Sunday, 5 August 2012

What if ............

..........  all these occurred in a Muslim country or were voiced by Muslims?  (And we know there's no shortage of space and time for the international media to ferret out Muslim miscreants and misdemeanours.)

1.  Ben-Ari, an orthodox Jew and an Israeli lawmaker tore up the Bible and 'then posed for photographs' with the dismembered Holy Book (July 18 2012).

The reason?  The copy of the New Testament was mailed to him by Christian missionaries.  Ben-Ari stated millions of Jews were slaughtered in the name of the Bible.

"Many Christians over the centuries persecuted Jews, holding them responsible for Jesus' crucifixion."

2.  An American brewery company had to apologise for naming beer after the Hindu Goddess Kali  (May 15 2012).  'Kali-ma', a wheat ale spiced with cardamon, fenugreek, cumin and peppers had the picture of the Goddess with four arms and three severed heads on the label.

"The demand was made in Rajya Sabha that US Ambassador to India should be summoned and asked to apologize for it."

3.  In the picturesque town of Newquay in Cornwall, the Newquay Safe Partnership ran a "No Nonsense"  campaign  (July 2011)  to ensure an improvement in the town's atmosphere.  With the aid of the Police they took a tough approach to offensive T-shirts, sexually explicit antics and under-age drinking.  433 cans and bottles of alcohol  (mostly bought by the parents of under-age teenagers) were seized.  "Five 16-year-old girls were sent home to their families in Bristol after being found drunk."

"Newquay welcomes everyone who behaves considerately and respects our world-class seaside resort, our residents and other visitors."

Well said.  Put it right there, mate!!

WARNING :  This link shows a picture which readers may find offensive: of the popular British comedian Baron Sacha Cohen - who capitalizes on mocking and vulgarizing foreign culture as his comic repertore - in a mankini.

4.  To add grist to the mill, here's well-known British actress Joanna Lumley criticizing the dressing of young British women  (15 July 2012) .  "A lot of people have started to dress like lap dancers   ...... that they should follow the example of the Duchess of Cambridge  (Prince William's wife)  - who always looks beautiful, graceful and elegant."

Better you saying that Miss Lumley than we Muslim women.  However I would dare her to say that to a group of women in a working-class pub in Middlesborough!

Talking of women and garments.  In April 2004, after a protest by Buddhists, a bikini lined with images of the Buddha was taken off the market without a whimper by the American retailer 'Victoria's Secret".  Remember the furore when Muslims complained about the display of the Prophet's image?

Isn't it nice to know that we are not alone in our sense of sensitivities?

5.  "Jesus loves nukes":  US Air Force taught the Christian Just War Theory" - in an article in The Telegraph  (4 August 2011).  At Vandenburg Air Force Base, for 20 years, this was taught by the Chaplains.

Instructors quoted St. Augustine's just cause for war, telling them it was right "to avenge or to avert evil, to protect the innocent and restore moral and social order."
They also recounted how, in the Book of Genesis, Abraham had organized an army to rescue Lot, and how there were "Old Testament believers who engaged war in a righteous way."  Officers were also told that in  (the Book of )  Judges, God is "motivating judges to fight and deliver Israel from foreign oppressors,"  and that there was "no pacifistic sentiment in mainstream Jewish history"
In the New Testament, they were told, Jesus used the Roman centurion as a "positive illustration of faith."  One slide read:  "Revelation 19:11 Jesus Christ is the mighty warrior."
The course literature also quoted Werner von Braun, the leading German rocket scientist who went to work for the United States after the Second World War, saying that it was a 'moral' decision to surrender his technology to the US.


However bits of the content of this seemingly critical  article need to be scrutinised for 'accuracy'.  Braun was not just concerned with the 'moral '  order- which in itself  seems so praiseworthy.  This is actually what he said : "we felt that only by surrendering such a weapon to people who are guided by the Bible could ..... an assurance to the world be best secured." 

I suppose this is why Iran's nuclear ambition has to be neutered or bombed to bits.

The Course at Vanderburg Air Force Base was 'outed' and stopped - but it was like locking the stable door after the Christian Fundamentalist Horses had bolted.

Now, what do these American Centurions get up to in their War for the Moral Order?

On 6 July 2012 we learn of a video that 'appears'  (the liberal Guardian are always cagey about attributing culpability to western atrocities in the Middle East)  "to show a US Helicopter crew singing 'Bye-bye Miss American Pie' before blasting a group of Afghan men with a Hellfire missile.
The footage comes in the wake of a string of  'damaging''  (another coy word)  videos and pictures showing US forces   urinating on the bodies of dead insurgents, and posing with the remains of suicide bombers and civilians killed for sport by a group of 'rogue'  ( another white-wash word) soldiers."


6.  Last but not least .......

Buddhist monk in Burma making a statement about fellow-Burmese
The Muslim Rohingyas in Burma have been at the receiving end of a campaign led by Buddhist monks where people are told not to associate themselves with this 'cruel by nature' community who are devising plans to 'exterminate other ethnic' groups.  But this demonisation of the Rohingyas is not something new.  The Rohingyas, who have lived in Burma for centuries have been victims of persecution by the military junta for years.  In 1982  they were stripped of their citizenship by the military government and they suffered the 'real' diaspora of seeking shelter in Bangla Desh and in Malaysia when their presence was greatly noticed in the mid-1980s. 

Note the Independent's choice of the word 'shunned'.  It's rather a fluffy word to apply in this context where the tactic of the monks is to deny humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas in overcrowded refugee camps.  Their motives are no different from that of the Government's policy to 'segregate and expel the 800,000 minority'.  This is not 'shunning'.  This is 'persecuting'!

Perhaps the western media have a large store of affection for Buddhist monks who have been at the forefront of the campaign for democracy in Burma and Tibet.  And of course the smiling and jovial visage of the Dalai Lama contributes to this inability to call a spade a spade.

As for The Lady Aung San Suu Kyi, I'm reading for the first time a criticism of her for failing to speak out for the 'human rights' of the Rohingyas.

What if all the above took place in a Muslim country or were perpetrated by the followers of Islam?  That's really a rhetorical question because bad news about 'bad' Muslims is common fodder for the print and electronic media.  Now and then though, in the nooks and crannies of the media I manage to find fragments which give a wider perspective.  However, even such  news located in the mainstream media has to be picked over carefully especially in their choice of verbs and adjectives and also in the slant of the content.


Anonymous said...

dear maam,
I am in concurrence with your writing about Muslims. Christians and Monks and the so called Aung San Su Kyi. It is all double standards. Nobody bothers about Muslims including the rich Muslim countries. Just expressing my feelings.

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Anonymous 5:18,

Thank you.

I completely agree with everything you wrote, especially about the culpability of the rich Muslim countries.

I met this Parsi ayurvedic doctor in Bombay many years ago and he told me this : " Islam is a great religion. It's a shame about the Muslims!"