"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Monday, July 30, 2007

Riaz Hassan, the Pope, the Taliban and 22 South Korean Hostages

According to an editorial written by Australian professorial fellow and emeritus professor at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, Riaz Hassan, (“Interrupting a history of tolerance?”):

“The Zionist project for a Jewish state was predicated on centuries of Jewish sufferings in Europe.

Anti-Semitism was not an entrenched characteristic of Islamic ideology and history until the 20th century. Without doubt, European anti-Semitic writings and their translation into Arabic during the 19th century and German National Socialism in the 20th century were instrumental in instigating anti-Semitism throughout Arab lands.”

Strange revelation, not so much from Hassan, but more due to its publication in The Korea Herald today, following the extension of the deadline set by the Taliban for the release of 22 South Koreans for roughly the same number of Taliban in Afghanistan.

Pope Benedict recently chimed in on the hostage situation that may lead to the murder in cold blood of the 22 Christian missionaries calling the exploitation of innocent people as a "grave violation of human dignity:”

"Unfortunately the usual practice of exploiting innocent people for their own ends is spreading among armed groups. It is a grave violation of human dignity that clashes with every elementary norm of civility and rights and gravely offends divine law.”

Hopefully this will not exacerbate the situation as according to Professor Hassan in the September 26, 2006 issue of the Daily Times of Pakistan in his “VIEW: The Jihad and the West:”

“The need for a dialogue between Islam and the West has never been more acute than now, but Pope Benedict XVI’s recent description of Islam as “evil and inhuman” is clearly not the best approach. In his lecture on Faith and Reason at Regensburg University, the pope quoted the 14th century Byzantine Christian emperor Manuel II Palaeologus as saying, “Show me just what Muhammad [peace be upon him] brought was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by sword the faith he preached.” Notwithstanding the Vatican’s statement that the pope meant no offence and, in fact, desired dialogue, in the eye of many Muslims his remarks only reinforced a false and biased view of Islam — not conducive to dialogue.”

In another example of intolerance toward radical Islam the South Korean government has asked YouTube to remove video clips from 2004 that “showed Koreans condemning Islam after a Korean translator was killed in Iraq in 2004, and a Korean woman preaching Christianity to a group of Afghan children. It was not disclosed who posted the videos, which have now been taken down.

Further in the effort to avoid provoking the Taliban, “the Korean Government Information Agency asked Youtube last Friday to delete the content on the grounds that it falsely portrays Christians and Koreans alike.” The Christian portrayal refers to a quote from a YouTube post that said, "I am Korean myself and right now 90 percent of Korean public also think that those stupid Korean Christians deserve what has happened."

So in the effort to bring the 22 hostages home safely a view of the world that the likes of the Taliban most violently represents is wiped from the public record.

Good luck with real negotiations.

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