The Religious Element of Terrorism

The history of religions especially monotheistic ones such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam are rife with examples of cruelty, war and even genocide done in God’s name. So should people avoid the phrase “Islamic terrorism,” asks William Blum.

By William Blum

Is it terrorism or is it religion? Does the question matter?

From the early days of America’s “War on Terror,” and even before then, I advocated seeing terrorists as more than just mindless, evil madmen from another planet. I did not believe they were motivated by hatred or envy of American freedom or democracy, or of American wealth, secular government or culture, although George W. Bush dearly wanted us to believe that.

The Qu'ran

The Koran

The terrorists were, I maintained, driven by decades of terrible things done to their homelands by U.S. foreign policy. There should be no doubt of this I wrote, for there are numerous examples of Middle East terrorists explicitly citing American policies as the prime motivation behind their actions. And it worked the same all over the world.

In the period of the 1950s to the 1980s in Latin America, in response to a long string of outrageous Washington interventions, there were countless acts of terrorism against U.S. diplomatic and military targets as well as the offices of U.S. corporations. 9/11 was a globalized version of the Columbine High School disaster. When you bully people long enough they are going to strike back.

In 2006, Osama bin Laden was inspired to tell Americans to read my book Rogue State because it contained the following and other similar thoughts of mine: “If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize very publicly and very sincerely to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism.”

So does this mean that I support ISIS? Absolutely not. I think they’re one of the most disgusting collections of supposed humans in all of history. But I’m surprised at how often those who are highly critical of them, and supportive of the movement to defeat them, are very reluctant to denounce ISIS as a religious force; this, apparently, would be politically incorrect.

Shortly after the terrible Nov. 13 events in Paris I was watching the French English-language TV station France 24, which presented a round-table discussion of what happened in Paris amongst four or five French intellectual types. Not one of them expressed a negative word about Islam; it was all sociology, politics, economics, psychology, history, Western oppression, etc., etc. Hadn’t any of them ever heard any of the perpetrators or their supporters cry out “Allahu Akbar”?

I then read a detailed review of an article by Thomas Piketty, the French author of the much-acclaimed 700-page opus Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the international best-seller of last year. According to the review in Le Monde, Piketty said that inequality is a major driver of Middle Eastern terrorism, including the Paris attacks, and that Western nations have themselves largely to blame for that inequality.

Terrorism that is rooted in inequality, he maintains, is best combated economically. Not a word about Muhammad in the Seventh Century, Sharia Law in the Twenty-first Century, or anything in between.

Next, by contrast, we turn to an interview with Mizanur Rahman, one of social media’s most famous promoters of the Islamic State, whom Britain and the U.S. consider to be a recruiter for ISIS. British authorities closely monitor his movements and have taken his passport. He wears a court-mandated electronic ankle bracelet.

Rahman is known for his thousands of tweets and Facebook posts, and fiery lectures on YouTube, intended to inspire vulnerable young people. He openly advocates for a global caliphate, a homeland ruled by Islamic sharia law, which he says is a superior political, legal and economic system to democracy.

The Islamic State’s black flag will one day fly over the White House he insists, adding that the militants will probably conquer Washington by military force, but he watches his words carefully to avoid being accused of advocating violence. Still, he argues, the concept of spreading Islam by force is no less honorable than Western countries invading Iraq or Afghanistan to spread democracy. [I wonder if he really believes that Western foreign policy has anything to do with spreading democracy.]

Rahman called last month’s Islamic State attacks in Paris “an inevitable consequence” of French participation in coalition airstrikes against the militants’ de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria.

“I don’t think anybody should really be surprised at what happened,” he said. “In war, people bomb each other. I think it’s an opportunity for the French people to empathize with the people in Raqqa, who suffer very similar impact whenever the French airstrikes hit them the civilian casualties, the shock, the stress. The anger that they must be feeling toward the Islamic State right now is the same kind of anger that the people of Iraq and Syria feel towards France.”

He argues that it is no worse for the Islamic State to behead American journalists than for the United States to kill Muslim civilians in drone strikes.

“I’m promoting sharia because I think it’s the best,” Rahman, a former accountant and web designer, said in the London coffee shop interview. “I think it is better than what we have, and what is wrong with saying that?” (Nothing unless you enjoy music, sex and alcohol and find praying five times a day highly oppressive.)

In August, Rahman was charged in Britain with “inviting support” for the Islamic State, and he faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He is free on bail under strict conditions, including the ankle bracelet.

Rahman called the allegations against him ridiculous and anti-Muslim persecution. He said that he has done nothing more than preach the virtues of Islam and that he has never specifically recruited anyone to join the Islamic State or urged anyone to commit violence.

“Islam is more than just a book with an old story. It’s actually a code for life,” he said, adding that Islam is a blueprint for everything from personal hygiene to international relations. “It’s not just some medieval rantings.”

Rahman’s first arrest was in February 2002, when he was fined 50 pounds for defacing posters for a pop band that featured scantily clad women, something he considered indecent. (But forcing women to walk around fully covered from head to toe, with only their eyes showing, is not indecent? And what woman in the entire world would dress like that without great pressure from a male-dominated society?)

Peter Neumann, head of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College in London stated that Rahman is skilled at persuading Muslims that it is their religious obligation to swear allegiance to the Islamic State leader, arguing that God wants the world united under a caliphate, without ever overtly calling for them to move to Syria or Iraq. [How, we must ask, does Rahman know what God wants? There are countless individuals all over the world confined to institutions for committing violence which, they insisted, was in response to God talking to them.]

The couple in California The only explanation my poor pagan mind can offer for their unspeakable behavior is “martyrdom.” They knew that their action would, in all likelihood, result in their death and they believed what they had been taught oh so profoundly taught in the Koran and drummed into their heads elsewhere like only religion can that for martyrs there are heavenly rewards in the afterlife forever.

“With or without religion, good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do bad things that takes religion.” Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize-winning physicist

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others. [This article originally appeared at the Anti-Empire Report,  http://williamblum.org/ .]

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30 comments for “The Religious Element of Terrorism

  1. Abbybwood
    December 8, 2015 at 8:19 pm
    • December 9, 2015 at 4:36 am

      And an interesting article about Christianity as a “mind virus”:

      http://www.bidstrup.com/virus.htm

    • M Awan
      December 13, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Very interesting indeed, especially the language, logic and evidence provided is of very high standard. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Abe
    December 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    William Blum asks some important questions about the religious element of terrorism.

    Reading the editor’s preface paragraph, one might expect a discussion of the “history of religions – especially monotheistic ones such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam”, a history “rife with examples of cruelty, war and even genocide done in God’s name”.

    However, contrary to the preface paragraph, Blum’s article mentions the name of only one religion (16 times): Islam.

    Nary a mention of Christianity. Definitely no mention of Judaism in connection with terror.

    I suppose he “forgot”.

    Well, no matter.

    “Is it terrorism or is it religion? Does the question matter?” asks Blum.

    Actually, Blum insists that it’s really not about religion.

    He helps us “remember” the reality of all those “Middle East terrorists explicitly citing American policies as the prime motivation behind their actions”.

    You see, all this terror is really about people who just so happen to live in Islamic countries, who do terrible things because they are “driven by decades of terrible things done to their homelands by U.S. foreign policy”.

    One important question that Blum “forgets” to ask is:

    On whose behalf were terrible things done to their homelands by U.S. foreign policy?

    A clue may be found in Blum’s previous article, where he raised some important questions for President Obama.

    Notable among them was the very important question:

    “Does the fact that ISIS never attacks Israel raise any question in your mind?”

    Blum quickly moved on to ask: “Does it concern you that Turkey […] provides medical care to wounded ISIS soldiers? Or that ISIS deals its oil on Turkish territory?”

    I noticed how Blum “forgot” some equally important questions:

    Does it concern you that Israel provides medical care to wounded al-Qaeda soldiers?

    Or that Israel buys ISIS oil transferred from Turkish territory?

    Or that an Israeli colonel was captured while aiding ISIS in Iraq?

    Perhaps Blum will “remember” to ask a few of these important questions in some future article.

    Because the questions do matter.

    • dahoit
      December 10, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Blums piece has logic,but to me this is all just plain blowback,from our idiotic evil manipulations of their politics,and stupid readjustments which kill millions.Of course they hate US,and rightfully so.
      I’m still unsure of ISUS being the ultimate evil,as yes blowing people to smithereens with drones eclipses personal execution any day.They are the appropriate level of blowback.We are screwing with the wrong people.If they want to live medieval(in our view,to them its civilization) times,its up to them,not US.And the women covering up,precludes them being objects of sexual desire,unlike todays modern western worship of beauty which makes women sex objects totally belying feminism,with women having facelifts and cosmetic surgery(men too!)to appear glamorous and sexually attractive.(like whores).
      And yeah Israel ,today nutty yahoo condemns trumps calling for Muslim travel ban.Man,are they master manipulators of the peniclitoral idiots association or what?
      They ran a story in the lying times about US expanding bases in Africa.The people spoke,and they said nyet!nein!no!The sleepers are awakening.
      Now we need someone to vote for who feels like US.

    • Bob
      December 11, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      ABE, YOU ARE SO RIGHT.

      Good job, Abe! You are so right!!

      I agree with you.

      Blum is just circling the wagons but will not mention the biggest terroristic cult–the Judaists.

      • Abe
        December 12, 2015 at 6:40 pm

        Unfortunately, Bob, your use of the propagandist phrase “biggest terroristic cult” veers into the discourse of racist and religious bigotry.

        Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are not “terroristic cults”, although there are terroristic cultists who have claim affiliation with these religions.

        And Zionism (both Jewish and Christian) has had terroristic cultist affiliates.

        As mentioned previously, Consortium News is frequently targeted by Hasbara (Hebrew: הַסְבָּרָה‎ hasbará, “explaining”) propagandist trolls who attempt to derail any discussion of Zionist terrorism, or Israel’s collusion with the United States in “regime change” projects from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

        Hasbara tactics of deception include:

        1) accusing anyone who offers legitimate criticism of Israel or Zionism of being “anti-Semitic”, and

        2) deliberately posting incendiary comments, such as links to “anti-Semitic” and “Holocaust denial” material, or remarks containing racist and religiously bigoted language.

        Fortunately, Consortium News readers are alert to these Hasbara propagandist smear tactics.

        I hope you’ll agree with me, Bob, about the value of mindfulness in the comments.

  3. Mortimer
    December 8, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    The Jews of Khazaria
    by Kevin Alan Brook
    Review by: Seth Ward
    The Jewish Quarterly Review
    Vol. 91, No. 3/4 (Jan. – Apr., 2001), pp. 523-525
    Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

  4. Abe
    December 8, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Mort: Surely you’re aware that posting links to Freedman’s infamous rant about “Jewish machinations to gain power over our nation” is a favorite diversion tactic employed by Hasbara trolls to distract attention from legitimate criticism of Israel and the real, factual workings of the Israel lobby.

    Likewise, Brook’s study of Khazarian culture is very far from the matter at hand.

    • Mortimer
      December 8, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      Abe – I hear Freedman’s talk as historical fact, not diversion.
      Actual fact cannot be spun, or is truth a useful distraction?

      Did Freedman misrepresent truth or orate a progression of provable facts?

      Please point me to the error or misinformation in his speech, if you will.
      I’ll gladly stand corrected.

      Kharzaria is viable as applies to Bibi Netanyahu and Ashkenazi Zionism as not truly National (old testament) Jews.

      • Abe
        December 8, 2015 at 11:38 pm

        Historical fact?

        Here is the beginning of the notorious speech “given before a patriotic audience in 1961” by Freedman:

        “Now, first of all, I’d like to tell you that on August 25th 1960 — that was shortly before elections — Senator Kennedy, who is now the President of the United States, went to New York, and delivered an address to the Zionist Organization of America. In that address, to reduce it to its briefest form, he stated that he would use the armed forces of the United States to preserve the existence of the regime set up in Palestine by the Zionists who are now in occupation of that area.”

        Here is Kennedy’s actual speech from August 26th 1960:
        http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=74217

        Kennedy asked, “why should not the people of Israel receive the blessings available to them from association with the Arab world? When we think of the possibilities of this association, an emotion of soaring hope replaces our somber anxieties about the Middle East.”

        There was no statement by Kennedy that he would “use the armed forces of the United States to preserve the existence of the regime set up in Palestine by the Zionists”. Kennedy spoke of peace and prosperity for the whole Middle East, a concept that has been abandoned by American presidents in lieu of endless “Peace Processes”.

        Freeman was a liar and a frank anti-Jewish bigot.

        Moving on, Mort.

  5. Christene
    December 9, 2015 at 12:16 am

    On Dec. 4th, an international coalition of Muslims stood before the National Press club in Washington D.C. and announced the launch of their new initiative, the Muslim Reform Movement. Here was a group of Muslims standing up and declaring “war” on the Islamists and jihadists who have politicized and hijacked the faith that they love for political gain. One would think that, given the times we find ourselves in, giving voice to those who are on the front lines of the jihadist threat would be a priority for the press. But nope! It barely registered a blip in the manic news cycle we are in. This is a prime example of the duplicitous, agenda driven news media that the American public is left with. So, somebody how we get a responsible national dialogue going in the cesspool we are forced to wallow in?

  6. Erik
    December 9, 2015 at 7:01 am

    The article criticizes only Islam while pretending to defend freedom of thought. It does not mention the “thought crimes” established by most other religions, nor their condoning of attacks upon civilian populations of non-believers throughout history.

    Blum’s choice of a representative of religious freedom under Islam was clearly intended to argue that this causes problems for others, and he makes this the real thesis of his article. As a Jew, his restriction of citations to Jews (Neumann and Weinberg) shows lack of independence of thought on his part.

  7. Brad Owen
    December 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks for pointing out JFK’s intentions. He was gearing up to go where FDR wanted to go in post-war era (but his time ran out…may also have been poisoned on the Cruiser-trip home). He was going to finish up the process of breaking up the various Euro-Empires (after German, Italian, Japanese in WWII…mainly British, French, Dutch in post-war), liberating the fellow-colonies of these Empires, bringing them up to sovereign nation status in a United family of Nations, and see to their development and modernization with the help of the three giant Republics (USA, Soviet Socialist Republics, Republic of China). JFK was going to continue along those lines with Peace Corps-type activities, AND push back against the Deep State (mainly a Wall Street/City-of-London creation) apparatus that Ike warned about (Ike had Grant’s disease; things in politics aren’t as clear as things on the battlefield…realized too late). JFK’s efforts got him killed. BRICS is now offering the World the same policy, hence the War-fever. If we crossed over the line to join them, that would end the Deep State Putsch and they would have to go very deep and dormant for a long while; until Time (and Deep State think tanks) erases, and new generations forget, the lessons. When I was a young man in construction, I remember an old guy in our crew who worked in Iraq with Peace Corps to teach machine tool skills to the Iraqis (the hey day of Baathist secular republicanism, foiled by CIA/MI6-type operations and their sponsored sectarian hot-head allies, the Muslim Brotherhood/ISIS/al queda sorts).

  8. Mortimer
    December 10, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Opposition to Zionism/Zionists does not make one a “Jew” hater, Abe. The Zionists are a deceitful, scheming group of manipulating politicians. Freedman’s listing of their machinations is simple exposure of the tactics they employed to secure a foothold in Palestine.
    The brutality and terror they’ve imposed of Palestinian People has been ongoing – from Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir to Sharon and Netanyahu, the policy of extermination has never abated. Likewise, their strangle-hold on US/UK policy makers is as the 900 pound elephant ever lurking over our government. Freedman does a masterful job exposing all of that.

    Zionism is not Judaism. The Ashkanazi are not the Jews of the land but are barbaric usurpers, cunning liars and opportunistic conspiracists.

    • Mortimer
      December 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Zionist Power: Swindlers and Impunity, Traitors and Pardons
      By James Petras
      Axis of Logic
      Tuesday, Dec 1, 2015

      Introduction
      Over two decades ago, Harvard political science professor, Samuel Huntington, argued that global politics would be defined by a ‘clash of civilizations’.
      His theories have found some of the most aggressive advocates among militant Zionists, inside Israel and abroad.

      http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_72348.shtml

    • Abe
      December 10, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Freedman makes no such distinctions. The phrase “the Jews” appears 46 times in his speech, and it ain’t meant as a compliment.

      Your use of the slur “Ashkanazi” kinda says it all, Mort.

      Freedman is a buffoon.

      James Petras is an intelligent critic of Zionism.

      The fact that you position them in the same comment thread reeks of Hasbara shite.

      • Mortimer
        December 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm

        Abe – “Your use of the slur “Ashkanazi” kinda says it all, Mort.”
        .

        Slur??? — what slur, Abe? – I don’t understand your argument… .

        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Ashkenazim.html

        In the 12th and 13th centuries, many Ashkenazi Jews became moneylenders. They were supported by the secular rulers who benefited from taxes imposed on the Jews. The rulers did not totally protect them, however, and blood libels cropped up accompanied by violence. In 1182, Jews were expelled from France. Ashkenazi Jews continued to build communities in Germany until they faced riots and massacres in the 1200s and 1300s. Some Jews moved to Sephardi Spain while others set up Ashkenazi communities in Poland.

        The center of Ashkenazi Jewry shifted to Poland, Lithuania, Bohemia and Moravia in the beginning of the 16th century. Jews were for the first time concentrated in Eastern Europe instead of Western Europe. Polish Jews adopted the Ashkenazi rites, liturgy, and religious customs of the German Jews. The Ashkenazi mahzor (holiday prayer book) included prayers composed by poets of Germany and Northern France. In Poland, the Jews became fiscal agents, tax collectors, estate managers for noblemen, merchants and craftsmen. In the 1500-1600s, Polish Jewry grew to be the largest Jewish community in the diaspora. Many Jews lived in shtetls, small towns where the majority of the inhabitants were Jewish. They set up kehillot like those in the Middle Ages that elected a board of trustees to collect taxes, set up education systems and deal with other necessities of Jewish life. The Jews even had their own craft guilds. Each kahal had a yeshiva, where boys over the age of 13 learned Talmudic and rabbinic texts. Yiddish was the language of oral translation and of discussion of Torah and Talmud. Ashkenazi scholars focused on careful readings of the text and also on summarizing legal interpretations of former Ashkenazi and Sephardi scholars of Jewish law.

        Ashkenazim focused on Hebrew, Torah and especially Talmud. They used religion to protect themselves from outside influences. The Jews at this time were largely middle class. By choice, they mostly lived in self-contained communities surrounding their synagogue and other communal institutions. Yiddish was the common language of Ashkenazi Jews in eastern and central Europe. With the start of the Renaissance and religious wars in the late 16th century, a divide grew between central and eastern European Jews. In central Europe, particularly in Germany, rulers forced the Jews to live apart from the rest of society in ghettos with between 100 and 500 inhabitants. The ghettos were generally clean and in good condition. Eastern European Jews lived in the shtetls, where Jews and gentiles lived side by side.

        In the 1600s and 1700s, Jews in Poland, the center of Ashkenazi Jewry, faced blood libels and riots. The growth of Hasidism in Poland drew many Jews away from typical Ashkenazi practice. After the Chmielnicki massacres in Poland in 1648, Polish Jews spread through Western Europe, some even crossing the Atlantic. Many Ashkenazi Polish Jews fled to Amsterdam and joined previously existing communities of German Jews. Sephardim there considered the Ashkenazim to be socially and culturally inferior. While the Sephardim were generally wealthy, the Ashkenazim were poor peddlers, petty traders, artisans, diamond polishers, jewelry workers and silversmiths. As the Sephardim became poorer in the 18th century, the communities became more equal and more united.

      • Abe
        December 11, 2015 at 4:47 pm

        “Ashkanazi” or “Ashka-Nazi” is a slur that anti-Jewish bigots use to refer to Ashkenazi Jewish people in general.

        Other anti-Jewish bigot code words include “Khazarians”, “not the Jews of the land”, “barbaric usurpers” and “cunning liars”.

        You, Mort, have used every one of these terms.

        A primary Hasbara tactic is to attempt to shift the language of the discussion away from specific actions of the Israeli government and Zionist organizations, and toward a bigoted discourse and blanket denigration of “the Jews” in general.

        • Mortimer
          December 11, 2015 at 9:10 pm

          Slur??? — what slur, Abe? – I don’t understand your argument… .

          The historic link from the Jewish Virtual Library gave a centuries old history of Ashkenazi Jewry. All the classic encyclopedias detail Khazari & Khazarians.
          Do we become anti Jewish bigots by referencing them?

          Your accusations here are highly offensive. I’m no more anti-Jewish than you, Abe, by pointing out the bigoted arrogance of Zionists.
          .

          The Jewish Virtual Library (JVL) relies on hundreds of history books, scientific studies, various encyclopedias, articles, archives, maps, and material from museums for its bibliography, and “takes a scholarly, independent approach” – as companies, individuals and foundations may become sponsors of wings of the Virtual Library.

          According to the JVL, the Library covers material that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, such as information about joint U.S.-Israel projects, and the treatment of Americans during the Holocaust. It explains that it received permission to use materials from the Library of Congress, from the American Jewish Historical Society, the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel), and Prime Minister’s Office, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin (author of Jewish Literacy), and dozens of other resources.

          The Library has 13 wings: History, Women, The Holocaust, Travel, Israel & The States, Maps, Politics, Biography, Israel, Religion, Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress and Vital Statistics and Reference. The JVL is constantly updating, changing and expanding, and includes more than 60,000 articles and nearly 10,000 photographs and maps related to Jewish history, Israel, Israel–United States relations, the Holocaust, antisemitism, and Judaism, as well as various statistics, information about politics, biographies, travel guides, and Jewish women throughout history. The website includes the complete text of the Tanakh and most of the Babylonian Talmud.

          The JVL contains many articles and studies conducted by AICE, principally involving American-Israeli cooperation. In addition, it has information about Israel education in America, including information about Israel Studies and course materials on Israel-related subjects. It also provides book and movie reviews, a “latest News” page, many publications, and a “Virtual Israel Experience” online project.

          Reception
          A PBS web page for the film The Jewish Americans lists the JVL as a resource “For Statistics and Analysis About Jews in America Today”, with the description, “A division of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, the Jewish Virtual Library is a comprehensive online Jewish encyclopedia, covering everything from Antisemitism to Zionism. More than 13,000 articles and 6,000 photographs and maps have been integrated into the site. Their Vital Statistics section has an exhaustive list of current statistics and comparative data.”

          The Jewish Virtual Library has been cited by CNN, New York Times, BBC, CBS News,Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Bloomberg, among others. It is listed as reference by academic libraries at Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, University of Washington, King’s College, London, and the University of Delaware.

          JVL states that it has received awards from Britannica Internet Guide Selection, USA Today Hot Site, and the Best of the Jewish Web from the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Academic Excellence Award from Study Web and others.

          John Jaeger, in an article published by the Association of College and Research Libraries, said of the JVL: “This library, once it is entered, is more like a living encyclopedia than it is anything else. One has options to click on, such as history, women, biography, politics, Israel, maps, and Judaic Treasures at the Library of Congress, with each launching a person into a different realm. The site is extremely well put together.” Karen Evans of Indiana State University wrote that the site is comprehensive, with “easily accessible, balanced information”.

          http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Ashkenazim.html

        • Abe
          December 12, 2015 at 2:28 am

          As is clear from my comments, I am not disputing the “bigoted arrogance of Zionists” in Israel and the United States.

          What is objectionable, Mort, is your use of generalized terms like “Ashkanazi” (a mis-spelling of Ashkenazi used widely in anti-Semitic literature), “Khazarians” (a popular but invalid theory — see below), “not the Jews of the land”, “barbaric usurpers” and “cunning liars” (phrases common in anti-Semitic literature), as well as your enthusiasm for Benjamin H. Freedman’s 1961 Willard Hotel Speech (where he rants about “the Jews”).

          When you refer to Jewish people using the exact same generalized terms as anti-Jewish bigoted morons, Mort, you appear to be an anti-Jewish bigoted moron at best, and a Hasbara troll at worst.

          If that ain’t you, simply knock it off with the use of those generalized terms.

          On the question of the alleged Khazar conversion to Judaism, the Jewish Virtual Library notes the following:

          “It was first suggested in the late 1800’s that Ashkenazi European Jews may have a link to the Turkic Khazars, as it was believed that nomadic Khazar leaders had converted to Judaism in the 8th or 9th century CE. This thesis that Jews were descended from Khazars was widely publicized in Tel Aviv University Professor Shlomo Sand’s 2008 book ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’. There has been no historical evidence provided for this conversion, but this idea is freely believed by the majority of the population. Hebrew University scholar and historian Professor Shaul Stampfer dedicated four years to researching this topic in depth and thoroughly from 2010-2014 and found that ‘the conversion of the Khazars is a myth with no factual basis’. He came to this conclusion after analyzing sources from various fields and finding that there was no reliable material or historical evidence of a mass conversion to Judaism by the Khazars. He found no mention of a Khazar conversion to Judaism in any contemporary sources from the Byzantine empire, Egypt, or any other historical source.”

          https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/khazars.html

          The reality is:

          Not all Jewish people are Zionists (though many are sympathetic to Zionism, particularly in Israel).

          Not all Jewish people support the actions of the State of Israel (though many obviously do).

          Not all Zionists are Jewish people (some are Christians).

          Not all people who support the actions of the State of Israel are Jewish.

          Some Jewish people are opposed to Zionism.

          Some Jewish people are opposed to the actions of the State of Israel.

          • Mortimer
            December 12, 2015 at 10:12 am

            Thank you, Abe for correcting me. The misspelled word is my error.
            I don’t seek out nor read any anti-Jewish racist material. I do read Noam Chomsky and Norman Finklestein.
            1915 was a century ago and as a lover of history, I have respect for first person accounts of facts on the ground – as it were. If Freedman is a buffoon, you’ve led me toward a change of direction.

            One mans light is another mans darkness, it will always be so.

            As you’ve said, —- Moving on.

    • Abe
      December 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Commenting on Netanyahu’s victory in the twentieth Knesset election held in Israel in March 2015, James Petras noted the following:

      There is no question that the majority of Israeli Jewish leaders and parties support Netanyahu’s racist pronouncements and ‘no-state’ solution and joined him in a coalition government. But the larger issue is the positive mass response to Netanyahu’s call to action. Nearly three quarters of the electorate turned out (73%) to elect him. Moreover, Netanyahu has been elected prime minister for four terms: between 1996-99 and more recently 2009-20.

      What is more, the opposition has not differed from the Netanyahu coalition regime’s Judeo-centric policies and pronouncements. In other words, ‘racist’ ideology per se is not what drives the Israeli majority to repeatedly support Netanyahu.

      Jewish-centered racism is an integral and accepted part of Israel’s political culture.

      […]

      Long past is the notion that Israeli Jews would solve their social-economic problems via a collectivist economy and popular struggle against Jewish plutocrats.

      Today Jewish-Israeli millionaires flourish alongside orthodox, secular, Sephardic, Ashkenazi, Sabra and Russian emigrant colonists. The former exploits labor and markets, while the latter dispossesses Palestinians. Netanyahu has discovered a formula for uniting quarrelsome Jewish parties, leaders and voters and for winning elections.

      Moreover, Netanyahu has secured the financial and political backing of numerous overseas Jewish-Zionist billionaires. He has secured the unconditional support of tens of thousands of middle class Israel-First activists, academics and professionals who operate AIPAC and dozens of similar propaganda mills in Washington and Christian Zionists throughout the US. Netanyahu’s overseas backers ensure that the US government may grumble and criticize, but will never disrupt Netanyahu’s ‘plan’ of an ethnically pure ‘Greater Israel’ with Jerusalem as its ‘eternal’ capital. Obama may whine and talk to the press about ‘reconsidering US-Israeli relations’ but he has assured Israel and Netanyahu that military and economic ties will remain intact.

      The Roots of Netanyahu’s Electoral Victory: Colonial Expansion and Fascist Ideology
      By James Petras
      http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=2027

    • Abe
      December 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      James Petras has analysed the political influence of what he has termed the “Zionist hegemony in the US”, “Jewish power” and the “Zionist Power Configuration”. See http://www.lahaine.org/petras/b2-img/petras_bended.pdf

      The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has repeatedly attempted to defame Petras by characterizing his work as “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”.

      In a 2006 article and later a 2007 book entitled The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have convincingly argued that the ADL, rather than defending Jews from bigotry, targets individuals critical of Israel or of U.S. support for Israel.

      Predictably, Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman and key figures in the Israel lobby have accused Mearsheimer and Walt of “anti-Semitism”.

  9. Abe
    December 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, leading Western Zionist ideologues have argued that, while liberal values should be reaffirmed, the US and EU leaders must recognize ‘malign global Islamic trends’. Influential Western Zionist journalists and ideologues, who dominate the mass media, argue that ‘hardline Islamism’ is on the rise, even in previously moderate Muslim countries like Turkey, Malaysia and Bangladesh… These ideologues (for example Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times) systematically avoid commenting on the rise of hardline Zionism in its most racist form in Israel and the conversion of formerly moderate Zionist organizations into willing accomplices of Israeli state terror against a captive people.

    Together, these developments in Israel and among the major Zionist organizations in the US and the European Union have limited the space for critics of the ‘clash of civilizations’ dogma.

    State terror assaults, such as those taking place daily in Palestine, incite tensions between Zionists and non-Zionists – and that is their intent. Larger structural and systemic forces are at work and are driving Zionist radicalization. One of the most pernicious is the way in which wealthy US and EU Zionist individuals and organizations, in particular the Presidents of the 52 Major American Jewish Organizations, have used their economic power to spread the most intolerant forms of Judaism into the rest of the Western World.

    The effects are now visible in the major political institutions and media of the US, England and the Continent. Previously, France was held up as an example of a successful multi-cultural nation – a dubious assumption as any historian of colonial France can testify. But that image is rapidly changing. Influential Zionists have fomented widespread Islamophobia and authored legislation restricting free speech which has outlawed criticism of Israel as ‘anti-Semitism’.

    French civil libertarians have noted that political and social space has increasingly narrowed for ‘non-Zionists’, especially for anyone critical of Israel’s state terrorism. In other words, there is immense pressure in France to ‘keep quiet’ or self-censor in the face of Zionist racist brutality – so much for Les Droits de L’Homme et Du Citoyen.

    For over a decade, Zionist influence, especially from Israel’s far-right Netanyahu regime, has eroded the French version of ‘moderate Zionism’, replacing it with a more doctrinaire, exclusivist and authoritarian version. World-wide condemnation of Israel’s massacre of over 4,000 entrapped Palestinians in Gaza, the world largest prison camp, led the Netanyahu regime to resort to a virulent Zionist version of ‘identity politics’ to rally support for the slaughter – or enforce silence among the horrified. Israeli Cabinet ministers recently denounced US President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry as ‘anti-Semites’ for their administration’s negotiations over Iran. Numerous prestigious rabbis have blessed the killing of unarmed Palestinians. A prominent Israeli jurist,Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked urged the killing of Arab women so they would not give birth to ‘little snakes’. Israeli- Jewish judges have exonerated IDF soldiers, police and settlers for killing Palestinian children – even unarmed teenaged Arab girls hysterical over their brutal humiliation. And world public opinion is ordered to ‘move along, look away, nothing for you to see here…’

    Zionist Power: Swindlers and Impunity, Traitors and Pardons
    By James Petras
    http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=2064

  10. Abe
    December 10, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Conflating Zionist mercenary terrorism with Judaism is an error.

    Conflating Takfiri mercenary terrorism with Islam is an error.

    The Zionist mercenary terrorists jus’ loves them some Takfiri mercenary terrorists.

    That’s why Israel and Saudi Arabia need to get a room.

    That’s why the Netanyahi government of Israel and its neocon confederates, including their U.S. Presidential candidate wannabe pool boys (and girl), so feverishly peddle the erroneous conflation Takfiri terrorism and Islam.

    Cha-ching.

  11. historicvs
    December 10, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    The most interesting thing about the current form of Islamic fundamentalism is how cleanly it carries into the modern world the barbaric misogyny, homophobia, and the murderous, arrogant nationalism that it inherited from Judaism. When these ugly delusions were codified into Christianity three centuries earlier, their poison was diluted to some degree by the admixture of classical pagan philosophy, via Augustine and other learned early church figures.

    Our own Revolutionary War hero Tom Paine had this to say about the Judaic legacy in his great work, “The Age of Reason” in 1792: “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”

  12. Abe
    December 11, 2015 at 1:38 am

    The collective demonization of Muslims, including the vilification of the tenets of Islam, applied Worldwide, constitutes at an ideological level, an instrument of conquest of the World’s energy resources. It is part of the broader economic, political mechanisms underlying the New World Order.

    This vilification is carried out by actually creating terrorist organizations integrated by Muslims, as part of a longstanding intelligence operation going back to the Soviet-Afghan war.

    Al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations are creations of the CIA. They are not the product of Muslim society. Terrorist attacks are undertaken by jihadist entities which are CIA intelligence assets.

    The Islamic State (ISIS) is an intelligence construct which is used essentially for two related purposes.

    1. They are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance, the instruments of destabilization, recruited, trained, financed by the Western military alliance. The various al Qaeda entities are the instruments of destabilization in US-NATO sponsored proxy wars (AQIM in Mali, Boko Haram in Nigeria, ISIS in Syria and Iraq). At the same time, they constitute a pretext and a justification to intervene under the banner of a “counter-terrorism” bombing campaign.

    2. On the home front, the various Al Qaeda/ ISIS terrorist cells –supported covertly by Western intelligence– are the instruments of a diabolical and criminal propaganda operation which consists in killing innocent civilians with a view to providing legitimacy to the instatement of police state measures allegedly in support of democracy. These false flag attacks allegedly perpetrated by terrorist organization are then used to harness Western public against Muslims.

    The underlying objective is to wage a an illegal war of conquest in the Middle East and beyond under the banner of the “global war on terrorism”. According to Western politicians, “we are defending ourselves against the terrorists”. According to our governments, the bombing raids allegedly directed against the terrorists in Syria are “not an act of war”, they are presented to Western public opinion as an “act of self-defense”. “The West is under attack by the ISIS terrorists”, the ISIS is based in Raqqa, Northern Syria, “we must defend ourselves” by bombing ISIS.

    We are told that this is not an act of war, it is an act of retribution and self-defense. The only problem with this propaganda op is that “The Terrorists R US”, our governments and intelligence services have been supporting ISIS from the very outset.

    In the eyes of public opinion, possessing a “just cause” for waging war is central. A war is said to be Just if it is waged on moral, religious or ethical grounds. Muslims within Western countries are being vilified as part of an imperial agenda, as a means to justify the destabilization of Muslim countries on humanitarian grounds (e.g. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Nigeria, Yemen).

    Why is a Hate Campaign being Waged against Muslims?
    By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-is-a-hate-campaign-being-waged-against-muslims

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