Sonntag, 4. Januar 2004

suicide bombers, limb-amputators, women repressors

We Owe The Arabs Nothing

We are told by some of the more hysterical critics of the war on terror that "it is destroying the Arab World". So? Should we be worried about that? Shouldn't the destruction of the despotic, barbarous and corrupt Arab states and their replacement by democratic governments be a war aim? After all, the Arab countries are not exactly shining examples of civilisation, are they? Few of them make much contribution to the welfare of the rest of the world. Indeed, apart from oil - which was discovered, is produced and is paid for by the West - what do they contribute?

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Can you think of anything? Anything really useful? Anything really valuable? Something we really need, could not do without? No, Nor can I, Indeed, the Arab countries put together export less than Finland. We're told that the Arabs loathe us. Really? For Liberating the Iraqis? For subsidising the lifestyles of people in Egypt and Jordan, to name but two, for giving them vast amounts of aid? For providing them with science, medicine, technology and all the other benefits of the West? They should go down on their knees and thank God for the munificence of the United States. What do they think we feel about them? That we adore them for the way they murdered more than 3,000 civilians on September 11 and then danced in the hot, dusty streets to celebrate the murders? That we admire them for the cold-blooded killings in Mombasa, Yemen and elsewhere? That we admire them for being suicide bombers, limb-amputators, women repressors?

I don't think the Arab states should start a debate about what is really loathsome. But why, in any case, should we be concerned that they feel angry and loathe us? The Arab world has not exactly earned our respect, has it? Iran is a vile, terrorist-supporting regime - part of the axis of evil. So is the Saddam Hussein-supporting Syria. So is Libya. Indeed, most of them chant support for Saddam. That is to say they support an evil dictator who has gassed hundreds of thousands of their fellow Arabs and tortured azid murdered thousands more. How can they do this and expect our respect? Why do they lmagine that only they can feel anger, call people loathsome? It is the equivalent of all the European nations coming out in support of Hitler the moment he was attacked by the US, because he was European, despite the fact that he was attempting to exterminate the Jews - and Arabs. Moreover, the people who claim we are loathsome are currently threatening our civilian populations with chemical and biological weapons. They are promising to let suicide bombers loose in Western and American cities. They are trying to terrorise us, disrupt our lives. And then they expect us to be careful of their sensibilities? We have thousands of asylum seekers from Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries living happily in this country on social security. This shows what their own people think of the Arab regimes, doesn't it? There is not one single British asylum seeker in any Arab country. That says it all about which country deserves the epithet loathsome.

Proving that not all men are equal

There could be fewer starker demonstrations of the difference between Britain and the United States and the Arabs than the manner in which they treat their civilians and their dead. While the Iraqis force their children and civilians to act as human shields, the Americans risk the lives of their soldiers to rescue Arab women stranded on the battlefields. While the Iraqis - and the Palestinians, and the Algerians, and the Yemenls, and others - force their children and civilians to sacrifice themselws as suicide bombers to kill other children and civilians, the Americans put their lives on the line to rescue a solitary Private Jessica Linch. While the Arabs desert their dead soldiers in the desert to be buried with reverence by the Americans, we go to enormous lengths to retrieve every single body. And we treat them all - every single one - with respect, as we saw with the services on the Ark Royal and the deeply moving ceremony with a full turn out of the top brass at Brize Norton though, inexplicably, Tony Blalr was AWOL Who says that all cultures are morally equal?

(Robert Kilroy-Silk, © Sunday Express, 04.01.2004)

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This article is indisputably stupid and its main effect will be to give comfort to the weak-minded. However, given the extreme and violent terms in which Mr Kilroy Silk has expressed himself, there is a danger that this might incite some individuals to act against someone who they think is an Arab. More seriously, he is trivialising one of the most important and difficult areas of international relations facing the world today.

Our lawyers have considered the column and, in the light of widespread concern, we are referring the article to the police to consider whether it might constitute an offence under the Public Order Act, in precisely the same way we did when a bonfire society in Sussex recently burnt an effigy of a Gypsy caravan.

(Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality / CRE, 08.01.2004)

Telly Kilroy: I told truth

By Sara Nathan
Deputy TV Editor

TELLY host Robert Kilroy Silk last night defended his anti-Arab rant and insisted "I stand by what I say."

The 61-year-old former MP faces the sack after branding Arabs "suicide bombers, limb-amputators and women repressors" in a newspaper. Beeb chiefs have suspended his daily BBC1 chat show after 18 years and Kilroy will today be hauled in to see TV bosses. Former Labour MP Kilroy said: "You can't vilify me for saying there are some evil, dictatorial Arab states, because there are. "You cannot cut off my head for saying that some Arab countries treat women abominably, because they do. "I am a free man, I live in a free country that my father and his brother laid their lives down for, and a lot of his generation and mine believe that it is profoundly important that we should be able to tell the truth." He added: "I was not condemning all Arabs and I'm sorry if people who thought that were offended. "Yes, I am repentant for that, but I'm not repentant for where I told the truth." Kilroy chose to speak to ITV1's Sir Trevor McDonald for a recording of his Tonight show - and SNUBBED BBC2's Newsnight. His newspaper column for the Sunday Express was originally published last April, but was re-printed because of an error after his secretary sent the wrong story to the paper. Kilroy, pictured, said since the first article appeared he had filmed 178 BBC shows - without complaints. The presenter - whose mother's funeral was held last week - wrote the first article in response to criticism of Britain going to war with Iraq. He added: "There are Arab regimes, they are evil and tyrannical and dictatorial and that is the truth. Are we not allowed to say that because it is the truth? "I believe I have the right, perhaps a responsibility and a duty, to point that out and to say so." He said he had apologised to bosses and added: "I understand they would wish to dissociate themselves from the column." The head of the Commission for Racial Equality yesterday accused Kilroy of posing as a "24-carat martyr". Chairman Trevor Phillips said he did not believe Kilroy was a racist, but that he was trying to "defend the indefensible".

(© The Sun, 11.01.2004)

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We are falling under the imam's spell
By Mark Steyn

Let me see if I understand the BBC Rules of Engagement correctly: if you're Robert Kilroy-Silk and you make some robust statements about the Arab penchant for suicide bombing, amputations, repression of women and a generally celebratory attitude to September 11 - none of which is factually in dispute - the BBC will yank you off the air and the Commission for Racial Equality will file a complaint to the police which could result in your serving seven years in gaol. Message: this behaviour is unacceptable in multicultural Britain.

But, if you're Tom Paulin and you incite murder, in a part of the world where folks need little incitement to murder, as part of a non-factual emotive rant about how "Brooklyn-born" Jewish settlers on the West Bank "should be shot dead" because "they are Nazis" and "I feel nothing but hatred for them", the BBC will keep you on the air, kibitzing (as the Zionists would say) with the crème de la crème of London's cultural arbiters each week. Message: this behaviour is completely acceptable.

So, while the BBC is "investigating" Kilroy, its only statement on Mr Paulin was an oblique but curiously worded allusion to the non-controversy on the Corporation website: "His polemical, knockabout style has ruffled feathers in the US, where the Jewish question is notoriously sensitive." "The Jewish question"? "Notoriously sensitive"? Is this really how they talk at the BBC?

Mr Paulin's style is only metaphorically knockabout. But, a few days after his remarks were published in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, some doughty Palestinian "activists" rose to his challenge and knocked about some settlers more literally, murdering among others five-year-old Danielle Shefi. In a touch of symbolism the critic in Mr Paulin might have found a wee bit obvious, they left her Mickey Mouse sheets soaked in blood.

Evidently Kilroy's "polemical, knockabout style" is far more problematic. For what it's worth, I accept the BBC's right to axe his show. I haven't seen it in a decade and I thought they should have axed it then. I myself got fired by the BBC a while back and, although I had a couple of rough years sleeping in a rotting boxcar at the back of the freight yards, I crawled my way back to semi-insolvency. There's no doubt in my mind that, when the CRE, the BBC, the Metropolitan Police and the Muslim Council of Britain are through making an example of him, he'll still be able to find gainful employment, if not in TV then certainly in casual construction work or seasonal fruit-picking.

But it's not really about Kilroy or Paulin or Jews, or the Saudis beheading men for (alleged) homosexuality, or the inability of the "moderate" Jordanian parliament to ban honour killing, or the fact that (as Jonathan Kay of Canada's National Post memorably put it) if Robert Mugabe walked into an Arab League summit he'd be the most democratically legitimate leader in the room. It's not about any of that: it's about the future of your "multicultural" society.

One reason why the Arab world is in the state it's in is because one cannot raise certain subjects without it impacting severely on one's wellbeing. And if you can't discuss issues, they don't exist. According to Ibrahim Nawar of Arab Press Freedom Watch, in the last two years seven Saudi editors have been fired for criticising government policies. To fire a British talk-show host for criticising Saudi policies is surely over-reaching even for the notoriously super-sensitive Muslim lobby.

But apparently not. "What Robert could do," suggested the CRE's Trevor Phillips helpfully, "is issue a proper apology, not for the fact that people were offended, but for saying this stuff in the first place. Secondly he could learn something about Muslims and Arabs - they gave us maths and medicine - and thirdly he could use some of his vast earnings to support a Muslim charity. Then I would say he has been properly contrite."

Extravagant public contrition. Re-education camp. "Voluntary" surrender of assets. It's not unknown for officials at government agencies to lean on troublemaking citizens in this way, but not usually in functioning democracies.

When Catholic groups complain about things like Terrence McNally's Broadway play Corpus Christi (in which a gay Jesus enjoys anal sex with Judas), the arts crowd says a healthy society has to have "artists" with the "courage" to "explore" "transgressive" "ideas", etc. But, when Cincinnati Muslims complained about the local theatre's new play about a Palestinian suicide bomber, the production was immediately cancelled: the courageous transgressive arts guys folded like a Bedouin tent. The play was almost laughably pro-Palestinian, but that wasn't the point: the Muslim community leaders didn't care whether the play was pro- or anti-Islam: for them, Islam was beyond discussion. End of subject. And so it was.

Fifteen years ago, when the fatwa against Salman Rushdie was declared and both his defenders and detractors managed to miss what the business was really about, the Times's Clifford Longley nailed it very well. Surveying the threats from British Muslim groups, he wrote that certain Muslim beliefs "are not compatible with a plural society: Islam does not know how to exist as a minority culture. For it is not just a set of private individual principles and beliefs. Islam is a social creed above all, a radically different way of organising society as a whole."

Since then, societal organisation-wise, things seem to be going Islam's way swimmingly - literally in the case of the French municipal pool which bowed to Muslim requests to institute single-sex bathing, but also in more important ways. Thus, I see the French interior minister flew to Egypt to seek the blessing for his new religious legislation of the big-time imam at the al-Azhar theological institute. Rather odd, don't you think? After all, Egypt isn't in the French interior. But, if Egypt doesn't fall within the interior minister's jurisdiction, France apparently falls within the imam's.

And so, when free speech, artistic expression, feminism and other totems of western pluralism clash directly with the Islamic lobby, Islam more often than not wins - and all the noisy types who run around crying "Censorship!" if a Texas radio station refuses to play the Bush-bashing Dixie Chicks suddenly fall silent. I don't know about you, but this "multicultural Britain" business is beginning to feel like an interim phase.

(© Daily Telegraph, 13.01.2004)

Veröffentlicht am Sonntag den 4. Januar 2004 um 23:54 Uhr - nach oben | check xhtml
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