As Islamic Jihad, including its “stealth” variety, is rapidly succeeding in destroying our civilization, the Left continues its shameless and bizarre denial — not only about the threat of Islamic Jihad, but also about its own complicity with our enemy and its war on our society.The latest example of the Left’s Jihad-Denial concerns me personally: it involves an intriguing post, written by Brian Tashman in RightWingWatch.org, titled: Beware: Human-Hating Liberals and…
The True History Palestine
In the 2nd century c.e., the last attempt of the Jews to achieve independence from the Roman Empire ended with the well-known event of Masada, that is historically documented and universally recognized as the fact that determined the Jewish Diaspora in a definitive way. The Land where these things happened was until then the province known as Judæa , and there is no mention of any place called “Palestine” before that time. The Roman emperor Hadrian was utterly upset with the Jewish Nation and wanted to erase the name of Israel and Judah from the face of the Earth, so that there would be no memory of the country that belonged to that rebel people. He decided to replace the denomination of that Roman province and resorted to ancient history in order to find a name that might appear appropriate, and found that an extinct people that was unknown in Roman times, called “Philistines”, was once dwelling in that area and were enemies of the Israelites. Therefore, according to Latin spelling, he invented the new name: “Palæstina”, a name that would be also hateful for the Jews as it reminded them their old foes. He did so with the explicit purpose of effacing any trace of Jewish history. Ancient Romans, as well as modern Palestinians, have fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptures Prophecy that declares: “They lay crafty plans against Your People… they say: ‘come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more’.” – Tehilim 83:3-4 (Psalm 83:3-4). They failed, as Israel is still alive. Any honest person would recognize that there is no mention of the name Palestina in history before the Romans renamed the province of Judea, that such name does not occur in any ancient document, is not written in the Bible, neither in the Hebrew Scriptures nor in the Christian Testament, not even in Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, Ptolemaic, Seleucian or other Greek sources, and that not any “Palestinian” people has ever been mentioned, not even by the Romans that invented the term. If “Palestinians” allegedly are the historic inhabitants of the Holy Land, why did they not fight for independence from Roman occupation as Jews did? How is it possible that not a single Palestinian leader heading for a revolt against the Roman invaders is mentioned in any historic record? Why there is not any Palestinian rebel group mentioned, as for example the Jewish Zealots? Why every historic document mentions the Jews as the native inhabitants, and the Greeks, Romans and others as foreigners dwelling in Judea, but not any Palestinian people, neither as native nor as foreigner? What is more, there is no reference to any Palestinian people in the qur’an (koran), although muslims claim that their prophet was once in Jerusalem (an event that is not mentioned in the koran either). It appears evident that he did not meet any Palestinian in his whole life, nor his successors did either. Caliph Salahuddin al-Ayyub (Saladin), knew the Jews and kindly invited them to settle in Jerusalem, that he recognized as their Homeland, but he did not know any Palestinian… To claim that Palestinians are the original people of Eretz Yisrael is not only against secular history but also against Islamic history!
The name “Falastin” that Arabs today use for “Palestine” is not an Arabic name, but adopted and adapted from the Latin Palæstina . How can an Arab people have a western name instead of one in their own language? Because the use of the term “Palestinian” for an Arab group is only a modern political creation without any historic or ethnic grounds, and did not indicate any people before 1967. An Arab writer and journalist declared:
“There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today… No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough”.
- Joseph Farah, “Myths of the Middle East” -
Let us hear what other Arabs have said:
“There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it”.
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
“There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not”.
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
“It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria”.
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
“The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years”.
The preceding declarations by Arab politicians have been done before 1967, as they had not the slightest knowledge of the existence of any Palestinian people. How and when did they change their mind and decided that such people existed? When the State of Israel was reborn in 1948 c.e., the “Palestinians” did not exist yet, the Arabs had still not discovered that “ancient” people. They were too busy with the purpose of annihilating the new Sovereign State and did not intend to create any Palestinian entity, but only to distribute the land among the already existing Arab states. They were defeated. They attempted again to destroy Israel in 1967, and were humiliated in only six days, in which they lost the lands that they had usurped in 1948. In those 19 years of Arab occupation of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, neither Jordan nor Egypt suggested to create a “Palestinian” state, since the still non-existing Palestinians would have never claimed their alleged right to have their own state… Paradoxically, during the British Mandate, it was not any Arab group but the Jews that were known as “Palestinians”!
What other Arabs declared after the Six-Day War:
“There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity… yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel”.
- Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council -
“You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people”.
- Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yassir Arafat -
“As I lived in Palestine, everyone I knew could trace their heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from. Everyone knew their origin was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, this is the kind of stuff our education in the Middle East included. The fact is that today’s Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations! I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today’s Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christians from Greece, muslim Sherkas from Russia, muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door. My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life by Abdul Qader Al-Husseni (the leader of the Palestinian revolution) after being accused of selling land to Jews. He used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families. The town has now grown to 30,000 inhabitants”.
- Walid Shoebat, an “ex-Palestinian” Arab -
How long do “Palestinians” live in “Palestine”?
According to the United Nations weird standards, any person that spent TWO YEARS (!!!) in “Palestine” before 1948, with or without proof, is a “Palestinian”, as well as all the descendants of that person. Indeed, the PLO leaders eagerly demand the “right” of all Palestinians to come back to the land that they occupied before June 1967 c.e., but utterly reject to return back to the land where they lived only 50 years before, namely, in 1917 c.e. Why? Because if they agree to do so, they have to settle back in Iraq, Syria, Arabia, Libya, Egypt… and only a handful Arabs would remain in Israel (by Israel is intended the whole Land between the Yarden River and the Mediterranean Sea, plus the Golan region). It is thoroughly documented that the first inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael after some centuries were the Jewish pioneers, and not the Arabs so-called Palestinians. Some eyewitnesses have written their memories about the Land before the Jewish immigration:
“There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction… One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee… Nazareth is forlorn… Jericho lies a mouldering ruin… Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation… untenanted by any living creature… A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent, mournful expanse… a desolation… We never saw a human being on the whole route… Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country… Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes… desolate and unlovely…”.
- Mark Twain, “The Innocents Abroad”, 1867 -
Where had the Palestinians been hidden that Mark Twain did not see them? Where was that “ancient” people in the mid XIX century c.e.? Of course, modern biased Arab politicians try to discredit Mark Twain and insult and blame him of racism. Yet, it seems that there were other people that did not achieve in recognizing a single Palestinian in those times and earlier:
“In 1590 a ‘simple English visitor’ to Jerusalem wrote: ‘Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde’.”.
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
“The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil”.
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
“Palestine is a ruined and desolate land”.
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
“The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it”.
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
“Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride”.
- William Thackeray in “From Jaffa To Jerusalem”, 1844 -
“The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population”.
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
“There are many proofs, such as ancient ruins, broken aqueducts, and remains of old roads, which show that it has not always been so desolate as it seems now. In the portion of the plain between Mount Carmel and Jaffa one sees but rarely a village or other sights of human life. There are some rude mills here which are turned by the stream. A ride of half an hour more brought us to the ruins of the ancient city of Cæsarea, once a city of two hundred thousand inhabitants, and the Roman capital of Palestine, but now entirely deserted. As the sun was setting we gazed upon the desolate harbor, once filled with ships, and looked over the sea in vain for a single sail. In this once crowded mart, filled with the din of traffic, there was the silence of the desert. After our dinner we gathered in our tent as usual to talk over the incidents of the day, or the history of the locality. Yet it was sad, as I laid upon my couch at night, to listen to the moaning of the waves and to think of the desolation around us”.
- B. W. Johnson, in “Young Folks in Bible Lands”: Chapter IV, 1892 -
“The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880′s, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained “The Holy Land” in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants – both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts… Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen… The plows used were of wood… The yields were very poor… The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible… Schools did not exist… The rate of infant mortality was very high… The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert… The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants”.
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -
The list of travellers and pilgrims throughout the XVI to the XIX centuries c.e. that give a similar description of the Holy Land is quite longer, including Alphonse de Lamartine, Sir George Gawler, Sir George Adam Smith, Siebald Rieter, priest Michael Nuad, Martin Kabatnik, Arnold Van Harff, Johann Tucker, Felix Fabri, Edward Robinson and others. All of them found the land almost empty, except for Jewish communities in Jerusalem, Shechem, Hevron, Haifa, Safed, Irsuf, Cæsarea, Gaza, Ramleh, Acre, Sidon, Tzur, El Arish, and some towns in Galilee: Ein Zeitim, Pekiin, Biria, Kfar Alma, Kfar Hanania, Kfar Kana and Kfar Yassif. Even Napoleon I Bonaparte, having seen the need that the Holy Land would be populated, had in mind to enable a mass return of Jews from Europe to settle in the country that he recognized as theirs’ – evidently, he did not see any “Palestinian” claiming historical rights over the Holy Land, whose few inhabitants were mainly Jews.
Besides them, many Arab sources confirm the fact that the Holy Land was still Jewish by population and culture in spite of the Diaspora:
·In 985 c.e. the Arab writer Muqaddasi complained that in Jerusalem the large majority of the population were Jewish, and said that “the mosque is empty of worshippers…” .
·Ibn Khaldun, one of the most creditable Arab historians, in 1377 c.e. wrote:
“Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel extended over 1400 years… It was the Jews who implanted the culture and customs of the permanent settlement”.
After 300 years of Arab rule in the Holy Land, Ibn Khaldun attested that Jewish culture and traditions were still dominant. By that time there was still no evidence of “Palestinian” roots or culture .
·The historian James Parker wrote: “During the first century after the Arab conquest [670-740 c.e.], the caliph and governors of Syria and the [Holy] Land ruled entirely over Christian and Jewish subjects. Apart from the Bedouin in the earliest days, the only Arabs west of the Jordan were the garrisons”.
Even though the Arabs ruled the Land from 640 c.e. to 1099 c.e., they never became the majority of the population. Most of the inhabitants were Christians (Assyrian and Armenian) and Jews.
If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for muslim Arabs:
“And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.
- Qur’an 17:104 -
Any sincere muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.
- Debunking the Assumption that Palestine is a Country (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Build Israel, not Palestine (jewishpress.com)
10. Allen West is Allen West – Florida Rep. Allen West is known for making inflammatory statements about pretty much everyone, but he has particularly targeted Muslims. This cycle alone, he’s commemorated 9/11 by screening an anti-Islamic film,said that Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison “really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established,” and another time theorized that “George Bush got snookered into going into some mosque, taking his shoes off, and then saying that Islam was a religion of peace.”
100% Correct, We need more politicians and people in general to state the truth specifically when it is not “politically correct”
9. Republicans go after one of their own – When David Ramadan, a longtime Republican Party activist and protege of Grover Norquist, ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2011, the Islamophobia network sprang into action. Norquist, of course, is a secret Muslim Brotherhood agent according to these people, so his actual Muslim bud must be worse. Pam Geller called him an “Islamic supremacist,” David Horowitz warned Virginia Republicans not to “lie down in the camel’s bed,” and Frank Gaffney accused him of having ties to Hezbollah. There were nasty ads and exchanges at town halls, but Ramadan won the GOP primary and eventually a seat in the House of Delegates.
100% Correct – lets hope the voters in the district are educatable
8. And again, but this time they call him a “terrorist” – The Islamophobia trickles down all the way to the local level, we found, in the case of Nezar Hamze, a Republican from Florida who tried to join the Broward County Republican Executive Committee but got turned down by a vote of 158 to 11. He met all the requirements, but people in his own party distributed pamphlets labeling him a “terrorist.” The basis? Hamze is head of the local chapter of CAIR.
As CAIR is a terrorist organization, it makes perfect sense to decline to include the local terrorist in chief. Good work Broward County Republican Executive Committee. Any active member of CAIR is automatically a terrorist supporter.
7. Obama the closeted Muslim – Plenty of people have suggested that President Obama is a secret Muslim this cycle, but California Republican congressional candidate Sam Aanestad wins the award for his remarkable forthrightness: “I was asked, do I think [Obama]‘s a Muslim, and the answer is yes, that is his background. That is his beginning. Is he a Christian today? There’s no way that you or I can tell that. But his background, his upbringing, his tradition, his holiday observances all come from a Muslim background.”
Congratulations Sam Aanestad for the bravery to state what any thinking American already knows is fact.
6. Even worse than Allen West – After Allen West fled his old district after redistricting, the good people of Florida’s 22nd got a new Islamophobe to kick around: Adam Hasner, the former Florida House majority leader. The Republican is a close personal friend of anti-Islam bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, has invited notoriously anti-Muslim Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders to speak in Florida, and once skipped the Florida Legislature’s opening prayers because they were being delivered by an imam. When Salon highlighted his Islamophobic record in August, Geller said it was only a matter of time before we were “getting measured for a suicide vest.”
Another intelligent and brave American Patriot. Congratulations for refusing to sit for the opening prayers delivered by the imam of a false religion. The rest of the Legislature should be embarissed that only One brave person stood firm against the religion of hate.
5. A real-life Muslim in Congress! – Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress, so he’s used to it, but his Republican opponent, Chris Fields, accused him this year in a mailer of being “militantly anti-America.” That’s nothing compared to how Fields’ GOP primary opponent came right out and called him a “radical Islamist” in the statement announcing her candidacy for his seat. In fact, Ellison’s religion was her primary motivation for running.
By definition Muslim means anti-Constitution, anti-freedom of speech, anti-freedom of religion, replace all laws with Sharia (Islamic Law). And he is supported by and a supporter of the terrorist group CAIR. Thus, Keith Ellison is anti-American. (There is no such thing as “radical Islamist”. There is only Islam or not Islam. All of Islam is radical.)
4. A real-life Muslim in Congress! Part 2 —Democratic Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana was the second Muslim elected to Congress and has so far attracted less hate than Ellison, but when he was praising the innovative ways parochial schools remain relevant, including Muslim schools, it caused a grade-A right-wing freakout, complete with hyperventilating from Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh about how Carson wanted to force students to learn the Quran. One assumes that if Carson had praised St. Mary’s Junior High School instead of a madrassa, no one would have batted an eyelash.
“Madrassa = emphasis on indoctrination in the qu’ran and islam.” There is no place for this indoctrination in the school system. How many young, brainwashed terrorists have already come out of the Saudi Madrassa in maryland near Washington DC? Why do ALL the textbooks call Jews pigs and teach that Jews and Christians are to be subdued and pay a “donot molest me” tax or killed?
3. Islamophobia-off 2012 – Rep. Diane Black managed to beat out Lou Ann Zelenik in the Republican primary in Tennessee thatbasically came down to an Islamophobia-off. The debate mostly centered around the planned mosque in Murfreesboro, which has become a lightning rod for anti-Muslim sentiment in the area and across the country. In fighting the mosque, Black charged that communities need to protect themselves from the “jihadist viewpoint.” But Zelenik, the executive director of the reliably Islamophobic Tennessee Freedom Coalition, thought Black’s stance didn’t go far enough, firing back: “I will work to stop the Islamization of our society, and do everything possible to prevent Shariah law from circumventing our laws and our Constitution.”
Two intelligent Patriotic Americans. Too bad both couldn’t be elected.
2. Joe Walsh (probably) causes a hate crime – Rep. Joe Walsh, the Tea Party darling poised to lose his seat in November, warned in August that “a radical strain of Islam in this country … trying to kill Americans every week.” “It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove. It’s in Addison. It’s in Elgin. It’s here,” he added. Hours later, a man shot at a mosque in the district, narrowly missing a security guard outside as 500 people prayed inside.
All Islam is radical. There is no moderate Islam. There is only Islam or not Islam. And, Patriot Rep Joe Walsh can not be held accountable for the actions of one misguided individual, nor is there any relationship to the truth he stated and the actions of the assailant.
1. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt – Then there’s the Tea Party queen herself, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. Bachmann is facing a tighter-than-expected race against Democratic hotel magnate Jim Graves, and she has possibly even outdone herself this cycle with allegations that Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Hillary Clinton, is tied to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and potentially part of a conspiracy to influence U.S. policy through her position. Bachmann also used a speech at theValues Voters conference to fear-monger about President Obama’s policy in the Middle East: “The fact is this administration is virtually outlawed understanding who the enemy is and at every turn the enemy the president is persistent on apologizing for who we are as Americans,” she said.
Of course Huma Abedin is a terrorist sympathizer. Every thinking informed person knows this fact as well. Her ties to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood are not a secret. And calling out the failed pro-islamist foreign policy of President Obama is again simply making a statement of truth. Not one thinking knowledgable American is deceived into thinking Obama’s policies have been anything except a dismal failure.
- Pro-Sharia Salon feverishly tries to smear freedom fighting candidates with Geller (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- Muslim Brotherhood in America: Hamas-CAIR Defames Pamela Geller on the eve of 9/11 (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
There are slogans which call for death to blasphemers, death to America. The strong longing to detest, bringing death and destruction upon oneself or others is deeply embedded in these slogans; the desire to kill the “culprit” not through the application of law but mob justice
What we find today is that it is only Islam and its followers which are privileged to be the focus of the entire world. Islam, though a minority religion of the world is struggling hard to excel all other religions being “youngest” of all the other “divine” religions.
Almost all the Muslims—by and large— maintain similar views on life and the material world yet the Muslims of Pakistan are notorious for their “love for Islam”, while the rightful claimant still remains Saudi Arabia.
The “family” of the Prophet and people from Mecca and Medina has always expressed their superiority over all other Muslims. Since Islam was primarily a religion of the Arab desert, at second place in “prestige” come the other Arab Muslims. The non-Arab Muslims fall at the third place. However, the philosophy of Islam underscores universality which when translated into ground realities assumes the form of “forced occupation” or imperialism. The first lesson of Islam states: “No God but Allah”; a complete negation of all the other religions, beliefs and cultures. Hence, Muslims do not consider other religions as legitimate religions but heresy and desire their elimination. ‘True’ Muslims do not understand that calling adherents of other religions as heretics is a great insult to religion itself. Everybody following any religion considers his or her to be the true, while it is only Islam which deems itself not only the “true religion” it also aspires for the total annihilation of all other religions. This diversion distinguishes Islam from all other spiritual belief systems while it assumes the form of a political religion which endeavours to establish its authority and hegemony all over the world.
When a belief system carries political considerations, it also begins to feel pride in being “true”. This leads to delusions causing aggressive tendencies. To advance aggression one needs material resources, whereas Muslims are deficient in education, scientific and technological advancement as well as political stature. This deficit causes them to become intolerant since all the material, economic and political power is in possession of the West. Hence, the Saudi rulers from the royal family employ all their economic resources and petrodollars to invade the world in another way. The strategy begins with spreading the extremist Wahabi doctrine in Muslim states to accomplish“spiritual occupation”; a goal achieved quite successfully. A large number of mosques and religious schools have been set up propagating Wahabi philosophy presented as “true Islam”. Trousers above the ankles and Arab-style burqas are now very popular in our country while most of the jehadi and extremist organizations belong to the Saudi brand of Islam which also enjoys the backing of our security establishment. The Saudis have also made efforts to pitch all Muslims of the world against the West and followers of all other religions. Hence, it is Islam vs. the rest of the world. Saudi Arabia is actively involved through the advancement of particular beliefs, culture and political objectives. In short, Saudi imperialism is spreading in the name of Islam.
The basic ideology of Islam and the Muslim mindset clearly establishes that there is no pluralism in Islam. And this is the reason why mainstream Muslims cannot live alongside people from other religions and cultures. They consider it against their belief system. They strongly feel that all the non-Muslims are heretics and are involved in hatching conspiracies against them. Such material is written in the Quran and in our text books which we teach our children. Therefore, most Muslims do not consider diversity as indicative of the beauty of nature and humanity and that is the primary reason why minorities live a miserable life in the Muslim countries [often regarded as second class citizens]. Efforts are even made in the Muslim countries to eliminate minorities. Harshest of laws and attitudes exist in Saudi Arabia. It is therefore not possible that the civilized world and the Islamified Muslim world can integrate or even co-exist.
The Muslims foster a strong desire that the whole world should treat them in a preferential way as well as respect Islam while they keep calling every non-Muslim a heretic. They should have the allowance to live their lives according to their beliefs and values while they would not become part of any other religion or culture. They would remain a separate entity, demand separate rules for themselves overlooking the fact that the Western society is no more religious or “divine” in character rather it is driven by humane considerations and is founded on values which mankind has found useful after gaining experience of thousands of years based on rationality and science. On the other hand, the Muslims consider male oriented tribal Arab traditions of the desert as ideal not only for themselves but for the entire world.
A majority of the Muslims do not consider man-made disciplines of any real value. The rights and civil liberties which most Muslims demand in non-Muslim countries do not exist even in their own countries. These do not exist either in Islam, which like most religions happens to envisage an authoritarian, centrist and theocratic state. Here there is no concept of individual freedom. If a single demand of the Muslims is conceded to by a Western country, they would put forth another; till such time that the whole society would divide on the basis of Muslim and non-Muslim. The story would not end here; the next demand would be the establishment of an Islamic state.
Today even if we look at our own society, we find violence and authoritarianism as part of our national psyche. As if the Caliphs still rule the world and we are a super power. This attitude can be gauged by going through the slogans written on banners seen all across the country:
“Gustakh-e-Rasul ki saza, Sar tan say juda” or “hand us over the blasphemer”.
The expression “Gustakh” itself is an expression of power. It translates into “How dare you”. Then there are slogans which call for death to blasphemers, death to America, Islam zindabad and kufr murdabad. The strong longing to detest, bringing death and destruction upon oneself or others is deeply embedded in these slogans; the desire to kill the “culprit” not through the application of law but mob justice.
How many heads would roll as the Muslim world is fast losing rationality, humanity and a civilized existence.
|Arshad Mahmood is a columnist,freelance writer and a social activist.|
Original Article: http://www.viewpointonline.net/inside-the-muslim-mind.html
- Criminalizing the Defamation of #Islam (iranaware.com)
- Four Stages of Islamic Conquest (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- ‘Sharia Harassment’ Plagues Egyptian Women (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Dawn Ellen & Rican to the Right – Silenced by Jihad (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Why We Are Afraid of the Evils of Islam, A 1400 Year Secret, by Dr Bill Warner (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
Muslim Opinion Polls
A “Tiny Minority of Extremists”?
“Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be
unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is their destination.”
Have you heard that Islam is a peaceful religion because most Muslims live peacefully and that only a “tiny minority of extremists” practice violence? That’s like saying that White supremacy must be perfectly fine since only a tiny minority of racists ever hurt anyone. Neither does it explain why religious violence is largely endemic to Islam, despite the tremendous persecution of religious minorities in Muslim countries.
In truth, even a tiny minority of “1%” of Muslims worldwide translates to 15 million believers – which is hardly an insignificant number. However, the “minority” of Muslims who approve of terrorists, their goals, or their means of achieving them is much greater than this. In fact, it isn’t even a true minority in some cases, depending on how goals and targets are defined.
The following polls convey what Muslims say are their attitudes toward terrorism, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, the 9/11 attacks, violence in defense of Islam, Sharia, honor killings, and matters concerning assimilation in Western society. The results are all the more astonishing because most of the polls were conducted by organizations with an obvious interest in “discovering” agreeable statistics that downplay any cause for concern.
(These have been compiled over the years, so not all links remain active. We will continue adding to this).
ICM Poll: 20% of British Muslims sympathize with 7/7 bombers
NOP Research: 1 in 4 British Muslims say 7/7 bombings were justified
People-Press: 31% of Turks support suicide attacks against Westerners in Iraq.
YNet: One third of Palestinians (32%) supported the slaughter of a Jewish family, including the children:
World Public Opinion: 61% of Egyptians approve of attacks on Americans
32% of Indonesians approve of attacks on Americans
41% of Pakistanis approve of attacks on Americans
38% of Moroccans approve of attacks on Americans
83% of Palestinians approve of some or most groups that attack Americans (only 14% oppose)
62% of Jordanians approve of some or most groups that attack Americans (21% oppose)
42% of Turks approve of some or most groups that attack Americans (45% oppose)
A minority of Muslims disagreed entirely with terror attacks on Americans:
(Egypt 34%; Indonesia 45%; Pakistan 33%)
About half of those opposed to attacking Americans were sympathetic with al-Qaeda’s attitude toward the U.S.
Pew Research (2010): 55% of Jordanians have a positive view of Hezbollah
30% of Egyptians have a positive view of Hezbollah
45% of Nigerian Muslims have a positive view of Hezbollah (26% negative)
43% of Indonesians have a positive view of Hezbollah (30% negative)
Pew Research (2010): 60% of Jordanians have a positive view of Hamas (34% negative).
49% of Egyptians have a positive view of Hamas (48% negative)
49% of Nigerian Muslims have a positive view of Hamas (25% negative)
39% of Indonesians have a positive view of Hamas (33% negative)
Pew Research (2010): 15% of Indonesians believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified.
34% of Nigerian Muslims believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified.
Populus Poll (2006): 12% of young Muslims in Britain (and 12% overall) believe that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified. 1 in 4 support suicide attacks against British troops.
Pew Research (2007): 26% of younger Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are justified.
35% of young Muslims in Britain believe suicide bombings are justified (24% overall).
42% of young Muslims in France believe suicide bombings are justified (35% overall).
22% of young Muslims in Germany believe suicide bombings are justified.(13% overall).
29% of young Muslims in Spain believe suicide bombings are justified.(25% overall).
Pew Research (2011): 8% of Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified (81% never).
28% of Egyptian Muslims believe suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified (38% never).
Pew Research (2007): Muslim-Americans who identify more strongly with their religion are three times more likely to feel that suicide bombings are justified
ICM: 5% of Muslims in Britain tell pollsters they would not report a planned Islamic terror attack to authorities.
27% do not support the deportation of Islamic extremists preaching violence and hate.
Federation of Student Islamic Societies: About 1 in 5 Muslim students in Britain (18%) would not report a fellow Muslim planning a terror attack.
ICM Poll: 25% of British Muslims disagree that a Muslim has an obligation to report terrorists to police.
Populus Poll (2006): 16% of British Muslims believe suicide attacks against Israelis are justified.
37% believe Jews in Britain are a “legitimate target”.
See also: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics_(Terrorism) for further statistics on Islamic terror.
what does not surprise me is that these fools have created many societies that are crumbling. now include the many who have emigrated to far & distant lands, never to mix with different cultures. it helps to blame america & israel for the world’s problems, including their own. the results are the facts on the ground & the ever increasing deaths from around the muslim world. Mohammed must be proud — at Wadi Al Joz.
- More Proof of Muslim Prejudice and Hatred toward Jews and Israel (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Another Anti-Jewish Lie (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Is Hamas Building a 53,000 Square Foot Facility in America? (frontpagemag.com)
Muslims in the West propagate day and night that Islam is the religion of peace. Recently, Muslims started saying that all religions teach peace and love. When they state all religions, they include Islam too. It is a way of covering up hatred and violence of Islam towards Infidels.
They describe unbelievers as Kafirs (degrading word for non-muslins) (Nejes) impure swines, monkeys, the fuel of hellfire, cruel, and friends of Satan, etc.
Israhell or Israel…. do Bible allow this ???
Clora Phillips OH MY GOSH. So muslims is not a nationality but a religion. I know that sounds dumb lol? but I have never been into 3 world countries. I studied Medical Science. Don’t watch the late night news , just the local news. This is very interesting. So an ordinary man wrote the Quran and the muslims follow it like it was God’s scripture. fascinating.
Nusaybah Bint Ka’b ISRA HELL!~!!!!! May Allah(SWT) curse the pigs who are abusing Palestinians by Robbing them of land, food, clean water, medical care, dignity, and their lives in many cases!
You Christians are being FOOLED!!! Israhell isn’t any better to Palestinian Christians than they are to Palestinian Muslims!! They USE you for their ZIONIST brainwashing, but when they don’t need you anymore they will stab you in the back the same way they did everyone else! They are criminals and the only “god” they follow is Shaytan! DOWN with ZIONISM! VIVA PALESTINA!!!!!!!!
Nusaybah Bint Ka’b Kelly Williams Hamas is NOT a terrorist organization! They are a duly elected political party. The US called them a terrorist organization because the US is Israhell’s whore and and they’ll do whatever Israhell asks them to do! But you really ought to do some reading and see for yourself.
Nusaybah Bint Ka’b Like I said, rednecks are not bad… read up on it. It’s US History, find the original meaning, it’s very interesting. As far as my hatred of Israhell, absolutely! I despise Israhell and I have every right to do just that. Every right! And no one, especially no one who has never been there, can tell me that I am wrong to feel this way, it was earned.
Nusaybah Bint Ka’b Oh Clora Phillips I wanted to mention, if she was going to slap that guy it is well earned. There is something that most Americans do not know that happens at checkpoints there. That is abuse. Men are very improper when patting down women sometimes, and I mean VERY improper… to anyone’s standards. It even happens to young girls sometimes. There is a documentary about it, I will have to try and remember.. oh I think it’s called “Silent Victims” something like that. I think you can get it on http://ifamericansknew.org/If Americans Knew is dedicated to providing Americans with everything they need to know about Israel and Palestine.
Clora Phillips She never told me her rreligion. We both made it clear to each other we did not involve ourselves with each others religion. She didnt eat pork. She was a kind, giving , caring person. We helped each other when it was needed. We would have coffeee together at each others house. Her kids loved me and my kids loved her. One of my kids don’t believe in our Christiananity and one of her kids became a Christian. Not by us. Her kid married a Christian girl and my kid married another girl with a diff religion.
Greg Williams Hog wash…I have never been to many places that I can unequivocally say commits numerous tragedies, and not be wrong..that is a pathetic excuse and a pathetic attempt at justifying hatred!!!!I was born and raised in the south…calling me or anyone else a ‘red neck’ is inexcusable and exposes your prejudices….what little respectii had is lost…
Nusaybah Bint Ka’b Kelly Williams you said you wanted the evidence that Israel is killing millions of ppl. I don’t know about millions but it could be that high after 62 years actually. Anyway look at the site I just posted and you can get all the proof you want. I can also give you other sources as well if you like.
Clora Phillips So sad, I heard so many people are being killed. Look what Saddam Hussien did to so many people. Many Christians cry out for Jesus to return. but we got to have the Tribulation times and that will be worse all over the world. In the USA and other civilized crountries. I hope I am not around when it happens. Hoping if I am that the rapture takes me. I am ready.
Clora Phillips I am called a Hillbilly. Cause I am from the mountains. But I was raised in the city. Now I live around the rednecks in SC. I have since 1996. The only difference here is the Southerns tell you off so politely one doesn’t even know they been told off haaaaaa. Just kidding . We make fun of each other all the time. They call me a Yankee from the North. I didnt even know I was a Yankee till I moved South. lol
Greg Williams Clora, Nusaybah’s appearance was an absolute Godsend, providing a perfect example of exactly what I was talking about in spamming and ad hominem attacks. She is one that is also here for no other reason than to attempt to intervene, not so much for individuals, but for Islam in general when it is being exposed. She and a guy named Alonso go from group to group trying to promote propaganda against Israel, and to promote the lie that Islam is being poorly represented, and to try to convince everyone that they are victims of misconceptions and media bias….but you saw her true nature and intent in her absolute hatred for the chosen people of God to bring His name and the Messiah to the entire world, including Muslims. Her attacks on me personally are nothing new, and stem from past episodes in other groups where her attempts didn’t work out all that well…as soon as we are talking about Islam, and the tactics of Muslims, like a dream come true, she provides us wiht a perfect example…I couldn’t have asked for a better timing and scenario!!! Muslims are performing 2 major efforts on social media..dawa…attempts to win converts to Islam,mainly by preying on naive and ignorant vulnerables and taqqiya propagandizing through trying to appear nonviolent and peaceful….all it takes is to mention Israel and they always blow their cover.To sum up their efforts, it is called cultural jihad, and is being stepped up recently. CNN did a report about it a few weeks ago, and interestingly, it s NOT working..in fact it is back firing so much that Iran is contemplating trying to protect its citizens from exposure to social media, as many Muslim countries already black out many sites that expose Islam and its real face… because instead of it changing the minds of the west, it is exposing Muslims to the fallacies and flaws behind Islam’s origins and the real face of Islam that has been hidden from many new converts who see only the 5 pillars and NOT ALL that is involved in the TRUE ISLAM, its history and the real life of Muhammad…….thank you Nusaybah for providing such a concrete object lesson!
Greg Williams Kelly, Nusaybah thinks that if she says it we will swallow, just like they swallow everything spoon fed to them , without ever doing any objective research….Hamas’ terror involvement is well documented and common knowledge…Nusaybah is a Muslim spin doctor who shows up to try to divert attention from these issues and to con us into believing he same lie that all Muslims want us to accept…Islam is ‘really just peaceful’….Muslims are victims of ‘media bias’, and they are all just ‘victims’ of those evil 14 million Jews that are such a threat to the 1.3 billion Muslims…pardon me while I puke!
Greg Williams ’Ben Aufogul Case Biersteker you bloody hypocrite is it how we treat you on our site? you christians will always be rotten and from the core… i lost all respect for you Case… tell your admins we are challenging them to come over, but as cowards as they are they never will…. we are not cowards we came here and we cannot be handled thats why we are being deleted… but we wil never delete you on our sites, you know what we’ll do to you hehehehehe… come and debate over there and bring your best with you, invite them 1 by 1 its a challenge Case…Hahahaha..we can’t handle you???? Hehe…..show me ONE example Ben….just one, LOL!!!4 hours ago · Like
Clora Phillips Muslims excape to the USA you will get Hospitalization, food stamp card, 10,000.00 per adult for living expences. And living arrangements in some great hotels or Luxury Apartments. And the USA will give you free education. USA , the Uk are the greatest countries for peace. You can even serve what ever God you want.
Will your country do that for the less unfortunate. ??3 hours ago · Like
Murtad Ustaz Clora Phillips: The thing about this is that they think it is the duty of the USA and others to give them these things becasue it is ordained for them by Allah. It is theirs in the first place and eventually when Islam controlls the wold all you own is going to be theirs anyways. So, to them, it is like taking an advance on their salary. they is not grateful like you would expect.
Nusaybah Bint Ka’b Kelly yes you are reasonable. But I do not think Hamas is terrorist, and they are not the ones sending out “suicide bombers”, that would be ridiculous of them to do. That is done by an entirely different underground group… not Hamas.. You should read their website.. that might clear things up for you.
Nusaybah Bint Ka’b Greg Williams PLEASE look up the original meaning of redneck! IF you are a redneck and I do not think you are it is a COMPLIMENT! Go google it for goodness sake!! LOL! I wish I were a redneck! But I can’t be as I was born in that place you think you know all about. So go check it out.
Palestinians putting up shows for the world’s media to view, documentry that will truely shock you – and the rest of the world just beleive it. Get the TRUTH…
- Mahmoud Abbas proves prejudice of Palestinians against Jews (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
News, Mideast News: Kids at Islamic Jihad kindergarten celebrate end of year by demonstrating how Palestinian prisoners are ‘tortured’ in Israel.
See on www.ynetnews.com
Official quiz for all who want to understand the truth regarding the State of Israel, the Israeli people, the displaced arabs incorrectly called palestinians, Yesha (the Gaza), Judea and Samaria (incorrectly called the West Bank due to its location on the westbank of the Jordan river), the Six Day War, etc.
Anti-Islam advocates from across the U.S. gathered Sunday in Dearborn for a conference to bring attention to what they say is a problem of Muslim honor killings.
See on www.freep.com
- Zogby, Hamas-linked CAIR to hold pro-honor killing rally in Dearborn (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)
- 20 Reasons to Abandon Islam (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Victory: Full House In the Belly of the Beast — Truth Gets A Hearing In Dearborn (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
Palestinian parents should teach their children that it is their role or destiny to destroy Israel, according to a cartoon in the official PA daily.
- Map in cartoon in PA daily erases Israel; cartoon teaches children to destroy Israel (ifaynsh.wordpress.com)
- Dhimmitube: YouTube Freezes PMW for Showing ‘Palestinian’ Mufti’s Speech that Muslims’ destiny is to Kill Jews (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
Islam, Jihad, and Terrorism in Post-9/11 Arabic Discussion Boards
Article first published online: 6 JUN 2007
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 1063–1081, April 2007
This study analyzed the contents of three of the most popular Arabic-language online message boards regarding the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States. Although terrorists claimed that the attacks were committed in the name of Islam, those who posted messages on all three forums rejected this claim. More than 43% of the messages condemned the attacks as a criminal act of terrorism that contradicts the core teachings of Islam. Some 30% saw some justification behind the attacks, even if they felt sorry for the victims and their families. However, those participants viewed the attacks as a political, rather than a religious, issue.
Islam is the youngest, fastest growing, and perhaps most controversial of the three monotheistic religions. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States (henceforth, 9/11), Islam and Muslims started to come to the forefront of the Western media, albeit not for very positive reasons. Because Osama Bin Laden cited religious motives for his criminal attacks, a debate started brewing in the Western media over the true nature of Islam and whether or not it justified or even encouraged violence, particularly against non-Muslims. Many media outlets referred to the 9/11 terrorists simply as “Muslims,” which fueled stereotyping of Islam and did nothing to help stop the verbal and physical attacks taking place against Muslims in the U.S. at the time.
In an attempt to study how Muslims viewed the attacks from a religious point of view, this article examines the online message exchange on three major discussion boards in the Arab and Muslim world. Through a descriptive content analysis of these messages, the different viewpoints reiterated through Internet conversations are examined. This is an important medium in this part of the world (the Middle East), since most of the media are government-owned and controlled. The Internet, however, provides a relatively free expression forum for Middle Eastern audiences. It therefore has the potential to reveal Muslim points of view without governmental slanting of ideas in any particular political or religious manner.
Arabs and Muslims in the Western Media
At the outset, there is a need to differentiate between the terms “Arab” and “Muslim,” which tend to be used interchangeably in the Western media. Arabs are members of an ethnic group of people who reside in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Muslims are those who choose Islam as their religion. Most Arabs (more than 90%) are Muslims. However, the majority of Muslims are not Arabs. The majority of Muslims come from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, all of which are non-Arab countries (Abdulla, 2007).
Long before the attacks of 9/11, Arabs had voiced their concerns about their image in the Western media. In 1980, journalist Djelloul Marbrouk noted that the Arab in American television stands for “terrorism, hijack, intractability, sullenous, perverseness, cruelty, oil, sand, embargo, boycott, greed, bungling, comedic disunity, primitive torture, family feuds, and white slavery” (Shaheen, 1980, n.p.). Shaheen quotes Newsweek regarding the image of an Arab on television, “He is swarthy and bearded, rich and filthy, dabbling in dope smuggling and white slavery; swaddled in white robes, he carries a curved knife, rides a camel and abuses young boys. He knows a thousand vile curses such as ‘May the fleas of a diseased camel infect the hair of your first born’” (n.p.). Shaheen provides examples of many programs that portrayed Arabs in a negative light in the late 1970s, from Hollywood pictures and productions such as Vegas, Fantasy Island, andCharlie’s Angels to comic strips such as Brenda Starr and Dennis the Menace. He also provides examples of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim coverage from reputed news shows such as 60 Minutes and 20/20, in addition to regular news bulletins that associated Arabs and Muslims with terrorism.
A few years later, Shaheen (1984) noted that “the stereotype [of Arabs] remains omnipresent, appearing in new programs and dated reruns” (p. 113). Shaheen reports on an interview with a CBS Vice President who confirmed the notion, saying he “had never seen a ‘good Arab’ on TV,” and that Arabs are rather usually portrayed as “warmongers and/or covetous desert rulers” (p. 114). Indeed, Slade (1981)analyzed a poll of American attitudes and perceptions towards Arabs and found that Americans have little knowledge of Arab culture, history, or contributions to the world. She reported that Americans commonly think of Arabs as “anti-American,”“anti-Christian,”“unfriendly,” and “warlike.”
Christensen (2006a, b) argues that the spread of Islamophobia in the West is at least in part the responsibility of distorted and imbalanced media coverage. He argues that news programs are perceived usually as “serious” and “truthful” because journalism is associated in the public mind with objectivity and fairness. Western news stories, he says, tend to show a mosque, a minaret, or a veiled woman regardless of the nature of the story, even when the story is about terrorism. “The combination of stereotypical images adds up to a whole that is, in many ways, greater than the sum of its parts” (Christensen, 2006b, p. 30).
Said (1997) argues that the image of Islam in the U.S. media has always been influenced by a framework of politics and hidden interests and is therefore laden with “not only patent inaccuracy but also expressions of unrestrained ethnocentrism, cultural and even racial hatred, deep yet paradoxically free-floating hostility” (p. ii). He characterizes the image as involving “highly exaggerated stereotyping and belligerent hostility” (p. xi). Said, himself an American Christian scholar, states, “Malicious generalizations about Islam have become the last acceptable form of denigration of foreign culture in the West; what is said about the Muslim mind, or character, or religion, or culture as a whole cannot now be said in mainstream discussion about Africans, Jews, other Orientals, or Asians” (p. xii).
If this was the image before 9/11, things took a turn for the worse after the criminal attacks. Despite the fact that all Arab countries condemned the attacks, for the most part, voices communicated through the mass media still failed to differentiate between Arabs and Muslims, on one hand, and terrorists, on the other. Pintak (2006) reports on Eric Rouleau of Le Monde, who criticized the tendency to portray images of “Muslims praying, mosques or women in chadors to illustrate stories about extremism and terror” (p. 33-34). Pintak adds that after the events of 9/11, “the U.S. media immediately fell back on the prevailing—and stereotyped—narrative about Arabs and Muslims and reverted to its historic tendency to present the world, in Henry Kissinger’s words, as ‘a morality play between good and evil’” (p. 39).
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR, 2001) noted that “many media pundits focused on one theme: retaliation. For some, it did not matter who bears the brunt of an American attack” (n.p.). For example, on September 12, 2001, Steve Dunleavy wrote in the New York Post: “The response to this unimaginable 21st-century Pearl Harbor should be as simple as it is swift—kill the bastards. A gunshot between the eyes, blow them to smithereens, poison them if you have to. As for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb them into basketball courts.” On September 11, former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger commented on CNN, “There is only one way to begin to deal with people like this, and that is you have to kill some of them even if they are not immediately directly involved in this thing” (FAIR, 2001, n.p.).
On September 13, Bill O’Reilly, on his popular The O’Reilly Factor show on the Fox News Channel, said it “doesn’t make any difference” who you kill in the process of retaliation against the attacks (FAIR, 2001, n.p.). On the same day, syndicated columnist Ann Coulter wrote:
This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack…. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war. (FAIR, 2001, n.p.)
At a meeting of the Global Policy Forum, Hans Giessmann of the University of Hamburg’s Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy criticized the Western media for how it “fully attributed blame for the September attacks on ‘Muslim terrorists’ and stopped there” (Inbaraj, 2002, n.p.). He added that “the media accepted the side effects of a stigmatization of religion, cultures, states, people and minorities and this paved the way for prejudices” (n.p.). Journalists at the meeting agreed that the media failed to provide context for their pictures and stories. That, they said, would have “allowed readers, viewers and listeners to gain a clear understanding of the background issues and of the clash on interpretations in a war where the lines were blurred between reporting and propaganda in a controlled atmosphere” (Inbaraj, 2002, n.p.).
Perhaps most offensive to Muslims was Reverend Jerry Falwell’s statement on 60 Minutes: “I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, that he was a violent man, a man of war” (CBS news, 2002, n.p.).
Statements like this coincided with and may have contributed to an increasing anti-Muslim sentiment. CNN reported that the anti-Islamic sentiment following 9/11 was spreading around the world. Several mosques in Europe and Australia were petrol-bombed by individuals who believed they were “doing the U.S. a favor.” In South Shields, Northern England, graffiti on a wall near a mosque read in red paint, “Avenge U.S.A. Kill a Muslim now” (Jones, 2001, n.p.).
Such trends in the American media coverage of the post 9/11 attacks were documented in several studies. Pintak (2006) reports on a content analysis of CBS newscasts carried out by the Center for Media and Public Affairs. The study found that in covering the war on Iraq, the network was “most supportive” of U.S. government policies (p. 44). Those who displayed an anti-war message or attitude were found to constitute fewer than 10% of interviewees on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. The study concluded that CBS coverage was even more conservative than Fox News, which is seen as “the headquarters for patriotic fervor” (p. 44). Pintak further reports on another study by the U.S. Department of Defense, which analyzed U.S., European, and Middle Eastern newspapers. The study concluded that the American media “primed its audience to support the war,” while silencing opposition voices (p. 43).
Fadel (2002) conducted a content analysis of an Egyptian daily newspaper (Al Ahram) and an American daily newspaper (USA Today) in the three months following 9/11. The study showed that the top two subjects mentioned in relation to Arab countries in both newspapers were terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. However, while Al Ahram stressed the Arab world’s condemnation of the attacks and of fundamentalism, USA Today linked Arabs to Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism, and extremism all over the world. The study also reported that the American newspaper “adopted a clear line of linking violence and terrorism with resisting Israeli occupation in parts of Lebanon and the Palestinian territories” (p. 451).
Gomaa (2002) conducted a content analysis of the image of Islam and Muslims in the American, French, and German press. She analyzed the International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, and Frankfurter Allgemeine during the 50 days following 9/11. She reported that although the Herald focused on Osama Bin Laden as the party responsible for the attacks (even before any evidence had surfaced), the newspaper tackled the issue in light of Huntington’s (1993)“clash of civilizations” thesis and portrayed it as a start for a Crusade between Islam and the West. The Herald claimed that the Arab and Muslim countries have become a safe haven for terrorism and are breeding a “culture of violence” (p. 239). The study contrasted this with Le Monde’s coverage, which stressed the dangers of terrorism as a global issue that is not restricted to the Muslim world, and clarified the nature of Islam as a religion of tolerance and peace. The French newspaper focused its analysis on the importance of understanding the other and acquainting oneself with foreign civilizations. It stressed that the issue is not one of a clash of civilizations, but rather a clash between extremists and moderates within each civilization and across ethnicities and religions worldwide. In this light, the newspaper argued, France should support the U.S. not in a war against Islam but in a war against the terrorists who carried out these attacks on humanity. Still, the study reported that Le Monde reported negatively on the Arab and Muslim worlds in about 65% of its total coverage. This figure was up to 78% in the Herald, and 86.5% inFrankfurter Allgemeine. In its coverage of the sources of terrorism worldwide, the Herald linked terrorism with the Arab and Muslim world 96% of the time.
Chomsky (2001) asserted that the mainstream media in the U.S. constituted “well-run propaganda systems” whose capacity “to drive people to irrational, murderous, and suicidal behavior” should not be underestimated. He urged citizens to resist the notion of responding to terrorist crimes with more terror directed against civilian Muslims abroad but said the “hysterical” attitude of the media in such circumstances was not surprising (p. 69).
Pintak (2006) contended that the bias in American media after 9/11 constituted what could be called “jihad journalism” (pp. 42-44). He added that such slanted coverage was “the hallmark of the post-9/11 era” (p. 44). Fruit (2001) called it “a result of racist jingoism,” adding, “This is shocking but not surprising in the face of the Anti-Islamic, xenophobic hysteria in the media and from our ‘world-leaders’” (n.p.).
In light of the above literature, this study examines discussions about Islam in the Arabic-language postings of Arabs and Muslims after 9/11. It discusses whether those who posted messages thought Islamic teachings were the reason behind the attacks, and whether the attacks are considered acts of terrorism or acts of Islamic jihad.
The Arab World, 9/11, and the Internet
The latest estimates assess world Internet users in January 2007 at more than 1.1 billion (Internet World Stats, 2007). Out of this enormous number, the estimated number of users in the Arab world is about 18 million. However, with major developments in the Internet technology markets of Arab countries, the growth rate for users in the Arab world is exploding by a factor of 500% in some countries (Abdulla, 2007).
Arabic portals have started growing on the Internet. Several websites now offer Arabs the full service of a Web portal, including email services, search engines, news, culture, sports, art, music, discussion forums, and blogs. Islamic portals also offer information about the religion, recitations and interpretations of the Quran, and religious teachings, as well as sections for Muslims to communicate with Islamic scholars through posting questions whose answers appear on the websites. Arabs and Muslims have taken to discussion boards on the Internet, since they provide an alternative to the otherwise primarily government-owned and government-controlled media systems. These discussion boards cover a variety of topics, including politics, sports, culture, religion, and civic society.
Some scholars believe that discussion forums and bulletin boards can help people get through difficult times in an almost therapeutic manner (James, Wotring, & Forrest, 1995; Rosson, 1999). After the attacks of 9/11, a variety of online bulletin boards were dedicated to discussing the event and sharing sentiments of grief and anger. In addition, most online news outlets had a discussion board dedicated to 9/11. These included, for example, The New York Times, CNN, and USA Today.
Arab and Islamic portals also had discussion boards for Arab Internet users to voice their opinions concerning the attacks. Since these forums are uncensored and are outside the realm of government supervision, they provided a good opportunity for Arabs and Muslims to voice their honest opinions, even if those opinions contradicted those of the governments, whose official stance was to condemn the attacks. This study may therefore help us gauge the true feelings of Arabs and Muslims regarding 9/11.
A descriptive content analysis was conducted of message boards on three of the most popular Arab portals: Masrawy (http://www.masrawy.com), Islam Online (http://islamonline.net), and Arabia (http://www.arabia.com).1 Masrawy is the first and one of the most popular Arabic-language portals on the Internet. The word “Masrawy” is colloquial Arabic for “Egyptian.” The site offers its users free Internet connectivity, free email, and domain name registration, in addition to all the regular services offered by major portals such as news, directories, classified ads, search options, health, sports, stock market information, entertainment, shopping, auctions, instant chat, and message boards.
Islam Online is one of the most popular and most comprehensive Islamic portals on the Internet. The site is supported and maintained by a large group of Muslim scholars headed by Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, one of the top authorities in the Muslim world today. The portal, offered in both Arabic and English, is run by a staff of over 200 people from different backgrounds. In addition to all of the usual Islamic information, the site features large sections on science and medicine, psychology and cyber-counseling, political news and current affairs, women’s rights, parenting, the Internet and IT technologies, arts and culture, and live discussions. Each of these sections is handled by professionals, many of them Ph.D. holders in their respective fields. According to El-Kashef (2005), in the aftermath of 9/11, the site witnessed a dramatic increase in visitor numbers, with page views increasing from an average of 24 million to 150 million per year.
Arabia was a major portal that offered its users the option to access it in Arabic or in English. Owned and operated by Arabia Online, which is based in Dubai’s Internet City in the United Arab Emirates, the site offered a wide array of services, including a search engine, free email, free greeting cards, news, games, entertainment, business, sports, Arab and international media outlets, horoscopes, an instant messenger service, cartoons, travel and shopping information, as well as chat and discussion boards. Rossant (2002) reported estimates of 1.5 million visitors per month to Arabia, making it one of the most popular portals in the Arab world.
Because of the difficulty of selecting a random sample on the Internet (December, 1996; McMillan, 2000; Stempel & Stewart, 2000), I decided to examine the population of messages on the three chosen portals regarding the events of 9/11. Still, the sampling process was not easy. Discussion boards on different websites organize messages in different ways. Some offer more structure than others: In this study, the Masrawy discussion board was found to be more organized than the Arabia board, and the Islam Online board was the least organized. Masrawy offered fewer overall topics for discussion, and the topics were posted by the message board moderator. To start a new thread, participants sent a message to the moderator suggesting the new topic, after which the moderator posted the suggested topic under a new title and a new thread. While participants could reply to a particular message by entering that message number, their reply was posted as a new message under the same main thread, rather than as a sub-thread. It followed that the postings to a particular topic were easier to access, scan (by title), and quantify.
The Arabia message board allowed its users to post new topics as they pleased. The board also allowed for sub-threading of messages, meaning that each message within the same topic could have several replies accessible only through that message. The resulting structure is more problematic for the content analysis researcher (or even for a keen user) to grasp. There is no easy way of knowing how many messages are posted on a particular topic, since the topic could be fragmented under as many messages as users choose. Each message within a particular topic could be posted as a separate topic, and each message could have an unlimited number of replies in its thread. While the number of replies is posted, the only way of knowing how many messages relate to a particular topic is to scan every message title on the board, determine which ones relate to the topic of interest, and add up the replies to those messages, hoping that all replies actually relate to the topic. This process is time-consuming and frustrating, since the site hosted an average of about 50 pages of questions (or topics) at any given time.
The Islam Online website was the most problematic of the three. The site offered seven main areas of discussion (politics, religion, sports, culture, society, creativity, and Internet). Within each area were seven to ten main discussion topics, and within each topic was a structure similar to the Arabia website. The problem resided in the fact that there was an undefined number of questions or topics to go through, without a clear indication of where discussion on a particular topic started. For example, one could not assume that 9/11 would be discussed under politics alone, since it could also be discussed under religion or society.
For the purposes of this study, a total of 752 messages was analyzed on the three portals. The Masrawy website had 517 messages on 104 pages, posted between September 11th and 20th.2 All messages were in response to the question posted by the moderator, “Do you support the September 11 attacks on the United States?” From the Islam Online website, I analyzed 175 messages posted under different headings, although most were commenting on three themes: whether the participants thought Bin Laden was a terrorist or a hero; whether they thought these attacks would help or hurt Muslims; and whether they agreed that the attacks were an inhumane act. The messages were posted between September 11th and October 19th. From the Arabia website, I analyzed a total of 73 messages posted under numerous threads. Those messages were posted from September 11th to October 5th.
Some messages were eliminated because they were deemed irrelevant, although they were posted under a relevant title or message heading. This problem was particularly evident with the Arabia website. In some cases, some participants began sending personal messages to each other on the site. Others tried to solicit interest in a different discussion topic by posting their views about the other topic under 9/11, since that was the hot issue of the day. The total number of relevant messages analyzed for quantification in this study came to 265 messages on Masrawy, 161 on Islam Online, and 47 messages on Arabia, for a total of 473 messages. The message was the unit of analysis for this study.
Variables and Operationalization
Each message was coded for: (a) message identification number; (b) source message board (Masrawy, Islam Online, or Arabia); (c) date of message submission; (d) user member type (only provided for Masrawy users, categories defined below); (e) gender (male, female, unidentified); (f) attitude toward the 9/11 attacks (agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, or attitude not mentioned; categories defined below); (g) sympathy toward victims (mentioned, not mentioned); and (h) Islam (mentioned as probable reason, mentioned as not a probable reason, not mentioned).
An attempt was made to identify the gender of message posters where possible, based on the name or signature if provided and/or on the text of the message, since many Arabic words and pronouns require different masculine or feminine endings.
Attitude towards the 9/11 attacks was coded as: “agree” for messages showing support for any possible justification, rationalization, or excuses for the attacks (even if the message poster feels sorry for the victims); “disagree” for messages showing disagreement with the attacks in terms of denouncing them, condemning them, disapproving of the act, classifying the attacks as a crime or an act of terrorism, offering condolences for the victims and/or their families (without showing any signs of support or justification for the attacks); or “neither agree nor disagree” if the message posters admitted to not being able to make up their minds or adopt a viewpoint regarding the attacks. Messages that only raised questions or offered comments or possible answers to issues raised in other messages without taking sides were coded as “attitude not mentioned.”
Intercoder reliability was determined by having another Arabic native speaker, who is also fluent in English and has a master’s degree in communication, recode a random sample of 10% of the valid messages (n = 48; 27 messages from Masrawy, 16 from Islam Online, and 5 messages from Arabia). The reliability rate was calculated after excluding the variables of message identification number, source message board, date of message submission, and user member type to avoid falsely inflating reliability. Using the Holsti (1969) formula, intercoder reliability was determined to be 0.936. The author had the final say in cases of disagreement and also recoded the selected sample, which produced an intracoder reliability score of 0.962.
All Arabic entries were translated into English for the purposes of this study by the author. Efforts were made to remain faithful to the tone, structure, and punctuation of the original entries.
Relevant Methodological Issues
Lindlof and Shatzer (1998) pointed out the problems of participation and identity verification on an Internet discussion forum. In this study, although message posters logged in with a name, almost no one logged in with his or her real name. The name used was usually a self-chosen nickname. Sometimes, however, participants signed the actual message with their real name, which was different from the name they used to log in.
The domination of a thread by a single or a few message posters is another issue frequently encountered in content analysis of discussion boards (Miller & Gergen, 1998; Perlman, 1999). In this study, several login names at times dominated the discussions.
The geographic location where a message originated is another issue. Even on Masrawy, which means “Egyptian,” it cannot be assumed that all messages were posted by Egyptians. Although most messages were written in colloquial Egyptian Arabic,3 this is a dialect widely spoken in the Arab world; hence, any Arab (or anyone who speaks Arabic) could have posted the message. There were also some English-language messages, which could have been by non-Arabs or by Arabs whose Web browsers do not support Arabic characters or who simply chose to post their messages in English. The Arabia site featured more messages in English than did the other two sites, some of which were clearly self-marked as posted by Americans.
External validity is another concern in Internet research (Miller & Gergen, 1998; Stempel & Stewart, 2000). While this study is limited to Internet users, who constitute only a small percentage of the Arab population, it nonetheless draws on one of the few uncensored media channels in the Middle East, and represents the basic sentiments voiced in the Arab world regarding the events of 9/11 and the religious arguments made in connection with them.
Message posters on Masrawy were classified on the site by member type: junior members were those under 21 years of age, and senior members were those above 21. Theoretically, a user can enter a fake age, although there is little reason to do this, since both user types have the same rights and responsibilities on the website.
Out of the message posters on Masrawy, 63.4% (n = 168) were junior members, and 21.9% (n = 58) were senior members. The remaining percentage was listed as “member,” probably because posters did not list their age upon registration. Of the messages on all three discussion boards, 53.1% (n = 251) were from males (judging by either the names they signed or the pronouns they used in the syntax of their message), 16.7% (n = 79) were from females, and 30.2% (n = 143) had no indication of gender.
Of all messages on the three websites, 43.1% (n = 204) condemned the 9/11 attacks as an act of terrorism with no justification, political or otherwise. However, 30.2% (n = 143) offered some justification for the attacks, even if they acknowledged feeling sorry for the victims and their families. The rest of the message posters (26.7%, n = 126) were either undecided, showing feelings of pure shock for the most part, or they offered political analysis without taking sides. Justification messages tended to be shorter and were mostly posted during the first four days following the attacks. For example, on September 11, several messages on Masrawy just said, “Yes, I agree with the attacks.” In contrast, condemnation messages were longer and continued to be posted throughout the time period analyzed.
Almost all justification messages on the three websites cited as their reason American foreign policy regarding the Middle East. Message posters who saw justification for the attacks viewed the issue as political, rather than religious or social. The political issues identified mainly focused on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq. Other messages cited American foreign policy in several other parts of the world, including Japan, Vietnam, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iran, Lebanon, and Pakistan.
For example, a female junior member wrote on Masrawy on September 11, “Americans have to feel what the Palestinians feel, the destruction, terror, and all the homeless people. And they have to know that their foreign policy and their support for Israel will hurt their country and their interests in the Middle East.”
On the other hand, many condemnation messages cited the killing of innocent civilians as barbaric and inhumane. One male junior member wrote on Masrawy on September 12:
Any human being with a heart rejects the killing of children, men, women, elderly people, and all innocent people. There will be victims from all nationalities. We are against killing Palestinians, and also killing Jews. Any religion forbids killing. What did the men and women and children who were killed do? It could’ve been your brother or your son or your father or your mother or your wife. This is not permissible under any religion.
Another male wrote on Arabia on September 13 (in English): “I feel bad for all our Middle Eastern families being killed, but two wrongs don‘t make a right here. All innocent people have a right to live a happy life, both Middle Eastern and Americans.”
One member wrote on Masrawy on September 12:
I or any Arab or Muslim cannot support barbaric, vengeful revenge like I saw yesterday. No, a thousand no to such naïve, idiotic, barbarian operations. If it were in my hands, it would kill every terrorist that had to do with this. My hearty condolences to the victims’ families.
Could Islam be a Justification for the Attacks?
Although the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks claimed that they committed their crime in the name of Islam, the participants in this study clearly believed otherwise. Only 11% (n = 52) of all messages posted on the three websites mentioned Islam as a probable justification for the attacks. In comparison, 30% (n = 142) stressed that such attacks are against the core teachings of Islam. The remaining 59% (n = 279) did not mention Islam at all in their discussions of why the attacks could have happened, which indicates that religion was not a factor in their view of the events.
A male poster on Islam Online posted his message together with a copy of the fatwa (Islamic ruling) of Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi. Parts of the fatwa read:
We are extremely sorry for the attacks on the World Trade Center and other entities in the United States of America. This is in spite of our objection to the political policy of the U.S. that is pro-Israel on all fronts, military, political, and economic.
This is because our religion respects the human soul and protects it, and prohibits any such attacks on humanity, and denotes it as a huge crime. The Quran says, “If anyone slew a person—unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land—it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”… Islam does not permit the random killing of people, innocent and un-innocent alike, for no soul shall carry the burdens of another…. These killings are therefore a major crime in the eyes of Islam.
However, there were still some who argued that the killings are justified in light of what the U.S. is doing with its foreign policies in the Middle East. For example, one male on Islam Online wrote, “Those who are saying what happened in the U.S. was terrorism, what do you call what happens in Palestine every day?” Another wrote, “America has chosen to wage war against God. Henry Kissinger, their former Jewish Secretary of State, said publicly, ‘Islam is not our religion,’ so what does that mean? Don’t they deserve what happened? They deserve more.”
Responding to these messages were many others that strongly opposed the view that the attacks could be backed by religion. One male junior member on Masrawy wrote on September 12:
I’m an Egyptian Muslim, but before anything else I’m a human being, and what happened is not permissible under any religion. I pray for mercy for those who died innocently for no reason, whether they were Muslims, Christians, or Jews. They have their religion and I have mine.4
A male who signed, “A Muslim who loves his religion,” wrote on Islam Online on September 12:
The most criminal act in the eyes of God is killing an innocent soul as stated by Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi in his fatwa (Islamic ruling) about the attacks in the U.S. Even if they do kill innocent Muslims, this does not justify killing innocent Americans. This is not an Islamic principle.
One female senior member wrote on Masrawy on September 14:
This is against all religions. God did not say to kill innocent people…. It is totally against our Islamic religion to terrorize innocent people…. Terrorizing innocent people is not acceptable in Islam, it is totally against the religion.
Some posters had harsh words for those who use Islam as a backup for terrorism. One male wrote on Masrawy on September 14 (in English):
I don’t see how people can use our wonderful religion to justify such horrible acts. I am a Muslim who loves his religion, but I want to say something here. If this is Islam, then I don‘t want to be a Muslim. What I know about my religion is that it is about peace, mercy, and compassion. Anything else is not Islamic.
On Islam Online, this member wrote, “I condemn these acts because they are not legitimate, whoever did them. Killing innocent people was never a way of confronting an enemy in Islam.”
Another male wrote on Arabia, “Islam is a peaceful religion. These terrorists aren’t true Muslims. In the Quran it is forbidden to kill innocent people. My heart and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy. I feel that my religion is being raped by these terrorists. I wish they would just leave Islam out of it.”
Some message posters took it upon themselves to explain the true meaning of some Islamic concepts that might be used to justify the attacks. On September 14, a female senior member posted a lengthy explanation on Masrawy of why the attacks can not be attributed to, or justified by, Islam. She referenced the concept of kassas (retribution) in Islam:
Kassas as dictated by Islam is murdering a murderer, and only the murderer. This serves the ultimate good of the human life, because then you decrease the percentage of murder crimes. But this kassas as portrayed by the terrorists or the American media is what was prevalent in pre-Islamic times, and it led to much fighting and wars between tribes and hurt many innocent people. And actually you cannot call this kassas at all, this is pure murder. Our Prophet (peace and prayers be upon him) laid the foundations for these basic rules in Islam. Islam has regulated all this, and put strict rules even for times of war, and it clearly prohibits killing innocent lives. Even if we were at war with America, this would not be permissible in Islam. And since we’re at peace, these are definitely not the regulations dictated by Islam.
Another male junior member took to Masrawy to explain the concept of jihad. He wrote, “This is not jihad, this is nonsense. According to our Prophet Mohammad (peace and prayers be upon him), jihad is struggle 1) against oneself to achieve a higher level of purity, and 2) against enemies in times of war. This is not jihad.”
Some messages discussed whether the attacks, justified or not, would help or hurt Arab and Muslim interests. Most seemed to believe that the attacks would have negative effects on the Arab and Muslim world. These posters were especially concerned about the West not differentiating between such criminal attacks on one hand and efforts to fight Israeli occupation on the other. This female wrote on Masrawy:
Whoever did this cannot be Arabs or Muslims. This is an inside operation. But whoever did it, it caused us a greeeeeeeeeeeat deal of harm:
Now Israel will do whatever it pleases to Palestinians and no one will ever care. They will use this opportunity to its full potential.
Arabs and Muslims in the States and Europe are already facing a lot of hassles and being treated as terrorists.
America will now support Israel even more to face what they call “Palestinian terrorism.”
One female junior member wrote on September 14 on Masrawy:
I’m against American policies in the Middle East, but the innocent civilians had nothing to do with politics. This is forbidden in Islam, whether the victims are Iraqis, Americans, or Palestinians. And do you think Arabs will benefit from these attacks? Not at all. We will suffer as a result (although I’m sure whoever did this are American extremists). But look at what’s happening. The world is so concerned about the United States, and in the meantime yesterday Israel went into Jenin and Ariha. They killed 11 Palestinians yesterday, and four today. No one cares of course.
One female on Islam Online thought the attacks would be both of benefit and cost to Muslims. In her words:
This is not an easy question. I think these attacks both hurt us and benefited us. The hurt will be that anti-Islamists will seize the opportunity to paint a negative image of Islam in the West and make the West hate us. The good part is that Muslims who face American terrorist acts in Palestine and Iraq will get a sense of hope that this undefeated giant has been defeated, and it might also make American citizens pay attention to their government’s policies that are so unfair to Muslims. But I think the cost is so much more than the benefit. We need huge political and media efforts to make up for the damage to the image of Islam.
Another female on Arabia wrote:
This will only make life harder for Arabs, here (in the Arab world) and in the States. An advisory was issued to Arabs in the States to stop talking to each other in Arabic on the streets, and Muslims are facing a lot of hassles already. I’m sure this was not done by Arabs or Muslims, but it will only cause more mistreatment to Arabs.
A male wrote on Islam Online:
What’s happening to Muslims now is the best evidence that Bin Laden is a dangerous man. What he did is not heroic, what he did is a crazy act of terror. Dangerous and important things have started happening to Muslims worldwide as a result, he has only done a great favor for anti-Islamists by his acts. For example, in India, they put the Islamic Liberation Front on the list of terrorist organizations. And in China they detained a lot of Muslims and killed some, and also in the Philippines and elsewhere. Many will use this against Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism. And now we have to prove to the West that Muslims are not terrorists.
Several messages on Islam Online tackled the same issue of whether Bin Laden was a hero or a terrorist. Although the majority of respondents stated that the attacks were an act of terrorism, some still thought Bin Laden committed a heroic act, and some did not believe Bin Laden was the person behind the attacks.
The few who saw Bin Laden as a hero were taken by the ability of this one man to terrorize a nation as powerful as the U.S. Others believed that he must be a true believer since he abandoned a millionaire’s life of luxury and instead took to his form of jihad. One female wrote on Islam Online, “I think Bin Laden is a hero. Don’t you see how this one person managed to terrorize the United States and cause it to be insecure and worried? He has done what the whole Arab world and Arab governments could not do.”
A male poster wrote, “Osama Bin Laden is a true fighter for Islam. He has given up on a life of plenty in this life for the hope of a better afterlife. He is the only millionaire in the world who gave himself and his money to Islam and Muslims. God be with him.”
Other posters had their reasons for not believing that Bin Laden could do such an act. This male poster wrote, “I do believe Bin Laden is a hero. I do not think he had anything to do with these attacks in New York though.” Several messages agreed with this line of thinking. Another male replied to this message, saying, “I totally agree with you. I do not think Bin Laden did it, not because he can’t, but because he is a man of high morals and standards, and he could not be involved in such criminal acts.” Another poster said, “I don’t believe Bin Laden did these attacks. The U.S. still does not have any proof.” This female wrote:
Thank God we are Muslims for our religion is great. I can’t believe you’re asking whether Bin Laden is a terrorist or not. The answer lies in the teachings of Islam. If Osama is a true Muslim, he will not have had anything to do with these attacks because a true believer cannot do these horrible acts…. Our religion is not a religion of killings or terrorism, these acts are by no means a victory. If our enemies have resorted to terrorism, this is not an excuse for us to do the same.
To the same effect, one poster wrote, “To know if Bin Laden is a terrorist or a hero, look at his way of jihad and compare it to the merciful nature of Islam.” Another message came from a male poster: “By God Bin Laden is the worst terrorist. He is using our great religion to kill people in its name. He is taking people backwards to pre-Islamic times.” Finally, the following message, posted in English on Masrawy, tended to reflect several others:
The one thing we should protect the most is our humanity, our religion that urges us to rise above greed and anger and malice represented in the American and Israeli forces of darkness. They should never succeed in robbing our Islamic identity and our morality. Islam is the religion of forgiveness not revenge. We don’t kill the innocent no matter how hard it is to target the guilty.
Discussion and Conclusions
This study analyzed the contents of three of the most popular Arabic-language online message boards regarding the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The findings documented that more than 43% of the messages condemned the attacks as a pure criminal act of terrorism. However, some 30% of the message posters still saw some justification behind these attacks, even if they felt sorry for the victims and their families. It is worth noting that most of the justification messages were posted in the few days immediately after the attacks, and were short and abrupt, suggesting a hasty and impulsive reaction. Justification messages tended to become fewer over time. In contrast, condemnation messages were longer, tended to contain well-structured analysis, and continued to be posted throughout the time period included in this study. These findings were consistent across the three message boards, with no apparent ideological differences between them. The main theme that kept appearing throughout was an overall frustration with American foreign policies in the Middle East region.
Posters condemning the 9/11 attacks felt that the massive killing of innocent civilians in such a random manner was barbaric, inhumane, and contradicted the core teachings of Islam. Many posters wrote that they felt that their religion was being raped by criminals who use it to carry out their own hidden agendas. On the other hand, those justifying or supporting the attacks tended to cite American foreign policy in the Middle East. This was particularly true with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq. It should be noted that these messages were posted before the launch of the current American intervention in Iraq.
More than 81% of the messages mentioned some aspect of frustration and/or dissatisfaction with American politics in the Middle East. This is an interesting finding, given that fewer than 30% justified the attacks. This means that another 51%, who mostly posted messages supporting the victims and condemning the attacks, still felt dissatisfied with American foreign policy in the Middle East.
Although the attacks of 9/11 were justified by the terrorists who committed them as having been carried out in the name of Islam, those who posted messages on all three forums—Masrawy, Islam Online, and Arabia—rejected this claim. On all three websites, only 11% of those who posted messages mentioned that Islam was a probable justification for the attacks. In contrast, more than 30% stressed in their messages that such atrocities were against the core spirit and teachings of Islam. The remaining 59% of the message posters did not mention Islam at all in their discussions, which suggests that the religion was not on their minds as a possible reason for why the attacks took place. These posters seemed to view the attacks as a political, rather than a religious, issue.
This is another interesting finding, given that, as illustrated in the literature review, most American media coverage of the issue tended to portray it as a clash of civilizations, based in essence on a confrontation between Islam as a religion and the West as a culture. The findings of this study show that Arab Muslims did not view the issue in a religious light. Rather, Arabs saw the issue as primarily political. They were (and are) frustrated with the seemingly consistent support for Israel that the U.S. displays in its foreign policy towards the Middle East, particularly regarding the Palestinian conflict and Lebanon. They see the U.S. as a “monster” that is quick to judge and take one side in support of a single entity against all others in the region.
Arab message posters also expressed concern about the then-potential problem of framing Islam as a violent and terrorist religion, a concern that was shown in the literature review to have materialized in the days and months following 9/11. In the minds of these message posters, such media coverage of the nature of Islam is distorted and hurts the interests of Arabs and Muslims everywhere.
It is the concern of this researcher that such media coverage may also have increased anti-American sentiments in the Middle East over the past few years, since Arabs felt that the U.S. insisted on dealing with Islam as an enemy. As indicated in the findings of this and other studies (Fadel, 2002; Gomaa, 2002; Inbaraj, 2002; Pintak, 2006; Said, 1997; Shaheen, 1980, 1984), Arabs feel that the U.S. media are unduly focused on Islam as a breeding ground of violence and terrorism and that the media refuse to pay attention to moderate voices, which constitute the great majority of the more than 1.3 billion Muslims around the world. Of course, terrorist acts speak to the media much more loudly than non-terrorist acts. However, Arabs feel that the U.S. media ignore coverage of any non-violent aspect of Islam, as evidenced by the near non-existence of any content about the everyday lives or the scientific achievements or the rich cultures of Arabs and Muslims worldwide and throughout history. In the minds of most Arabs, terrorism is not related to Islam as a religion. Rather, it is born and bred out of a sense of frustration with seemingly endless unfair political policies, a point that is validated daily by the flagrant rise of violent acts in Iraq since the American intervention in 2003. This is another point that Arabs believe the American media refuse to acknowledge or even consider.
Arab messages posters discussed different aspects of the relation between Islam and the 9/11 attacks. They concluded that the attacks caused more harm than good to Islam and Muslims, both in the Arab world and in the West. Although a minority hailed Bin Laden as a hero for what they perceived to be his victorious confrontation with the U.S., the majority saw him as a terrorist who is taking advantage of Islam to serve his own agenda. Muslims took to the discussion boards to defend their religion, saying that they felt it was being “raped” by such terrorists. They posted messages trying to explain to the world the basic principles on which Islam was based as a religion of tolerance, mercy, and compassion.
The Internet provided a much needed public sphere for Arabs to express their views and speak their minds on an issue as important as this one. This is particularly valuable in a region of the world where the media are mostly government-owned and controlled. Access to public media in the Arab world is not easy, and if one is lucky enough to get through with a letter to the editor, chances are that the letter will be “edited,” sometimes heavily, before it appears in print. The Internet provides Arabs with a staggering alternative to traditional media. As is shown in this study, they have used it in the aftermath of 9/11 to denounce what they perceived as attacks on humanity and on their own religion, and to attempt to spread awareness and knowledge about the true nature and the core teachings of Islam to the world.
Some messages were posted twice, apparently due to a technical difficulty on the website. Those pairs of duplicate messages were analyzed and counted as one message.
The author is Egyptian. Arabic is her mother tongue.
“You have your religion, and I have mine” is a literal translation of a verse from the Quran, the Muslim holy book that dictates tolerance to people different from oneself. The verse is from a Sura (chapter) called “Al Kaferoon” (The Infidels), and it stresses tolerance not just of people of other religions but of any persons, even if they are infidels or have no religion. Another translation that captures the spirit of the verse is provided on IslamiCity.com: “To you be your way, and to me mine” (The Holy Quran, 109:6).
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Rasha A. Abdulla is an Assistant Professor in the Journalism and Mass Communication Department of the American University in Cairo. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Miami (2003). Her research interests include the uses and effects of mass media, particularly new media and the Internet.
Address: Journalism & Mass Communication Department, The American University in Cairo, 113 Kasr Al Aini Street, P.O. Box 2511, Cairo 11511, Egypt
- CAIR Participated In A “Criminal Conspiracy” Led By Hamas: State Of Tennessee New Bill ~ Makes It A Felony To Knowingly help Terrorist Organization With Money, Advice Or Any Other Aid. (politicalvelcraft.org)
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The complaints lodged against this cartoon in the NY Post newspaper includes the false accusation of racism. Islam is NOT a race. That the characters are emulating the founder of islam, mohammad seems to be also offensive. Of course, mohammad did teach he was to be copied as the most perfect example of human behavior.
Fortunately, few follow this teaching or the world would be so much worse than it is. Exponentially increased violence, aggression, all sorts of sexual pervasion including rape and child molestation, crimes of person and property, murder, etc.
Does the cartoon generalize, well sure. The truth is that a terrorist can’t be identified by looks and can just as easily be “hidden amongst us”. But, who wants to see a cartoon of a terrorist that looks like anyone. It is the evil the dwells inside that provides the evil of terrorism, not any nationality or ethnic group or race. This evil is islam.
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