Monday, November 17, 2003

LANAT UPON THE HARABISTS: They don't care anymore. Al-Qaeda is ready and they aren't sparing anyone. Jews, Christians, Muslims, secularists. Anyone that doesn't agree to their twisted and misguided form of Islam is a target.

A bit of history here, Turkish Jews are the descendants of communities who fled the Reconquista and the Inquisition of Spain. They left the Iberian Peninsula along with Arabs and Muslims with whom they lived for centuries. They were persecuted by Christians, when its institutions were managed by ruthless theocracies. It was a Muslim Caliph who opened his lands to them. The highest Islamic institution, the Caliphate granted the authority to accept the Jews on Muslim lands. The Ottoman Sultan granted them political asylum and the right to live in security. And Muslims today should continue to do so.

UPDATE: Whatever my beef and huge disagreements with Chris Hitchens (he doesn't like to be called "Chris" I've heard), he basically adds to what I wrote earlier:

Whatever its faults, Turkey is a society with many elements of pluralism and democracy. (Just last week, in accordance with its expressed desire to conform with EU rules, it abolished capital punishment.) It also has a tradition of hospitality, offered in traditional Islamic terms, to the Jewish people. When expelled and dispossessed by Christian Europe, the Sephardim found refuge under the protection of the Caliph, in dominions of Islam as far apart as Bosnia and Baghdad. From this latest outrage, then, we can see how false the Bin Ladenists are, even to their own expressed reverence for a lost Muslim empire. The worshippers at the Neve Shalom were not killed for building a settlement in the West Bank: They were members of a very old and honorable community who were murdered for being Jews. Their Turkish neighbors were casually murdered as "collateral damage."
I still think Hitchens is dissillusional. He tries so incredibly hard to tie Hussein's Baathism to al-Qaeda's "Islamofascism," as he does in today's Slate.
In recent attacks from those gangs who have been busily fusing Saddamism with Bin Ladenism...
Just take a look at this Salon recountof the debate between Hitchens and journalist Mark Danner. As the article notes, he's become a party hack; he's lost grip on reality.

He's a loss though. Sigh.


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