Tag Archives: Islamophobia

A Show of Disrespect from Turkish Soccer Fans during a Moment of Silence

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Yesterday I listened to a discussion between an interviewer on CNN and Iranian born Muslim author Reza Aslan who is using his voice as a means of battling Islamophobia.  As a citizen of the world and a lover of the human race I made every effort to keep an open mind to what he was saying.  Then I saw the video of Turkish soccer fans booing and shouting Allahu Akbar during what was meant to be a moment of silence for the victims of last weeks terrorist attacks in Paris and I was startled back into the harsh reality. The problem is not how we perceive Islam, the problem is how Islam perceives itself.

I need to start by saying that I am inherently not a bigot.  I am the guy who doesn’t distinguish between people I interact with, work with and socialize with based on color, race, religion or sexual preference. I generally distance myself from anyone I feel does make that distinction.  That being said, the Muslim world has a major problem, and that problem is not that people fear them or identify Muslims as a dangerous threat.  The true problem facing the Muslim world is an out of control growing mentality and ideology of intolerance and hate.

I don’t know enough to sit here and put this on the entire Muslim world, and quite frankly I really don’t want to.  Very little would make me happier than for the peaceful and rational Muslim countries and elements within countries to rise up against the elements not just bringing their entire culture down, but attempting to destroy other cultures as well.  But when Turkey, a NATO country, a European country, a country touted as moderate Muslim state displays this degree of disrespect and heartlessness towards innocent victims, purely because they are not Muslim, we get a clear picture of how serious this global situation really is.

Turkey in itself is a major problem.  It’s Prime Minister shows a passionate hatred for Israel and its government, practically standing on a proverbial mountaintop and shouting to the world how evil its Jewish leadership is, but when well over 100 people get slaughtered in Paris I can’t find a comment from him anywhere. Many suspected ISIS terrorists who come from European countries and the United States are found to make passage through Turkey. To be clear, the battle against ISIS doesn’t really get serious until Turkey is held accountable for its actions and failure to take proper actions.

But here is the reason this reflects so poorly on the entire Muslim world.  Reza Aslan gets in front of the news media, battles what he calls undue bigotry against Muslims, and touts Turkey as an example of one of the decent, more tolerant countries.  Mr. Aslan, if Turkey is one of the good guys, the problem is not how we perceive Islam, the problem is what you perceive as good.  One thing I know for sure, booing during a moment of silence and shouting the same phrase used by a terrorist before he guns down scores of people or blows himself up does more to harm Islam’s image than anything Bill Maher can say. Until People like Reza Aslan understand that, we as a global society are just spinning our wheels and deteriorating into what will be a total catastrophe, not just for us but for Muslims as well.

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Open Letter to Mehdi Hassan in response to his letter to “Free Speech Fundamentalists” in the Huffington Post

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Dear Mehdi,

I am not Islamophobic.  I am also not a liberal pundit.  I am however a Jewish American Zionist who is opposed to any extremism that leads to violence against innocents.  Although I know you are not Jewish and would guess there is a better than fair chance that you are not a Zionist,  if I am to take you on your word in this letter, you are opposed to extremist violence against innocents. However, unfortunately like too many other decent Muslims, I believe you are missing a crucial point in your argument.  The concerns you have revolve around circumstances created by fellow Muslims, not the liberal hypocrites you feel the need to attack in your letter.

CLICK HERE TO READ MEHDI HASSAN’S LETTER

I think there are those who are standing up and screaming for free speech that are indeed hypocrites.  I do not however feel that they are the problem, nor do I believe that you are utilizing your time in the best manner possible by using this moment to expose their flaws.  This letter you wrote is the first thing I have ever seen written by you.  I do not know how much time you have spent on the more critical aspects of the global crisis we find ourselves in today.  I accept and appreciate how devastated you were personally by the awful acts of terrorism in Paris.  It is for this reason that I write to you with a degree of respect.  However, I believe it is critical for you to understand Mehdi, that the entire narrative is generated by the vicious behavior of more than a few Muslims.  And what I hope you realize, is that my making that statement does not make me Islamophobic.  I would be happy to meet you, shake your hand, have a drink or lunch and have a nice conversation.  I would look at it no differently than getting together with anyone else for the first time.  You being a Muslim does not make me see you automatically as a threat  or a problem.  That would make me Islamophobic.  Being honest about the reality of our world today, albeit harsh, does not.

How does this connect to your issues with what you call the Free Speech fundamentalists?  Unfortunately it is very simple and very basic.  They are not murdering anyone.  They are not trying to stop people’s activities at all costs regardless of the carnage or loss of human life. I’ve seen very little of the product to come out of Charlie Hebdo. Why? Because it is irrelevant in what should be the discussion today?  If I were to play devil’s advocate and say the creators of the product produced by Charlie Hebdo were and are offensive and disgusting, that would be a very minor infraction compared to murder.  Making offensive cartoons is not a crime punishable by death.  As you know and have stated.

You are fed up?  So am I. I am fed up by those who believe that a proponent of free speech who verbally attacks those whose viewpoints they despise are considered to be against free speech themselves.  That is hogwash.  I write Open Letters, many a lot harsher than this one, all the time.  Sometimes I am insulting, demeaning, and even downright nasty.  But I have never threatened one person with physical harm nor do I ever encourage or belong to any organization that does encourage physical harm, even to those I know hate me just for being Jewish.  Instead I exercise my free speech to expose them for what they are, and do my best to help encourage a verbal process that makes them shut up.  But let’s be honest Mehdi, there is a lot more chance of this letter generating a threat against my safety than there is of your letter generating one against yours.

All actions have consequences and words have responses.  If I attempt to drown your words either through my words or a process, I am not opposing free speech.  Instead I am using my free speech to battle you in the appropriate and civilized manner.  As I know you to believe as well, violence is neither an appropriate nor civilized manner in which to silence someone and someone who holds that same opinion is not a hypocrite just because in their expression of their free speech they say something we find ignorant or abhorrent. It just gives us the opportunity to oppose them in the same manner. Unless what they say promotes violence, in which case I think we would both agree they are not on our level.

Some of your points I believe to be valid and some points I disagree with vehemently, but I only truly take issue with what I consider is your moving the narrative in a wrong direction, and for that reason I hope you reconsider your approach.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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Paris at War

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There are now 2 reported hostage situations in Paris including a Kosher grocery store.  The hostage takers in the supermarket, a Muslim couple, have threatened to kill the hostages unless the authorities release the Kouachi brothers.  Now, do we have any question as to whether or not this is a coordinated effort? Do we still want to question whether or not this is a war taking place against civilization of which Paris is today’s ground zero?  And most importantly, do we still wish to dance around the fact that this is indeed a Muslim problem?  People who know me well know that I am the furthest thing from a bigot.  That doesn’t make me blind or stupid.  The world is under attack from Muslim extremists, and as I have said before, the time will come when a world leader or some group of people have had enough.  When that time comes claims of Islamophobia will mean nothing if those who cry foul then do nothing now.

Things are bad today, but they will only get worse unless those who can effect change stand up now.  Soon it will be too late.

For the record, I am an optimist by nature.

 

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The Increasingly Rapid Destruction of Freedom

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Anyone with any degree of normalcy and decency is of course horrified for the victims and families of the victims of today’s terrorist attack in Paris.   That being said, if people continue to deny the realities of the situation, what happened today will become increasingly more commonplace.

What we are witnessing is an attack on global freedom.  Working in a satirical magazine’s office should not be a dangerous job. However, forces within the Muslim world are choosing to make it one, and to deny that fact is tantamount to folding up the tent and running away.  As a Jew, and specifically as an American Jew, whether I speak up or remain silent I am ultimately in some danger anyway.  But for a citizen of France or any other western country who is not Jewish, their life is now clearly threatened by what they say or do in the name of freedom. Most importantly, this may have happened in Paris, but it was an attack on anyone on the planet who dares to make statements offensive to Muslims.

Earlier today I heard someone on CNN make the comment, and I paraphrase, “Muslims find killing innocent people abhorrent”.  I found it to be an interesting statement and predictably unchallenged on CNN.  Let’s assume his comment to be true. The problem with the statement is, what do radical Muslims consider innocent?  Is someone who commits blasphemy against Islam innocent in their eyes? If not, this commentators comments indirectly and possibly unintentionally justify today’s attack.  The other problem with this statement is very simply put, it is too little too late.

The comparisons between Nazi Germany and radical Muslim are becoming more and more prevalent.  For the most part this is due to the behaviors of those most vicious.  Sadly there needs to be one more comparison made.  Until Germany was not only defeated, but crushed, we did not have the luxury of distinguishing between good Germans and bad ones.  The only distinction was between those Germans fighting against the Nazis and those either staying neutral or participating in their activities.  If Muslims want to avoid Islamophobia and ultimately global catastrophe, they need to stand up against the evil within their midst.  It is no longer enough to assume that we know you don’t support murder.  You need to fight it with the rest of us.  If you do not, there will come a time when you will be victims of the same evil, albeit from the source or from those reacting to the source.

This is of course a much more complicated battle to fight than the battle against Nazi Germany.  After all, that evil was centralized in one country, while this evil has tentacles reaching all over the world.  But it must be fought, because ultimately it looks to encompass all those who cherish freedom and tolerance and subsequently may be the greatest global danger we’ve ever seen. I am certain it has already made many fearful of expressing their views, something that can only be seen as a victory for the enemy.

I know this attack was reportedly committed by only 3 men, but make no mistake, culpability falls on a large percentage of the Muslim world, for it is now no longer enough to meekly say you don’t like it once it has already happened.  The burden now falls on those claiming to cherish peace, to demand and fight for peace. Otherwise those words are hollow shells that do nothing to improve the situation.  Otherwise how do we even know you truly want a peaceful and tolerant world?

Peace, freedom and tolerance have no religion or passport. Those who truly want it, want it for everyone and will stand up to their own in order to make it happen.  We no longer have the luxury of assuming those who claim to want this freedom actually do if they do nothing to help make it happen.  Just as we couldn’t hope the quiet Germans didn’t support Adolph Hitler.  Had we assumed otherwise, freedom would have been destroyed many years ago.  Let’s not allow it to be destroyed today.

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Muslim Stop and Frisk Video:Hoax to “Create Awareness”

hoaxTwo bloggers in New York posted a video  showing a New York City Police Officer stopping and frisking 2 Muslim men in what appears to be a blatant example of racial profiling.  One problem.  It never happened.  (CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO) The 2 men fabricated the whole thing to, as they put it, “create awareness”.   Naturally The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) ran with this and tweeted the video without verification so they too could of course help “create awareness”.  Far too often we see the Muslim community more focused on creating a comfortable environment for everyone, including those who commit acts of violence than on stopping the perpetrators.  This result may not always be the intention, but in attempting to curtail the actions of law enforcement at this point in time, that is exactly what it is doing.

This once again speaks to the major problem existing within elements of the Muslim community.  Within days of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Ottawa, and New York City, killing a 3 month old baby, a 25-year-old Canadian soldier, and seriously wounding a NY City police officer, these men are focusing on what they call unfair treatment of their fellow Muslims.  Although I personally am very pro-police, live a day without them and then come talk to me, I am also aware they are far from perfect.  I realize that like any other established group there are bad people within their ranks.  However, if these 2 bloggers were really concerned about the common good they would work harder on creating awareness within their own community.  Maybe then they could help create an environment more pleasant for everyone, not only Muslims.

If they want to help their community, they should organize a rally against terrorism.  They should help the police identify radicals and terrorists.  They should speak out against anti-Americanism anti-Semitism.  For them to make their focus today be on how police treat Muslims is not only missing the point, it’s making a negative statement.  It’s a statement that the comfort of their community take precedence over the safety and well-being of the overall community.

 

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I only Hate Muslims when they Hate me

Pro Palestinian protester burns an Israeli flag during banned demonstration in support of Gaza in central ParisWhy is it not being called what it is?  Why the pretense that this is something far less specific than it is?  Why are people not identifying those responsible?  Over the past few months we’ve been hearing a lot about the increase of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States. Although it’s been far worse recently, the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment is hardly a new development, particularly in some notable parts of Europe.  Cities like Paris, Antwerp, and Malmo, Sweden have been notorious for increasing incidents of vandalism and violence against Jews for quite some time now.  If you hear the reports, it clearly sounds like the Jewish people are becoming increasingly unwelcome in the European community.  There’s a catch though.  It’s not the overall European community primarily guilty of this expression of hatred. From all accounts most of the hatred is coming from within the Muslim community.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article in which I renounced my status as a Liberal.(CLICK TO READ) This issue is one of the reasons I’ve done so.  I have friends and acquaintances that still do call themselves liberal who are not squeamish when it comes to identifying the root source of the danger to the Jewish people, but there are many within the liberal community who would turn around and call this article the epitome of Islamophobia.  Those are the ones  I know longer align myself with.  Call it what you like, but it’s no phobia.  A phobia is something irrational.  I don’t hate a person because they’re Muslim.  But I do hate a person who hates me, those like me, and anyone else who doesn’t think like them.    That’s not irrational, that’s logical.  Interactions I’ve had in the past with Muslims who wanted an equal relationship have proven that I indeed do not have some automatic dislike because of what religion they were born into. That goes against everything I believe in.  But that also doesn’t prevent me from identifying the sad truth, and that is that an overwhelming percentage of anti-Jewish sentiment in the world today comes from within the Muslim population.

Although the BDS  Movement has non-Muslim followers and participants due to its excellent and cynical marketing, it’s a group formed by a Palestinian. Anti-Jewish demonstrations and violence against Jews in Paris consist primarily of Algerian Muslims.  Anti-Jewish behavior in Holland comes primarily from Moroccan Muslims.  One third of the population of Malmo is Muslim.  Is it a coincidence this small and once cute city in Sweden that I visited with my parents and sister in 1976 is a powder keg of anti-Semitism?

Although there is an element within the so-called liberal elite behind some of the anti-Israel activities on college campuses in the U.S., I have no doubt you would find that at the very least a significant number of those active against Israel in these institutes of higher learning are Muslim.

Here’s the point people conveniently miss.  No one is happy about this.  We want to hear the Muslims within these cities and institutions take a stand against hatred. But where are they?  Where is their voice?  These people would be my friends. They would be my partners in moving towards a better world, and in return it would be easy and enjoyable for me to respect and support them in whatever life they might choose to live, be it Muslim or something else.  But that element within the Muslim community is silent, most likely out of fear, and therefore missing the opportunity to alter the perception that all Muslims feel that way.  You see, if I was guilty of Islamophobia, I might say all Muslims feel this way.  But I don’t.  At the same time I am not willing to deny the basic truth, and that is that if you took the Muslims out of the equation, we most likely wouldn’t even be talking about anti-Semitism today.

It’s time we accepted the truth.  It will catch up with us whether we do or not. The funny thing about reality is that it doesn’t go away just because you ignore it.  If anything, when the reality is that one large group of people is out to get you, if you ignore it, it only gets worse.

 

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The 9/11 Scenarios and WWIII

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WARNING: Some may find the content of this article very disturbing.

As 9/11 approaches, tensions always rise.  This year however, the tensions are even higher than in previous years.  With the emergence of ISIS and growing Jihadist movements in nations like Somalia, Nigeria and Libya, the fear that there will be attempts on western interests and cities has increased significantly.

The big question always is, how do you distinguish between credible threats and sensationalist theories? At what point does it become too much.  Yes we all need to be vigilant, but we also need to be careful that we don’t make everyone crazy.  This is an issue I am considering even as I write this piece. At what point am I going from providing a service to doing damage to the morale of good people?

There are two types of people making statements.  Those with sources and knowledge, and those with theories and ideas.  I fall into the second category. When I discuss this coming September 11th I do so based on what I see, what I think, and what theories I believe to be realistic and often even likely. Personally, and I know I am not alone on this one, I see this September 11th as being the most dangerous one since the attacks in 2001.  We have already been attacked by ISIS through the very murders of 2 American journalists. But with some of the theories out there, as the day approaches it becomes more and more difficult to feel safe.

The first of the 2 most prominent concerns is the report that states that information was recovered from a laptop indicating that Muslim terrorists were looking to create a way of weaponizing the Bubonic plague, something that could result in horrifying deaths in mass numbers.  The second of the concerns revolves around the report that as many as 11, yes I said 11 commercial airlines have gone missing from the airport in Tripoli, Libya, a city recently capture by Jihadists.  If this is the case, and there are 11 enormous weapons out there with their sights on population centers, the potential outcome is indeed terrifying.  It is at this point in writing I decided to place a warning in the beginning of the piece, because as I write this I too feel intense fear at what might happen.  To be honest, even if it is attempted and thwarted it is still terrifying.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  World War III has already begun. However, since it is unlike the first 2 World Wars it is very difficult to clearly identify it for what it is.  But I will try to simplify it.  Muslim extremism is attempting to take over the world and to do so as violently as possible.  There is an enemy that is taking it to everyone, and only the amount of deaths is what stands in the way of people calling this a World War.  A detail I believe they have every intention of trying to change very soon.  This is not Islamophobia, this is fact based on their own admissions and actions.  I believe it is accelerating a little faster than they wanted it to, but if the world doesn’t take appropriate action, it won’t matter if they were ready to move forward or not.  I hope I am wrong.  I hope, no I pray to God that nothing happens on September 11, that Israel will be safe, and that the good countries of the world work together to stem the tide of hatred and violence.  But if I am right, God help us all.

 

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