Monday, August 21, 2006

The Muslim World Is Reasonable -
It's The West That's Nuts


Get it straight, we're the insane ones. The Guardian says so:


Israel’s persistent attempts to secure its place in this region by military force have always generated a greater Arab will to fight it, now also supported by Iran. Local attempts to secure its borders - occupations, surrogate armies, cross-border attacks, separation walls, massive punishment and humiliation of civilian populations - have not worked for Israel, and only generate more determined and capable resistance, as with Hizbullah.

Israel will also fail in its desire to subcontract its security to foreign or regional states, as it is attempting to do through the international force in south Lebanon, or by having Turkey prevent arms shipments to Hizbullah from Iran.

Every tough issue in this region - Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, terrorism, radicalism, armed resistance groups - is somehow linked to the consequences of the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The politicians and government leaders who dominate this region, or engage it from western capitals, all look like rank amateurs or intemperate brutes as they flail at symptoms instead of grappling with the core issue that has seen this region spin off into ever greater circles of violence since the 1970s. A comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace agreement is achievable from the Arab side, to judge by the repeated offering of the 2002 Arab summit peace proposal.

Israel and the US must quickly decide if they too can become sensible and work for a comprehensive peace as the most effective way to reduce and then reverse the cycles of resentment, radicalism and resistance that now define much of the Arab-Islamic Middle East.


And, just to show you how reasonable, not to mention, how cultured, the Muslim world is let's celebrate the opening of a new restaurant in Mumbai. It's called Adolph's:


MUMBAI (Reuters) - A new restaurant in India’s financial hub, named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country’s small Jewish community. ‘Hitler’s Cross’, which opened last week, serves up a wide range of continental fare and a big helping of controversy, thanks to a name the owners say they chose to stand out among hundreds of Mumbai eateries.

“We wanted to be different. This is one name that will stay in people’s minds,” owner Punit Shablok told Reuters.

“We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different.” But India’s remaining Jews — most migrated to Israel and the West over the years — say they are outraged by the gimmick.

“This signifies a severe lack of awareness of the agony of millions of Jews caused by one man,” said Jonathan Solomon, chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, the community’s umbrella organization. “We are going to stop this deification of Hitler,” he said without elaborating.

The small restaurant, its interior done out in the Nazi colors of red, white and black, also has a lounge for smoking the exotic Indian water pipe or “hookah.” Posters line the road leading up to it, featuring a red swastika carved in the name of the eatery.

One slogan reads: “From Small Bites to Mega Joys.” A huge portrait of a stern-looking Fuehrer greets visitors at the door. The cross in the restaurant’s name refers to the swastika that symbolized the Nazi regime.

“This place is not about wars or crimes, but where people come to relax and enjoy a meal,” said restaurant manager Fatima Kabani, adding that they were planning to turn the eatery’s name into a brand with more branches in Mumbai.