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Amir Taheri offers a "blow by blow" account of just how the Cartoon controversary happened, and offers his true thoughts here. It's a good read.


Rent-Riot-ABCs

by AMIR TAHRI

'ABLESSING from God": So have Iran's leaders, starting with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, described the controversy over the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed.

A closer look at the row, however, shows that the whole rigmarole was launched by Sunni-Salafi groups in Europe and Asia, with Ahmadinejad and his Syrian vassal, President Bashar al-Assad, belatedly playing catch-up. God had nothing to do with it.

To see how the whole thing was manufactured to serve precise political ends, consider the chronology of events:

The cartoons were published last September and, for more than three months, caused no ripples outside small groups of Salafi militants in Denmark.

In December, a group of Danish Muslim militants filled their suitcases with photocopies of the cartoons and embarked on a tour of Muslim capitals.

They failed to get to Tehran: The Iranians, being Shi'ites, saw them as Sunni activists bent on mischief. But they managed to go to Cairo, Damascus and Beirut and, were allowed to send emissaries to Saudi Arabia.

The Danish Muslim group also did something dishonest — it added a number of far more derogatory cartoons of the Prophet to the 12 published by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, and misled its interlocutors in Muslim capitals into believing that all had appeared in the Danish press.

In Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood told the Danish group that this was not the time to kick a fuss over the cartoons. The brotherhood was busy plotting its election strategy and pretending to be a "moderate" political party. The last thing it wanted was to be branded as a rabid anti-West force. The brotherhood leaders suggested that the matter be put on ice until January.

The Danish militants also received a negative reply from Hamas, the Palestinian radical movement. Hamas was busy trying to win a general election and needed to reassure at least part of the Palestinian middle classes. The Hamas advice was: Wait until after we have won.

The emissaries found a more sympathetic audience in Qatar — where the satellite-TV channel Al Jazeera (owned by the emir) specializes in inciting Muslims against the West and democracy in general. The channel's chief Islamist televangelist, Yussuf al-Qaradawi (an Egyptian preacher who is also a friend of Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London), was all too keen to issue a "fatwa" to light the fuse. He then mobilized his network of Muslim Brotherhood militants in Europe to attack the cartoons and claim, falsely, that images were not allowed in Islam and that the Danish paper had violated "an absolute principle of The Only True Faith."

Thus the call for Jihad received its supposed "theological" green light. (Ironically, the section of the brotherhood headed by al-Qaradawi is financed by the European Union as a non-governmental organization.)

As the first rent-a-mob crowds appeared on global TV screens, Ahmadinejad realized that here was a cow worth milking.

For Denmark is set to assume the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council — at the very time that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to refer Iran to the Security Council and demand sanctions. What better, for Tehran's purposes, than to portray Denmark as "an enemy of Islam" and mobilize Muslim sympathy against the Security Council?

To regain the initiative from the Sunni-Salafi groups, Ahmadinejad quickly ordered a severing of commercial ties with Denmark, thus portraying the Islamic Republic as the Muslim world's leader in the anti-Danish campaign.

Syria was next to jump on the bandwagon, again for mercenary reasons. The United Nations wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and five of his relatives and aides, including his younger brother, for questioning in the murder of Lebanon's former premier, Rafiq al-Hariri. (Assad has tried to negotiate immunity for himself and his brother in exchange for handing over the others — but the U.N. wouldn't play.) As with Iran's nuclear program, the Syrian dossier will reach the Security Council under Danish presidency. To portray Denmark as "an enemy of the Prophet" would not be such a bad thing when the council, as expected, points the finger at Assad and his regime as responsible for a series of political murders, including that of Hariri.

The Danish-cartoons cow will also be milked in another way: Tehran and Damascus have launched a diplomatic campaign to put the issue of "protecting religions against blasphemy" on the Security Council agenda. If that were to happen, issues such as Iran's quest for the atomic bomb and Syria's murder machine in Lebanon might be pushed aside, at least as far as world public opinion is concerned.

People watching TV news may think that the whole Muslim world is ablaze with righteous rage translated into "spontaneous demonstrations." The truth is that the overwhelming majority of Muslims, even if offended by cartoons which they have not seen, have stayed away from the street shows put on by the radicals and the Iranian and Syrian security services.

The destruction of Danish and Norwegian embassies and consulates happened in only two places: Damascus and Beirut. Anyone who knows Syria would know that there are no spontaneous demonstrations in that dictatorship. (Even then, the Syrian secret police failed to attract more than 1,000 rent-a-mob militants.) And the Syrian government refused the Norwegian Embassy's request for additional police protection. It was clear that the Syrians wanted the embassies sacked.

The rent-a-mob attacks in Beirut were more cynical. The Syrian Ba'ath — which has been murdering, imprisoning or deporting Sunni-Salafi militants for years — was suddenly transformed from a radical secular and Socialist party into "the Vanguard of the Faith." The mob that committed the atrocities in Beirut was bused from Syria and consisted of Muslim Brotherhood militants who are never allowed to demonstate on their own account.

The Muslim crowds that have demonstrated over the cartoons seldom exceeded a few hundred; the Muslim segment of humanity is estimated at 1.2 billion. And only three of Denmark's embassies in 57 Muslim countries have been attacked.

The Danish Muslim gang who lied by adding cartoons that had never been published has done more damage to the Prophet and to Islam than the 12 controversial cartoonists of Jyllands-Posten.

The fight between Denmark and its detractors is not between the West and Islam. It is between democracy and a global fascist movement masquerading as religion.
Yeah, an excellent article.

What he is saying about the forged cartoons and the Syrian/Iranian involvement has been reported by others already and seems to be solid.
Its seeming more and more to me that religion truly is nothing but a masquerade for human beings' love of power.
Anonymous24 Wrote:Its seeming more and more to me that religion truly is nothing but a masquerade for human beings' love of power.


Quite often, especially if it is a totalitarian religion: Islamism, Marxism, Nazism, Liberalism...
Or Christianity.
Anonymous24 Wrote:Or Christianity.

Not really. Christianity is splintered into a large number of groups of very different orientation, and most do not seek any kind of control at all (exceptions can be found, but very few).

You statement would be correct if applied to the Church of Rome pre-Reformation, but then it will also be centuries out of date.
Its still used by the Republican party as a masquerade for power.

S1
Anonymous24 Wrote:Its still used by the Republican party as a masquerade for power.

S1

As one of their tools to assemble the big tent, of course. Not THE tool.

Exactly like the democrats use their tools: enviromentalism or sexual deviations.
Yeah, and Western civilization has been using Christianity to put up its own 'big tent' until the last 50 years or so. Though I suppose instead of being fascist religion, Christianity is now a dying one, since you can't get people to kill for it anymore...
Generally, agree, but I'd double your 50 years.
That means you agree the primary function of religions over the years has been to get people to kill, and ones that can't do it anymore are on the way out? And by implication Islam is more vigorous than Christianity?
Anonymous24 Wrote:That means you agree the primary function of religions over the years has been to get people to kill, and ones that can't do it anymore are on the way out?
**Organized religions** , and not *to kill* but *to rule* -- yes, of course.

The difference between an **organized religion** and a **political movement** is very slim at best. NSDAP or MOVEON or The Church of Rome or The Communist Party of the SovUnion or Muslim Brotherhood/AQ/Hamas are very similar movements that try to impose their ideology.

Killing is a method, just like terrorism is; it is never the goal.

Quote:And by implication Islam is more vigorous than Christianity?

An impossible comparison. Islam is sustantially more unified than Christianity, it has the Muslim Brotherhood as the radical backbone. Thus, Islam is essentially a loose political organization; Christianity is not.

When pitted against less organized opposition, political organizations always enjoy at least an initial success, just like the Communists did in Russia, or Nazis in Germany, or the Great Society liberalism in the US, or Islam in the current cycle. In this sense, "vigorous" would be applicable to all of them.

Eventually (faster for the Germans, slower for the Russkies and the US liberals) such movements tend to rot or morph into less-ideological more-traditional formats (Chinese Communists). Their Vigor wears out.

A more interesting question is if the Islamic Vigor can overwhelm the entire world before its demise?

I think this is quite unlikely; there are sufficiently strong healthy forces to stop them. But an Islamic victory over weaker regimes, like in the EU or the US is fully possible.

HTH
Anonymous24 Wrote:Yeah, and Western civilization has been using Christianity to put up its own 'big tent' until the last 50 years or so. Though I suppose instead of being fascist religion, Christianity is now a dying one, since you can't get people to kill for it anymore...

Anon, your agrument of the last several posts here are not with merit. Instead of religion, let's substitute something else in it's place. How about the automobile, which we all use and enjoy. People are killed in their automobiles every day. It is used by people in warfare. It is also used for good purposes as well. Does this mean that the automobile is simply " a masquerade for human beings' love of power"?

Naturally, bad people seeking power will use the automobile, or other things that will help them accomplish their goals, and Christianity has been on of them. YOu have to take Christianity on it's merits, and wade through the misuse of it's doctrine, and concentrate on what it has done FOR humanity.

Your accusations above are nothing more than what those who would rebel Against any religion OR traditional authority, because they don't wish to be held accountable for their lack of traditional values.

Anonymous24 Wrote:Yeah, and Western civilization has been using Christianity to put up its own 'big tent' until the last 50 years or so. Though I suppose instead of being fascist religion, Christianity is now a dying one, since you can't get people to kill for it anymore...

Give me a break Anon! If you think that Christianity is dying, boy do I have some prize real estate for you! Your only problem is that you WANT it to be "dying", and that is wishful thinking.

Quote:That means you agree the primary function of religions over the years has been to get people to kill, and ones that can't do it anymore are on the way out? And by implication Islam is more vigorous than Christianity?

Again, Balooney! The primary function of religions is to 1) explain the cosmos and how it relates to man and his Creator, 2) help people attain harmony with themselves, those around them, and the Creator. Some are better at it than others. Your cynicism is giving your intellectual prowess away.

And too, you quite simply have this completely reversed. It is People who have misused Christianity over time, not the other way around. You seriously need to get this through your secular humanist head. Bad People harm Christianity, not the other way around. And what someone does does not effect the very premise of Christianity one bit. It is YOU who are allowing your own anamous to cloud your reasoning ability.

And if you look at the teachings of Islam, you will not find the "love thy neighbor as thyself" doctrine anywhere! The Old testiment is a book of history, and the New Testiment is of primary concern to Christians. if you take the New Testiment and wade through it, you will find nothing like what you will find with Islam.

Go here and read some of the scriptures of Islam. Also, you can go here, and read about some of his benevolence toward others. I challenge you to fine ANY evidence of this in Christ, or his followers that are written in the Bible. To the contrary, it is the Opposite. That is why Christianity is still the fastest growing religion and something that we all should at least respect, because it is the bastion of the accumulated moral values that we as humans have learned for thousands of years. And, believe me, all this New Age WhooDo, and Collectivist desire to create a utopian Heaven on Earth will not get you anything short of a bad ending in this world or in the next, if you choose to believe in one. I, for one, do.

If I sound like I am getting on my soapbox, I am. I'm sick and tired of the Left, in particular, singling out Christianity as the enemy number one, and attempting to dismantle it's virtues. What you lefties only want to do is quite simply feel good about yourself, and not have to be held accountable for doing things that Christianity designates as bad behaviour.
And it is self-defeating to you, because thousands of years of human interaction prove that it is bad for society, the individual, and man's future. It Doesn't Work! If you choose not to follow any religious beliefs, other than this stupid Collectivist utopian heaven on earth thing, that is your business. Only leave the rest of us alone, and allow us to pursue our traditional values. Go create your utopia somewhere else.
John Wrote:If I sound like I am getting on my soapbox, I am. I'm sick and tired of the Left, in particular, singling out Christianity as the enemy number one, and attempting to dismantle it's virtues. What you lefties only want to do is quite simply feel good about yourself, and not have to be held accountable for doing things that Christianity designates as bad behaviour.
And it is self-defeating to you, because thousands of years of human interaction prove that it is bad for society, the individual, and man's future. It Doesn't Work!

Slight disagreement here (not the rest).

It does work, albeit perhaps not as intended.

The current rise of Islam in Europe is the direct result of the Left's activities. The final result may be the silencing of the newspapers, chopped heads and walls dropped on gays.

Given that the left cannot be simply a collection of self-defeating morons, we have to accept that they have an interesting political program. Wink1
Quote:Anonymous24 wrote:
Yeah, and Western civilization has been using Christianity to put up its own 'big tent' until the last 50 years or so. Though I suppose instead of being fascist religion, Christianity is now a dying one, since you can't get people to kill for it anymore...


Anon, your agrument of the last several posts here are not with merit. Instead of religion, let's substitute something else in it's place. How about the automobile, which we all use and enjoy. People are killed in their automobiles every day. It is used by people in warfare. It is also used for good purposes as well. Does this mean that the automobile is simply " a masquerade for human beings' love of power"?

Naturally, bad people seeking power will use the automobile, or other things that will help them accomplish their goals, and Christianity has been on of them. YOu have to take Christianity on it's merits, and wade through the misuse of it's doctrine, and concentrate on what it has done FOR humanity.

Your accusations above are nothing more than what those who would rebel Against any religion OR traditional authority, because they don't wish to be held accountable for their lack of traditional values.

Anonymous24 wrote:
Yeah, and Western civilization has been using Christianity to put up its own 'big tent' until the last 50 years or so. Though I suppose instead of being fascist religion, Christianity is now a dying one, since you can't get people to kill for it anymore...


Give me a break Anon! If you think that Christianity is dying, boy do I have some prize real estate for you! Your only problem is that you WANT it to be "dying", and that is wishful thinking.

Quote:
That means you agree the primary function of religions over the years has been to get people to kill, and ones that can't do it anymore are on the way out? And by implication Islam is more vigorous than Christianity?


Again, Balooney! The primary function of religions is to 1) explain the cosmos and how it relates to man and his Creator, 2) help people attain harmony with themselves, those around them, and the Creator. Some are better at it than others. Your cynicism is giving your intellectual prowess away.

And too, you quite simply have this completely reversed. It is People who have misused Christianity over time, not the other way around. You seriously need to get this through your secular humanist head. Bad People harm Christianity, not the other way around. And what someone does does not effect the very premise of Christianity one bit. It is YOU who are allowing your own anamous to cloud your reasoning ability.

And if you look at the teachings of Islam, you will not find the "love thy neighbor as thyself" doctrine anywhere! The Old testiment is a book of history, and the New Testiment is of primary concern to Christians. if you take the New Testiment and wade through it, you will find nothing like what you will find with Islam.

Go here and read some of the scriptures of Islam. Also, you can go here, and read about some of his benevolence toward others. I challenge you to fine ANY evidence of this in Christ, or his followers that are written in the Bible. To the contrary, it is the Opposite. That is why Christianity is still the fastest growing religion and something that we all should at least respect, because it is the bastion of the accumulated moral values that we as humans have learned for thousands of years. And, believe me, all this New Age WhooDo, and Collectivist desire to create a utopian Heaven on Earth will not get you anything short of a bad ending in this world or in the next, if you choose to believe in one. I, for one, do.

If I sound like I am getting on my soapbox, I am. I'm sick and tired of the Left, in particular, singling out Christianity as the enemy number one, and attempting to dismantle it's virtues. What you lefties only want to do is quite simply feel good about yourself, and not have to be held accountable for doing things that Christianity designates as bad behaviour.
And it is self-defeating to you, because thousands of years of human interaction prove that it is bad for society, the individual, and man's future. It Doesn't Work! If you choose not to follow any religious beliefs, other than this stupid Collectivist utopian heaven on earth thing, that is your business. Only leave the rest of us alone, and allow us to pursue our traditional values. Go create your utopia somewhere else.

1) The automobile is not a 'masquerade for power' because leaders don't use it to manipulate people. The automobile doesn't make people kill, submit, or give away their money. It is used to kill, but it does not motivate people to do so. Religion, on the other hand, *is* used to motivate people to do things. Therefore, the analogy is invalid.

2) Religion is supposed to explain the cosmos and help people get along with each other? If so, it is primitive. Science can help explain the cosmos and humanity's relation to it. Furthermore: "A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary." Why do human beings need to believe that 'God' believes something is right in order to believe its right? They should believe things are right because they see the practicality of them, and genuinely love their fellow human beings. Perhaps religion is only for those who can't behave moral out of sympathy... BTW the quote is from Einstein.

3) I never said Islam was any better than Christianity. I think it is a more violent, less sympathetic religion. At the same time, I also believe its a much more powerful religion than Christianity, because its believers take it more seriously. How many Muslims actually adhere to what their religion asks of them? Now, ask yourself how many self-identified Christians actually do. The answer: probably only the ones who go to church every week, which is quite low compared to all self-identified Christians in the world.

4) The serious Christians are the ones who want to create a utopia. New Age and liberal thinking places an emphasis on the individual, not on the world. New Age thinkers think you are responsible for making your own life what you want it to be, but not the whole world. Christians, on the other hand, believe they are responsible(and entitled) to make everyone else what they want them to be.

5) Once again, Christianity is dying because less and less Christians actually follow the tenets of their religion, or will fight for their religion. I don't care how many people think their Christian, or how many people various missionary organizations think they convert, if you violate whatever your sect of Christianity says you're not supposed to do, you're not a member. And if that sect has many members who regularly violate its behavioral laws, its weak. Tell, me John - you obviously consider yourself a devout Christian, does that mean you've never had premarital sex?

6) Furthermore, our society is more and more rapidly defying Christian beliefs, and the Christians aren't stopping it. How can you believe your religion is strong when you watch the average TV show? How can you believe your religion is strong when you allow America's youth to be completely socialized to be homosexuality is acceptable(and they are being, even the Christian youths)? How can you believe your religion is strong when you can't even stop abortion?

7) Why can't people be moral without following religious beliefs? Once again: don't you think its possible, just possible, people can form moral beliefs based on practicality and love of their fellow man?

8)' Followers of religion follow those religions for comfort, yet, throughout history, leaders have *always* used religion to for their own self-interest. It is a well-known fact that people fight harder for something they believe in they their own self-interest.

9) Followers of religion are the ones who want to create a utopia. 'New Age thinkers' only want to be responsible for themselves.

10) My believing Christianity is dying is not 'wishful thinking'. Last time I checked liberal social beliefs in this country are very much on the rise. America's youth are far more accepting of homosexuality, promiscuous sex, abortions, and individuals forming their own moral beliefs than the older generations.
Right, and I am the Tooth Fairey as well. Enjoy your anti-religious rebellion, or whatever you want to call it.

This thread is a waste of time and interest to me. I'm out of here.
John L. Your soap-box is well constructed. I might send it to some minister friends for use on a Sunday.

Well thought, well written
Ken
Most of my points are well-thought out. You won't even respond to 'why do you human beings need religion to be moral'?

Quote:"A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary."
Well, in my case, trying to follow Jesus just doesn't jive with being evil or mean, or like you .....accusing us of being human beings lol
Bean
Anonymous24 Wrote:Most of my points are well-thought out. You won't even respond to 'why do you human beings need religion to be moral'?

Quote:"A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary."

OK, let me provide you a brief answer, I'll expand a bit later since this is a very interesting issue.

The key is in should be. This is a deeply religious point reflecting the leftist utopian perception of the human nature.

This is rather lame, coming thousands of years after Christianity (and other systems) recognized human imperfection.

--

However, there is more to your sentense and I'll try to find time to dig a bit deeper here.
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