaddish for our dead?

Seems to m e that the extermination of 90% of any population, warrants something unique.

Lets be realistic though, the British Muslims, just want to dilute, Jewish pain. They dislike the idea of any kind of smpathy due to the Jewish people.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 2:25:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Ibrahamav said...
"Do you believe keeping women covered and hidden their entire lives has a comparrison in history, other than Islamic history?

Errr ... I believe there are places in the world with not inconsiderable Muslim populations and their own long Islamic histories where there is NO 'tradition' (in any meaningful sense of the word) of "keeping women covered and hidden their entire lives". I'm thinking of the world's largest Muslim nation of course: Indonesia.

How about we keep our culturally specific Middle Eastern traditions in the Middle East, rather than illegitimately generalising them to "Islamic history" as if it were some kind of homogeneous blob. After all, accuracy (not sloppy generalisations) helps your case insofar as people won't write you off as just another ignoramus.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 5:54:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Well spoken, Edward.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 5:56:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

"The Holocaust was a unique event in history and resulted in the deaths of around six million Jews and countless others. It deserves to be remembered. And there is simply no comparison to be made between the Nazi onslaught against Jews and Israeli behaviour towards Palestinians."

While we ne doubt disagree on what Israeli behaviour we're talking about- well said, Antony.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 6:30:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Edward, the reference was in regard to Saudi behavoir, but the question remains.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:34:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, September 30, 2005 12:38:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Strong post Ant.

A memorial day for all victims of state terrorism? That would be a sight. And a lot of pride would have to be swallowed before an honest reckoning could occur. Where to start?

To their credit, the Turkish government is making noises that show recognition of the atrocities committed against the Armenians. A friend of mine who recently travelled through Rwanda spoke of the memorials to the genocide there and the pride with which the locals showed foreigners the signs of progress since that dark time. There is much to commemorate in South Africa. The horrors of the gulag archipelago must be remembered. Pinochet's victims would qualify, if we could recover their names. And perhaps we'll see a truth and reconciliation commission in Timur soon.

I was reading a text a few weeks back dealing with global issues. There is a little anecdote about the Vietnam memorial wall in the US. If a similar wall were erected in honour of all of the children who died prematurely from preventable diseases then that wall would span the equator, or something along those lines. I imagine a memorial for the 20th century's victims of state terror would be visible from space.

Friday, September 30, 2005 12:47:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Ibrahamav said...
"Edward, the reference was in regard to Saudi behavoir, but the question remains."

Thanks for qualifying that. The wearing of the hijab and jibab are pre-Islamic cultural traditions that seem to have originally been to a response to geography/climate, etc., which then 'morphed' into fashion and then 'morphed' into religious symbolism (both for pre-Islamic paganism and Saudi Arabian Islam) and then 'morphed' into a crypto-theological Saudi Arabian legalism (with all the baggage, half-forgotten, from these previous reasons). I think this is on the way to an answer to your question that 'remained'. As to keeping women 'hidden', that is certainly a 'development' (so to speak) that went hand-in-hand with the puritanical legalism associated with men's and women's dress-codes. (The Qur'anic passages cited by Saudi jurists to justify the dress-code and limitations on movement of women in fact literally sit side-by-side in the Qur'an. Some of these crazies even look to the Hebrew Bible for supplementary justification!) Anyway, it's clear that we can't be talking here about 'Islam everywhere and always' - indeed, in part, we're not even talking about Islam at all, but rather a long pre-Islamic Saudi Arabian tradition that was subsequently mixed with Saudi Arabian Islam and then still later a particular stream of Saudi Arabian Islamic jurisprudence. Ill-conceived simplifications and hopelessly vague generalisations about "Islamic history" - and even about "Saudi behaviour" (as if there were an ahistorical 'type' to it) - helps no-one a jot and makes you look like an amateur pie-thrower to boot.

I hope this information helps you craft more accurate and insightful comments in the future. Kind Regards.

Friday, September 30, 2005 1:24:00 pm  
Blogger Rowan Berkeley said...

"And there is simply no comparison to be made between the Nazi onslaught against Jews and Israeli behaviour towards Palestinians."

-- I disagree. The scale may be different but the ideologies are mirror images of one another.

Friday, September 30, 2005 6:19:00 pm  
Blogger 32325235345dfgdgfdg said...

I agree, I can think of many shameful periods in history that need to be remembered. Such as the Hama Massacre by Syrian forces against their own people.

Friday, September 30, 2005 8:45:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Of course Rowan disagrees. It is part and parcel of his agenda to excuse the German people for the holocaust, and to attempt to lessen the horror by equating it to lesser events.

Eddie - It looks like the pie is in your eyes. Do us all a favor and take a shower, you look ridiculous.

Friday, September 30, 2005 10:16:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Eddie - It looks like the pie is in your eyes. Do us all a favor and take a shower, you look ridiculous.

I just don't understand why you are saying such silly things. I would have thought that accurate statements that address your questions and correct your statements would be valued by someone who is interested in Truth. If you're not interested in these sort of answers and comments, then please say so, so that I know not to waste time responding to your slightly strange and unusually aggressively defensive comments.

Sunday, October 02, 2005 9:02:00 am  

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