Thursday, March 30, 2006


Islam, I'm staying free

Amir Normandi is the one of the very few Muslim artists I know who speaks out against oppression in the face of the oppressors. Perhaps it is because he lives in America and enjoys the freedoms of that democracy.

But, some days the crevasse between Islam and the West seems so wide, it feels impossible to bridge. How can we, creators and writers from the West, meet our peers in Islam and talk freely, without fear?

From an historical and artistic point of view, the passion and the warmth of the culture in the Arabian Peninsula is part of our collective heritage. Unfortunately today, radical Islam stands between Muslims in Islamic lands and the rest of us. Radical Islam forces silence. Honest feelings expressed against the religious and civilian Islamist authorities are denied. Fear of the physical consequences commands submission.

Effectively, all in the Muslim world live in a world of doublethink: say one thing, but deep inside, is something else. It is not by chance that the word, “Inshallah” functions as the verbal cream that absolves believers of personal responsibility for anything.

All Muslims are separated from Christians and Jews, because radical-Islam hates anyone who does not submit to Islam as determined by the radical vanguard. Witness the apostate in Afghanistan sentenced to death for insulting Allah. The judge has now ruled “insufficient evidence” against this man but how long will it take for local religious fanaticism to kill him?

Walfa Sultan brilliantly says, "I don't hate Islam as much as Islam hates me." So far I feel that Islam hates me more than I am - yet - scared of Islam.

What is the meaning of this sickness that is dividing our world and killing in its name everyday? Muslims in Islamic nations cannot speak out or scream because the radical Islamic authorities do not tolerate confrontation.

So what can we do other than just watch the violence and ignore the threats?

Do we not believe in “We the people…?”, or at least, “Peace, order and good government…?” We certainly believe that all authorities must be confronted when necessary.

After long and bitter experience, we base our civil society and discourse on a secular rule book. Neither religion nor religious beliefs hold any power or authority over or are allowed to dictate to our civil or religious lives or the lives of our friends.

This Islamic sickness is a serious threat that neither our Muslim neighbours nor we can ignore. We need to fix that.

From a spiritual perspective our belief systems treasure humanity and all forms of life: from the beauty and necessity of the nature of stars to insignificant microbes. All from a creator or, who knows, perhaps not from a creator.

After months of observing the cartoon story developing and as an artist, standing with my Danish peers for freedom, it has been extraordinary watching frenzy unfold.

It is now well documented that this "frenzy" was fraudulently created with command and control out of SA and Egypt. This is part of the operational phase of radical Islam: the process of Western intimidation through violent terrorist acts and threats in the West.

The Danish imam who was the leader behind the cartoon operation, Abu Laban has close ties with terrorist groups, and was also a collaborator with Al Zawahari / Gamaa Islamiya. He was working on pamphlets for him in early nineties. Zawahari, al Qaeda # 2 now, was chased out of Egypt when the government cracked down hard on the Muslim Brotherhood radical elements such. They worked together in Denmark.

The spokesperson for the Abu Laban team was terminated from his teaching assignment when he was in training, because he had violently beaten a ten-year-old boy who was playing innocently with a little girl. This is a serious criminal offense. Thanks to the Danish justice system and ‘other factors’, he is today still teaching in Denmark not far from the school where the crime was committed.

The Abu Laban's group and likely all the other activist cells have ties with terrorists, whether with Hamas or the Islamic leadership in Egypt and Saudi Arabia or others.

Is it possible that the blogsphere dialogue between the West and the East, particularly with the Middle Eastern bloggers and writers can so expose those who would intimidate believers and non-believers alike that we can again use our hard-won rules for a democratic civil society to eliminate those 7th C zealots from our midst?

Unfortunately, this dialogue is still limited: religion and fear seem to stand firmly in the way.

We live in a dangerous world when religion trumps the politics and values of our civil life. We need to fix that too.


“The man behind the controversial French documentary thinks that Abu Laban and Ahmed Akkari are extremists disguised as moderates.”
By Thomas Lauritzen, Paris

He is rather reluctant to say the words because he has the greatest respect for the Danes - but Mohammed Sifaoui feels that it is necessary to tell us that we are “naive”.
“All you good and well-meaning people at Politiken, in the rest of Denmark and Europe, you hurt your and moderate Moslems’ cause when you let extremists call the tune,” he says.
“They’re not bombers - they’re worse”
And for Sifaoui there’s no doubt the Danish Imams such as Ahmed Akkari and Abu Laban are just that, extremists but disguised as moderates.
“Actually, I was sort of seduced by Abu Laban the first day. He seemed both friendly and tolerant. But it was lucky that I stayed with them for some days, because then all of the extremist ideology was revealed,” Sifaoui says about his travels in Denmark this February which, i.a., revealed Ahmed Akkari’s famous ‘bomb threat’ against the Social Liberal politician Naser Khader…”. Read the rest here.

Many Thanks to Agora

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