Friday, October 27, 2006

We Can't
Our Leaders
To Tell Us
The Truth

Ok, so in the post above I lamented the fact that it is impossible to find a moderate Muslim organizaion, academic institution, media outlet, or government. Now, I must deliver the sad news that it is becoming increasingly impossible to trust our leaders in government and the media world.

For instance, the BBC ran an article yesterday in which they SUPPORTED the rape-excusing Australian Imam discussed in the above post:

A few weeks ago, I happened to interview Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali outside the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney where he delivered his controversial sermon.

A softly-spoken man, who clearly commands both enormous respect and affection within his community, the Egyptian-born cleric discussed the government’s recent proposals for an Australian citizenship test - an examination which many Muslim immigrants believe is targeted at them.

His English is poor, and it was difficult at times to make out precisely what he was saying.
But he told me he was keen to encourage the greater use of English in mosques and for Imams to gain a much greater understanding of Australian history and culture.

Though he did not agree with Prime Minister John Howard’s contentious view that sections of the 300,000-strong Muslim community are not doing enough to integrate themselves into the mainstream of Australian society, he seemed prepared at least to address the criticism in a constructive way.

Sheikh Hilali referred more than once to the idea of “the Aussie imam”, as he called it - model clerics with a broad knowledge of Australian culture and history.

Neat, snappy and eminently quotable. Just the kind of epithet which sticks in a journalist’s mind.

And, not to be outdone, Javier Solana, Foreign Policy Chief for the European Union, tells us Hamas does not want to destroy Israel:

Hamas wants to “liberate the Palestinians,” not to destroy Israel, Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

In an interview following his talks in Tel Aviv with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Solana insisted that it was “not impossible” for Hamas to change and “recognize the existence of Israel.”

History had shown that people and nations “adapt to reality,” he said. “I don’t want to lose hope.”

Pressed as to whether he was underestimating the fundamentalist religious imperative at the heart of the Hamas ideology, Solana said, “I cannot imagine that the religious imperative, the real religious imperative, can make anybody destroy another country... Therefore that is an abuse of religion...”

“I don’t think the essence of Hamas is the destruction of Israel. The essence of Hamas is the liberation of the Palestinians,” he added. “The liberation of their people, not the destruction of Israel.”

Solana here is expressing his wishes, dreams, and unfinished thoughts. But, he is asserting them as if they are true. Actually, that is the strategy of all diplomats and pacifists, turning wishes and dreams into pretty balloons which carry them aloft, high above the difficulties of life on Earth, above the weight of reality, to a lofty position where they can all look down on us and say, "Tsk tsk, can't they see we are working on a peace process?"

Just in case you don't know, Hamas is very clearly founded on the idea of desroying Israel. Here is the official Hamas Charter.