By Dr. Norman Berdichevsky
And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his brethren. “Genesis 16:12”
President Obama’s August 2009 Cairo speech was equally misleading about what he said, and didn’t say regarding both Israel and what he so fondly calls “The Muslim World”, the most misleading term in the entire lexicon of political geography.
Since then, his policies and the State Department’s continued “even-handed” approach and utter passivity when a million Iranians turned out on the streets of Teheran to protest the mullah thugocracy, have only resulted in even more anti-American hostility than under President Bush.
Looking at the conflicts in the world today and since the end of World War II, a significant portion of the deaths, destruction and unrest caused have been the result of inter-Muslim disputes, most notably the open butchery of the Assad government in Syria against unarmed civilians for the most part (see cartoon in the Kuwaiti weekly below);
Add to this the eight year long war between Iraq and Iran resulting in more than a million killed, the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, the Pakistan-Bangladesh conflict (following civil war and secession), Lebanese, Yemeni and Somali Civil Wars, inter-sectarian Muslim violence between Shias and Sunnis in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, border disputes between Syria and Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, Jordan’s crackdown on “Black September”, Syria’s suppression of the Muslim Brothers and opponents of the Assad regime (the senior Hafez al Assad committed the same atrocities thirty years ago on an even larger scale than his son), inter-Palestinian violent factionalism, the decade long mass violence by Muslim religious extremists in Algeria or between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon and between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Iraqi, Turkish suppression of Kurdish autonomy, Muslim terror against civilians in Chechniya (including hundreds of school children and innocent travelers on the Moscow subway), massive violence between Muslims and Hindus in India – partition and three India-Pakistan wars, terrorism in Kashmir and India, Muslim secessionist activity and terrorism in the Philippines, Muslim grievances and violence in Thailand and China and Somali piracy against the merchant ships of all nations.
Where Muslim civilians have been at risk of displacement and under attack in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait, their rescue was made possible ONLY by the efforts of the United States.
Within a week of Obama’s fawning speech and homage to the “Muslim World”, both Pakistan and Iran lurched further to the brink of Civil War, the same brink on which Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are all tottering.
The so called “Muslim World” has never been more fractious and almost all of these conflicts were/are not related in any way to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 nor can they be solved or assuaged by American deference to Islam.
Writing in the independent Egyptian newspaper “Al-Masri Al-Yawm” (Egypt Today), respected human rights advocate and critic of the Mubarrak regime, Professor of Sociology, Sa’ad Eddin Ibrahim wrote in review of the “Muslim World” today…
“These are all Muslims fighting Muslims. After some of them raised the slogan “Islam is the solution”, their Islam has become the problem. As soon as any number of them acquire weapons, they raise them against the government, even when the government also rules in the name of ‘Islam’. A quick glance at what the media shows us demonstrates how the word ‘Islam’ and its derivatives becomes plaything in their hands.” (May 17, 2008).
Practically, the entire Israeli political spectrum has, for the past decade, recognized the acceptability of a two-state solution with minor border modifications to replace the cease-fire lines yet Obama persists in repeating the canard that the failure to achieve this is Israel’s fault.
For Obama, the only flies in the idyllic ointment of Islam are the “extremists”, named in his speech then and repeatedly since as Al Qaeda, the Taliban and Hamas, yet nothing in their stern adherence to the fundamentals of Islam and desire to institute sharia law based on the Koran evokes open contradiction by any clerical circles in the broader “Muslim world”.
Hamas did indeed win an “election” in Gaza and has broad popular appeal there. To diminish this appeal, Obama and others demand in knee-jerk reflex action that Israel become more vulnerable and put its head on the chopping block. The same occurred when President Obama threw Hosni Mobarak under the bus only to usher in the inevitable rule of the Muslim Brotherhood for whom Secretary of State Clinton has just approved one and a half billion dollars of additional American aid (down the toilet) overriding Congressional disapproval.
Even more grotesque were the major portions of the Cairo speech equating what the self-conflicted “Muslim World” and the United States are supposed to share – their concern with human rights and religious tolerance….
” I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed, confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice, government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people, the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas. They are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.”
Article 10 of the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights (the one sponsored by the U.N. has NOT been accepted by any majority Muslim state) explicitly states that it is forbidden to convert someone from Islam to another religion or to atheism.
Exploitation of “ignorance” is one of the forbidden ways. Since in an Islamic state, “ignorance” can be attributed to anyone who is non-Muslim, Article 10 can be used to outlaw apostasy from Islam whatever the circumstances.
This result accords with all the main schools of Islamic law, which prescribe the death penalty for sane, adult males (the judgment regarding women apostates is however more debatable) who leave the Islamic faith.
Presidents Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe had no direct knowledge whatsoever with Islam or any familiarity with Muslim societies. All of them during the period 1801-1815, subscribed to the absolute necessity to confront the Barbary Pirates to end the scourge of piracy and the unprovoked attacks on American and European merchant vessels, the capture and the enslavement of their crews for ransom by the various vicious Muslim “Deys” – the rulers of the North African states.
All four of these American presidents, despite their initial reluctance to raise taxes, empower a modern navy and send thousands of American sailors and marines across the Atlantic to fight a protracted war, became aware of the utter hopelessness of dealing with Muslim rulers who proclaimed their inherent right to act in this aggressive manner because the Koran commanded them to do so against infidels who under the Koran enjoyed no rights whatsoever.
Our policies at home and abroad are never meant to deny the importance of achievements made within Muslim societies, or of welcoming Muslim immigrants who desire to be peaceful and loyal citizens of the United States.
Some form of American outreach to the world’s Muslims is desirable, but it must be one that is honest and clearly demonstrate that they have had no better friend among the great powers than the United States which had no colonial past in the Middle East, and unlike the Soviet Union, did not covet their territory or deny them religious rights, and which has provided massive relief and food aid in every critical emergency to beleaguered areas.
Practically all of Israel’s Black African-Ethiopian population numbering more than 100,000 today are darker in complexion than Obama. For all his knowledge about the “Black experience”, it is remarkable that Obama has never found occasion to praise the remarkable evacuation of 15,000 Black African Jews in one day on May 23, 1991 – Operation Salomon rescuing them from certain mass violence and their joyous reception in Israel.
Every segment of the Israeli political spectrum from the Far Left to the Far Right agreed that this was one of Israel’s finest moments.When or where else were destitute Black African refugees joyously welcomed and integrated by “whites” claiming to be their brothers and sisters? In Obama’s Chicago? At the Reverend Wright’s church?
Norman Berdichevsky is a native New Yorker who lives in Orlando, Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in human geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1974) and is the author of The Danish-German Border Dispute (Academica Press, 2002), Nations, Language and Citizenship (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2004), Spanish Vignettes; An Offbeat Look into Spain’s Culture, Society & History (Santana Books, Malaga, Spain. 2004), An Introduction to Danish Culture (MacFarland, 2011) and The Left is Seldom Right (New English Review Press, 2011). He is the author of more than 200 articles and book reviews that have appeared in a variety of American, British, Danish, Israeli and Spanish periodicals such as World Affairs, Journal of Cultural Geography, Ecumene, Ariel, Ethnicity, The World & I, Contemporary Review, German Life, Israel Affairs, and Midstream. He is also a professional translator from Hebrew and Danish to English and his website is here.
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