January 15, 2007

The Liberal Cleric of the Dahiyeh

HARET HREIK, LEBANON – In the dahiyeh, the suburb, of Haret Hreik south of Beirut, where Hezbollah built its command and control center and the “capital” of its illegal state-within-a-state, lives Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini, a moderate Shia cleric with a doctorate in religion from Qom in Iran, who steadfastly and publicly opposes Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s doctrine of war and jihad. He uses the Koran and the Islamic religion as the basis for an alternative vision of peace, independence, and democracy for the people of Lebanon.

My translator Henry informed me that Lebanese journalists are no longer allowed to publish or interview Sayyed Husseini. Dissent from the likes of this man is intolerable and has to be smashed. Hezbollah issued its threats. After the two-year spree of car-bombs against journalists, threats from Nasrallah pack weight.

Foreign journalists, though, are allowed to meet with Husseini. Foreign journalists can’t be managed and bullied the same way local journalists can. Foreigners like me are, so far anyway, outside the bounds of car-bombs and murders.

I met with Husseini in his modest apartment in the dahiyeh, within walking distance of the rubble that recently was Hezbollah’s “Security Square.”

Dahiyeh Undamaged.jpg
Most of the buildings in Haret Hreik, at least those that weren’t damaged or destroyed during last summer’s war, look like this one

Henry drove me down there. When we passed under a bombed out bridge that marked the entrance to the area I sneaked a quick photo.

Destroyed Bridge Dahiyeh.jpg

“Don’t take pictures!” he said. “Mr. Mohammad will take us on a tour after the interview. You can take pictures when you are with him. He promised me that we will do this.”

I asked him what would happen if the Lebanese army tried to enter Hezbollah’s de-facto sovereign territory.

“Hezbollah would not let them,” he said. “I don’t think they would fight, but Hezbollah would not let them. Some say the army would separate, that the Shia would leave the army. This may be right. It depends on the mission. Are they going there to fight the Shia? Or for peace?”

Traffic streamed north toward more Hezbollah-led demonstrations downtown. The army was deployed everywhere in Beirut outside of the dahiyeh. Lebanon had, and still has, the outward appearance of a garrison state.

“Mr. Mohammad is a doctor,” Henry said in the car. “In the religion they call him al alama.”

“Which means what, exactly?” I said.

“You heard about the imam Moussa Sadr?” Henry said.

“Of course,” I said. The Shia cleric Moussa Sadr founded the secular Amal movement in the 1970s before he vanished forever in Libya.

“He is also alama,” Henry said. “Mr. Fadlallah is also alama. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is not alama.”

“Nasrallah ranks lower, then,” I said.

“Yes,” Henry said. “You will like Mr. Mohammad. He is a good man.” He laughed when he told me Husseini looks like Hassan Nasrallah.

Husseini warmly welcomed us into his house. He did, indeed, look a lot like Hassan Nasrallah.

Sayyed Mohammad Ali al Husseiny.jpg

I sat on the couch and took out my voice recorder. Husseini sat next to me in his chair. Arabic coffee, cookies, and bananas were served. Henry translated as Husseini introduced himself.

“I am the author of 47 books,” he said. “You can get them in the market.”

“Are those books for sale here in the dahiyeh?” I said, wondering how far Hezbollah’s smashing of dissent is taken these days.

“Yes,” he said. “We have also some English books. The last book published is about violence and non-violence. This is a gift for you.”

He handed me a copy of his book, one whose timing couldn’t better.

Violence and Non Violence.jpg

He then handed me four more paperbacks wrapped in a large brown envelope.

“Thank you so much,” I said and promised myself I would read them.

I turned on my voice recorder and started the interview.

“So,” I said. “Why are you opposed to Hezbollah?”

“First of all,” he said, “I am a peace defender. I have faith in peace. I am against the wars and the violence because of my faith. Any violence, any terrorism.”

“There are a lot of people in the West who believe Islam is a religion of war,” I said. “I don’t necessarily believe that, but many do.”

“Yes, I know. I published this,” he said as he held up his book, “to explain the difference between the religion and those who are pretending to follow the religion. The proof of my words is that Mr. Bush said we must differentiate between the kinds of Muslims. I have faith in peace. That is why I am sitting with you. That I am Muslim and you are Christian doesn’t matter because I believe in peace.”

I’m not religious, but I’m “Christian” in the Middle East either way. Religion acts as a sort of ethnicity there, something you’re born with and can never escape. Most Middle Eastern countries note religion on identity cards. “None” is not an option.

“I believe that plenty of the Western people believe that there are two kinds of people,” Husseini said. “Some who believe in peace and God and some that believe in violence and the devil. While I was in Germany, I met a student. He told me that I am a Muslim, that I am a terrorist. I told him that he is the German, that he burned people. I said Why are you talking to me? I didn’t burn anybody. I told him also that I didn’t terrorize anybody, and that I was the first person to condemn what Osama bin Laden did to America on 9/11. I told him that we, the Shia people, in Iraq we were the first victims. Saddam killed civilian people, he cut off our heads, he blew up our houses. I told him that Hitler burned the Jews. Nobody in the world has done what he did. Then I told him we are the same. You are German, and you are not Hitler. I am a Muslim, but I am not Osama bin Laden.”

It’s extraordinary how the violent extremists of the Middle East have managed to portray themselves as mainstream in front of Westerners. In some countries, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, perhaps at least the passive supporters of Islamists really are mainstream. In most places, though, they are not. Religiously moderate Muslims are easy to find in the Middle East, especially in modern countries like Turkey and Lebanon. But they get precious little attention in the media. Those with the rocket launchers and the self-detonation belts are more newsworthy and get much more press.

“I hope that my voice will be heard in the world,” Husseini said, “to separate between the two lines, the devil line, the killing line, the bad thoughts, terrorism, and the peaceful line, peace and love, living in dignity, all of that. I also hope that the State Department, and other people who can arrange this, if they would invite me and some of my friends to discuss the situation here in Lebanon. They think the Shia people here in Lebanon are all on Nasrallah’s side. That is not right.”

Husseinys Library.jpg
Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini’s home office and library

“Many Westerners believe that Islam and democracy are two separate things,” I said.

“I wrote that question here,” he said and lifted up his book, “along with the answer. What’s the difference between Islam and democracy? The word “Islam” means Peace. It’s all in here.”

“I will read it,” I said.

“Yes, yes,” Husseini said, “it’s for you. Plenty of answers to your questions you will find in my books.”

I read his book, and he didn’t actually address this directly. But it’s obvious after reading his work that he doesn’t think Islam and democracy are incompatible. He clearly favors democracy, and he assumes it self-evident that it’s the best form of government. Dictatorship, he explicitly says, is just another form of violence and terrorism.

“Islam, in my definition, is the religion of peace,” he continued. “It wishes and invites peace and brotherhood and is against violence. There are chapters in the Koran calling for Islam peacefully. The Islamic religion does not attempt to go forcefully, but attempts to go peacefully. We must differentiate between the Islamic religion and those who say they are Islamic. There are plenty of people among the Christians and the Muslims, Michael, who defend Christianity and Islam without knowing what Christianity and Islam are. Terrorism is not Islamic. Islam prohibits it. Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood – Islam is innocent of them. Everyone calling for damage, killing, and blood is not from the religion. It is not from God. This is from the devil.”

“So why is Hezbollah popular in Lebanon?” I said.

I did not, and do not, mean to imply that Hezbollah represents the majority of the people of Lebanon. They do not. Hezbollah is, however, supported to one extent or another, and for a wide variety of reasons,. by perhaps 70 percent of Lebanon’s Shia. Hardly any of Lebanon’s Christians, Sunnis, or Druze support Hezbollah. Even Hezbollah’s Christian “allies” in Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement insist Hezbollah needs to disarm and give up the jihad against the Israelis. What this means is that around 80 percent of Lebanon is against them to one extent or another.

“The terrorists and bloody movements get support,” Husseini said. “Because my movement is peaceful and non-violent we don’t have anybody supporting us.”

He is referring here to support from outside Lebanon. Syria and Iran have never supported peaceful movements in Lebanon, and Westerners are mostly oblivious to fact that peaceful Muslim movements there (both Sunni and Shia) even exist.

“Hopefully you can help,” he said. “We need support. What did Hezbollah do to become popular up until now? They had four hospitals in the dahiyeh. They had 30 madrassas, or schools. They had 30 foundations for supporting work for the people. Also they bring engineers, doctors, and they have plenty of money. They have a TV channel, radio, newspapers, soldiers. They are a country inside a country, a government inside a government. They have all the money. They have the force to do this. They pushed so hard to help the people that all the poor Shia and some of the rich support them. Also, in the South the same situation. They built hospitals there, and also in Baalbeck. All the Shia places where there are many people they spend money, money, money, money, money. Hezbollah pays for the people to build and repair their houses. So the two reasons are money and services. They use those to gather the people around them.”

How can the likes of Sayyed Husseini possibly compete with Hezbollah’s power and wealth? Most Lebanese Shia are unaware that Husseini’s path is even an option. Hezbollah’s very real smashing of dissent ensures that it stays that way.

“What is the solution to this problem?” I said.

“The problem here in Lebanon,” Husseini said, “is that if we want to change we need an alternative. If you want to remove me from my position, you need to have a replacement, another person. The people who lived in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, they lived on Saddam’s money and Saddam’s services. When the United State army came to Iraq, they didn’t give them the money. Here in Lebanon the Iranian money, for example, is paying for portable water tanks with Iranian flags on them. It is from Iran. If you want to take Iran out of Lebanon you must bring another one with a Lebanese flag on it.”

Hezbollah supporters will tell you that the state has never provided the basic necesities in the Shia regions on Lebanon. There is some truth to this. The problem now, though, is that Hezbollah often prevents the Lebanese government from delivering all of these things. They understand very well that what Husseini says is correct, that Hezbollah buys its power by providing services on their own. They have no chance of monopolizing Shia opinion if they cannot also monopolize community services. They can only build a state-within-a-state if they have their own parallel institutions. Hospitals and schools buy power and loyalty. Hezbollah would be endangered if the government were allowed to step in and do its job.

“All of those people,” Husseini said, “most of them, who go to the protest downtown have no work to do. They earn 30 dollars per day.”

“Being downtown they get paid 30 dollars a day?” I said.

“Yes,” he said. “If they had work to do, they will not go down there. This is Iranian money, the green money. Nasrallah talked about it. We must exchange it with government money.”

“But how do you do that,” I said, “if Hezbollah blocks the government from coming here?”

“If we use peaceful means,” he said, “without contact with Hezbollah it will be the best way. Many people come here and ask for my help. If people like me instead of Hezbollah could help them, they would have none of these problems. I am working to create a peace culture instead of a jihad culture. I am asking to go to the States to discuss these matters.”

“How many Lebanese Shia think like you do?” I said. The number is only around 30 percent, but I was curious if he thought it might be higher, or what it might potentially be in the future.

“Every reasonable person thinks like me,” he said. “The problem is they need support in the media to gather a big enough number of people. You have a responsibility to get us noticed in the media. The war began with words. Maybe peace can begin with words. I need your help, and I need contacts with human rights organizations in the West.”

“What do you think of US policy in Iraq?” I said.

“The problem is not with American policy,” he said, “but with the countries around Iraq. America did a good job for the Iraqi people. The problem is not only with Syria and Iran, but a clash between the old dictatorship and the Arab democracy. The countries around Iraq have radical dictatorships and they are against democracy. If democracy succeeds in Iraq it will be a good view for the other countries. That is why they are fighting.”

“What do you think about Israel?” I said.

“From the human side,” he said, “all of us are children of Adam and Eve. We wish to live peacefully all around the world. All people have the right to live in peace.”

“Should there be a peace agreement between Lebanon and Israel now?” I said.

Most Lebanese want eventual peace with Israel, but at the same time they want the outstanding issues (and Israel’s existence isn’t one of them for most) resolved first.

“I push all people to go in peace,” he said. “This is what Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad teach.”

“So,” I said, “should there be a peace treaty before or after the Shebba Farms, Lebanese prisoners in Israel, and Palestinian refugees have been resolved?”

“I want peace all over the world,” he said. “So what I wish for the world I also wish for Lebanon. We have seen so much fighting, killing, and blood. More than our share.”

It is worth pointing out once again that when Israel invaded South Lebanon in 1982 to evict the Palestinian Liberation Organization on the border, most of the Shia hailed the Israelis as liberators from Palestinian perfidy. This was their natural default position. The fact that they are Arabs and Muslims did not, as the conventional wisdom would have it, mean they opposed Israel’s existence or wanted to fight the Israelis. Iranian agents infiltrated the region at the same time, relentlessly propagandized against the Israelis, and created Hezbollah from scratch. That is what opened this front in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“Are you with March 14, or are you independent?” I said. “March 14” refers to the anti-Syrian and pro-Western majority in the government, named after the enormous rally on March 14, 2005, that led to the withdrawal of the occupying Syrian army.

“I am Lebanese,” he said. “I am with Lebanon. My loyalty is to Lebanon. The Shia sect must serve Lebanon. We were born in this country, we live here, we grow here, we must serve and defend its independence and territories. I love Lebanon, and I am ready to serve my country. A man who does not help his country is not good for anything.”

“What does Hassan Nasrallah think about you?” I said.

“I don’t care what he thinks,” he said. “I care about what God and Lebanon think. I am living God’s teachings of peace and love. I am working to help people. Jesus teaches I don’t care you who are. I care about your suffering and illness. That is why I help you. I believe God is satisfied with my work because I am helping others. Lebanese people appreciate my work because I am working to gather the Lebanese and stop clashes between them. This is the right work for religious men. Religious men who ask for war and blood and terrorism are serving the devil.”

“What do you think of George W. Bush?” I said.

“I thank Mr. Bush for helping the people of Lebanon by getting the Syrians out,” he said.

Lebanese deserve most of the credit for ejecting the Syrians. If they hadn’t demanded the withdrawal of the Baath regime from their country, Bashar Assad would still be ruler of Lebanon. Nevertheless, the US government put enormous pressure on Assad to withdraw, and some Lebanese have told me it was this pressure that gave them the courage to demand withdrawal in the first place.

“How does Hezbollah prevent you from getting media coverage?” I said.

“I studied in Qom [in Iran] because Saddam was still in Najaf [in Iraq],” he said. “Iraqi Shia all had to go there and get their degrees. I wrote two articles in the newspaper talking about the real brotherhood between Lebanon and the USA and asking Lebanese Shia to open relations with the USA. Hezbollah worked to stop my ability to continue publishing in the newspaper. So I rely on foreign journalists to tell the world what I and my friends think.”

“Has anyone ever threatened you?” I said.

“Yes, plenty of people,” he said.

“Lebanese or Syrian?” I said.

“Lebanese and Iranian,” he said, which slightly surprised me. Iranian threats inside Lebanon get perhaps no attention in the media whatsoever. This was actually the first time I had heard of it happening.

He took my hand and asked me if I would please put him in contact with institutions and human rights organizations in the West. He feels, and is, extremely isolated thanks to Iran and Hezbollah.

Here, then, are copies of his business card in English and Arabic if anyone wants to talk to him. He understands some English, but only Arabic speakers will be able to communicate with him over the phone.

Sayyed Husseiny Business Card English.jpg

Sayyed Husseiny Business Card Arabic.jpg

“I want to say one more thing about Lebanon,” he said. “Because of my religion and the Lebanese situation at this difficult time I call for a reasonable Lebanese politics. Nasrallah said he would not have started the war if he knew what would happen. He must know, he must know, he must know that we heading toward war. Everyone will be responsible. I call on everybody to go back from being politically drunk to the reasonable way. Lebanese should not clash with other Lebanese and take the country to Hell. Those who run around the rim of Hell will fall in it.”

Post-script: If you like what I write, please click the Pay Pal button and help make it happen. These trips are expensive, and I have to eat and pay bills. Your donations are the only thing that makes my work possible. I would do this for free if I could, but we don’t live in a Star Trek money-free universe yet.

If you would like to donate money for travel expenses and you don't want to use Pay Pal, you can send a check or money order to:

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Many thanks in advance.

All photographs copyright Michael J. Totten

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 15, 2007 09:53 PM

Comments

thanks for the info on this imam. it was a refreshing and pleasant read. iam glad to see that there are other options to nasrallah and his thugs. i hope more and more people learn about him.
peace

Posted by: buckeye at January 15, 2007 11:32 PM

Still very evasive on the topic of Israel. One wonders how the seeds of peace can be grow when he can't even bring himself to pronounce the word..

Posted by: Neil at January 16, 2007 12:27 AM

Facinating and different article.

By the way another like Husseini (in Dublin) and a report on his exact opposite (in this case) Salafi Imums in Britain preaching that "British Muslims must 'dismantle' British democracy - they must 'live like a state within a state' until they are 'strong enough to take over.'" From Harry's Place

I noticed that the first article mentioned the tolerant Islam of Bosnia that we used to hear mentioned in dispatches from the Bosnian war. One wonders if Bosnian Islam is being subverted too.

I also noticed that the moderate in Dublin has been "cast out by the majority Islamic community in Dublin for his outspokenness," lives under death threats and only has a small community supporting him. Husseini could add Ireland and England to his list of "Egypt and Saudi Arabia" where "the passive supporters of Islamists really are mainstream."

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 16, 2007 12:53 AM

One wonders how the seeds of peace can be grow when he can't even bring himself to pronounce the word.

What, you think this guy is part of the problem? Seriously? You might want to read the relevant paragraphs again.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 01:01 AM

Josh: Husseini could add Ireland and England to his list of "Egypt and Saudi Arabia" where "the passive supporters of Islamists really are mainstream."

It was I who mentioned Egypt and Saudi, not him.

Anyway, European Muslims seem to be considerably more extreme than Middle Eastern Muslims. Weird, but true.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 01:04 AM

Interesting that he has the courage to ask for help from the State Dept. and from western NGOs.

He is absolutely right that the west should set up a fund to provide for services in southern Lebanon and elsewhere. The west is willing to spend 100s of billions in military expenditures, but loath to provide aid (basically welfare) to these folks. This is a disconnect in foreign policy thinking, and is often confused with "freeloading" or "blackmail". But it is not, simply because it validates the cause of democracy. Look at it as a political "investment". And the cost is extremely modest, the rewards in terms of goodwill and loyalty extremely hefty, and saves in future military expenditures.

Posted by: manda at January 16, 2007 01:16 AM

An astute reader is forced to make a certain observations when reading this.

"There are certain figures within the koran that teach peace"

Cool. And who might these figures be ?

"Jesus teaches I don’t care you who are. I care about your suffering and illness. That is why I help you. I believe God is satisfied with my work because I am helping others."

Let's face facts. This imam is a Christian with a canon that includes parts of the koran. He stresses the importance of freedom of conscience and other things that, one is sorry to observe, do not seem to be part of regular islam. These things, you will not find in the koran, and you will find few examples of this in the hadith.

Posted by: Tom at January 16, 2007 01:44 AM

Wonderful!

Glad you got a hold of this guy. I just have a few comments on the background; you are right to state that "'None' is not an option" on ID cards. There is little more than that; "none" is simply worse than mere heresy, and anyone who claims to have no religion is considered an atheist, or "mulhid", and risks death.

In this context, Lebanon has changed its laws and religion is no more stated on ID cards. During the past war, we had many incidents of assassinations based on the religion stated on the IDs. We can still "figure" one another with some accuracy though, thanks to the many different accents and verbal quirks in our dialect.

Posted by: Jeha at January 16, 2007 03:27 AM

Michael, did he express any opinion of the Iraqi Shia moderate cleric, al Sistani? Sistani is an interesting character.

Neil, when you ask Hizballahis about Israel, you don't get "every people has the right to live in peace;" you get a polemic about the Zionists trying to enslave the Arabs. Similarly, if you read their books, you don't get a vision of peaceful relations; you get polemics about the evil Zionists.

Dr. Husseini is clearly on a very different page.

Of course, Dr. Husseini is very far from power. What he would say/do if he HAD power is unclear. What IS pretty clear is that he is not attempting to use sectarian hatred, either of Christians/Sunnis/Druze, or of Jews, to GAIN influence.

To Josh:

Bosnian Muslims and Wahhabism:

http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2006/12/29/bosnias_muslims_divided_over_inroads_of_wahhabism/

"An opinion poll found 70 percent of Bosnian Muslims opposed Wahhabism, while 13 percent broadly supported it. Only 3 percent declared themselves followers."

But read the whole article. The picture is more complex than this.

Posted by: Zvi at January 16, 2007 03:27 AM

There are hudreds of preachers like him here in the States, many of them educated in Iran, Iraq, etc. I don't regularly attend mosque (there is no Shia mosque around here, and the Islamic Center is run by Sunni Pakistanis that are well, rather hostile to Shias -- so I've been told by the Iranians around here), but when I have in NY or DC, the preachers are overwhelmingly similar to Seyyed Husseini.

In a place like Lebanon, it is unsurprising that Husseini doesn't get as much play, he needs a militia or the ability to rally large numbers as per the other groupings in the country. There isn't a major party that couldn't muster some kind of fighting force if it liked. That's why there are so few Quakers. The brutish folks kill the little guys with better ideas. There is a problem witha lot of Shia leaders that says stay out of politics, which was the traditional attitude. But now that the clerics are running things, most poorly, the ones with actual learning need to get into the fray. Then get out really quick.

Posted by: Nouri Lumendifi at January 16, 2007 03:41 AM

MJT:

EXCELLENT, again.

Can I cite this and use it extensively [on the perhaps 85 - 90% of Muslims], of course attributing you as source?

Also, where can one get these books by what is obviously a decent man? Amazon? [If he isn't there, can we find a way to help him . . .?]

Keep up your good work!

TKI

Posted by: kairosfocus at January 16, 2007 03:52 AM

I see he has a hotmail but no website. While he may depend upon book sales for income, having no drug rings or foreign sugar-daddies to provide wherewithal, might he do best to post his works online? Perhaps he could be helped in this. The benefit of disseminating his beliefs worldwide speaks for itself.

Posted by: nichevo at January 16, 2007 05:14 AM

Iranian agents infiltrated the region at the same time, relentlessly propagandized against the Israelis, and created Hezbollah from scratch. That is what opened this front in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

That is not the complete picture, Michael. The 1982 Israeli invasion left thousands of innocent Lebanese and Palestinians dead. There was clear intent to kill and terrorize, in order to drive the enemy in Lebanon away and score goals both across the border and in Israel/Occupied territories. You know that I'm no fan of Hizbullah, but let's not whitewash Israel's bloody history in Lebanon, and how that contributed to the increase in animosity towards it in the country. One can still have a solid argument (and a stronger one) against Iranian interference and Hizbullah's death culture without overlooking crimes committed by Ariel Sharon and others like him.

Interesting piece otherwise. It's just sad that the other Shia voice has to be turban-wearing. While Nasrallah doesn't have my vote, I won't be voting this guy into power because I don't believe religion in general is what he says it is. But that's just me.

I realize some of your readers will not appreciate what I said above regarding Israel, which to them is the only reason they are interested in reading about Lebanon anyway. It would do them good to see things from the Lebanese perspective for once, as you have been trying to do.

Posted by: Abu Kais at January 16, 2007 06:10 AM

It’s extraordinary how the violent extremists of the Middle East have managed to portray themselves as mainstream in front of Westerners.

This comment is pretty weak I think. YEs violent extremists do a good job of tarnishing the image of Muslims and the like, but this fails to acknwoledge and willful Western stereotype that is encouraged by the media, Hollywood, the papers. . . terms like "Islamo-fascism" and the like. It is acceptable to consider it a "threat" for a Muslim-American congreeman to take an oath on the Quran.

As RFK said "What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents." This is as true of Muslim extremists as it is of Westerners who claim to be tolerant and enlightened but are accepting of intolerance against Muslims. Intolerance is blinding and makes people willfully see societies and groups through a very selective lens.

As one of your commentators here wrote. . . let's be honest, this guy is a Christian. . .so it is impossible to teach what he is teaching and be a Muslim. . .or even be a true Muslim? That is convenient. As long as teachings are peaceful, they are Christian and not Muslim.

Michael, I am a Lebanese-American, living Beirut. I find your blog interesting and a valuable contribution, but if I may be honest. . .at times I wish you could dig a little deeper, as the perspective is pretty one dimensional, though far more educated than a lot of stuff out there.

Posted by: Rima at January 16, 2007 06:39 AM

"...independence and territories."

And did you ask this man how he believes the right way to regain palistinian and lebanese territory and independce? What did he suggest...kiss the IDF's feet? Give them a flower instead and they might leave the land and our people alone? It's obvious, this guy is desperate and begs you at every opportunity to take him with you to the states where instead of preaching peace would probably preach hatred against his own people and hizbollah for not having an open-ended war with the israelis.

"I love Lebanon, and I am ready to serve my country."

And how does this guy serve his country? When you asked him about peace with israel and the support he has he didn't even give you an answer because it's obvious he hates israel and has hardly any support from anyone. I've never heard of this man, some alama he must be. By the way this guy is nowhere near fadlallah. Fadlallah is Ayatollah Ruhollah Sayyid Mohammed Hussain Fadlallah. Sayyid Fadlallah is a mufti, this guy isn't.

I would like to note something while we are dicussing this. Sayyid Mohammed Fadlallah opposed Hizbollah for a long time in the past. He also preaceh peace, was an educated mufti and rejected a hizbollah invitation to become part of the organisation. He completely disagreed on their policies and i still remember their was a little row with him and hizbollah's leadership..until the israeli's tried to assasinate him in a car-bomb attack but instead killed 82 civilians. They saw he opposed them, but opposed them peace-fuly. This was a danger for israelis because they saw if this peace-ful mufti known all around the world started a peaceful campaign and got every single shia person in lebanon against them, the israelis will loose the PR campaign in illustrating the shia as un-civilised and terrorists who need some humiliation until they are back to normal. After that insident, the mufti woke up and supported the hizbollah resistance but still opposed their politics until very recently.

This person supports the bush administration which has lost the support of most of the presidents own people, as shown in the current elections. Also, ask him how he has served his country. What did he gain for his country so far if he's so loyal to the people etc. Did he liberate so much as a toe of a prisoner or 1cm of land? I don't think so, because if he so muchas liberated a lebanese sandal from the israeli's using peaceful methods, then he's got all my support thats for sure. If we are able to liberate and gain true sovereignty through peace and without having to pay so dearly in violence, havoc, blood and destruction, then why not. I was actually with the idea of syria leaving lebanon, but at the same time i was with the demonstration held by hizbollah to thank the syrians for sacrificing 11,000 lives for the sake of my country.

"A man who does not help his country is not good for anything"

Since he hasn't earnt a thing for his, then he's implying a shoe is more worthy than he is. I will not directly disrespect the man just because i value the purenes and holiness of the black turban on his head, but since me and him are from the same family (black turban means he's a direct dissident of prophet muhammad and the rest of the prophets. Reffering to someone as a sayyid also has the same meaning as the black turban. I'm a sayyid and this guy, as well as nasrallah and fadlallah, must be because they are called sayyids and wear the black turban, meaning we all share the same dissidence) as i do, then i can tell this guy he has no respect what so ever for his own people and the muslims of iraq and furthermore has done nothing to benefit islam nor lebanon, so he's worth nothing, as he prefered to put it. All he seemed to do is beg for the greencard off MJT.

Furthermore, if this man is so opposed by hizbollah and gets many threats, why are his books even released in dahiyeh? Hizbollah has the power to put this man in prison or at least captivity (no-one will notice he's gone,,,nobody knows the man) but if he has 30% of shia support and loyalty, at least his name would be recognised from somewhere. Not even future tv has discovered this man. They have discovered JaeJae, which means they probably think JaeJae did more for lebanon than Husseini. Nice.

"none" is not true, we have communists who are referred to as shio'i people. Means no religion or none!

Posted by: hezbollah lover at January 16, 2007 06:57 AM

When I was in Israel early last summer, I heard repeatedly from IDF and intelligence people (but less so from political figures, interestingly) that economically countering terrorist Dawa -- hospitals, charity, madrassas, etc -- was absolutely essential to any possible long term challenge to terrorist Islam, and that no one in the West, the ME, Asia, anywhere was making that investment. ...That mere military approaches in Iraq, Lebanon, even the territories, were like cutting out metastases without going after the original cancer.

If even half the aid to countries like Egypt and Jordan was tied to building services and infrastructure, and changing education, and this was enforced, it could begin to dilute the power of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah, etc.

Of course this man asks for help -- the Saudis, the Gulf States aren't going to help him -- he doesn't spread Wahhabi. The US isn't going to help -- no oil. The EU isn't going to help -- he offers no corporate footholds. Israel isn't going to help -- it would be the kiss of death.

In short, he's right -- money goes to those who can provide access to power and thus more money. Peace -- well, peace doesn't get that job done.

Maybe he needs to call Bill Gates.

Posted by: Pam at January 16, 2007 07:30 AM

MJT:It’s extraordinary how the violent extremists of the Middle East have managed to portray themselves as mainstream in front of Westerners. In some countries, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, perhaps at least the passive supporters of Islamists really are mainstream. In most places, though, they are not. Religiously moderate Muslims are easy to find in the Middle East, especially in modern countries like Turkey and Lebanon. But they get precious little attention in the media. Those with the rocket launchers and the self-detonation belts are more newsworthy and get much more press.
I am willing to accept the possibility that the peaceful face of Islam is a real face and perhaps even a majority somewhere. What is clear to me is that at least in the Middle East, it is largely an irrelevant face as the muslims who advocate peace are not the ones who have seized the public initiative, are not the ones who make policy and are not the ones who are actively spreading their viewpoints. Until peaceful muslims are able to not just tell the West that the suicide bombers, market gunners, building detonators, road bombers, ball-bearing missile launchers and kidnappers don't represent them but actually exert some control over their brethren, or at least confront them at home, then the peace lovers are irrelevant.

The people who actually exert influence are the ones that matter, and I have seen no evidence that the peaceniks have any influence. It is nice to know that they exist, but they seem to be little more than a footnote. It is clear that religious clerics have a good deal of influence over the average Muslim. When someone like Husseini is ready to say that Hizbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood etc. are forbidden, that their members may not pray in a mosque, that their sons may not marry our daughters and that their daughters may not marry our sons, that is forbidden to donate to their charities, to accept money from them, to attend their schools etc. then I will believe that there are muslims of any relevance who disavow the violent path.

I am no expert on the region, so the internal nuances are hard for me to grasp and seem to be of only academic interest. My guess is that the views of Hezbollah Lover will have far more influence on my life than those of Husseini. On the other hand, I have a hard time seeing how Hezbollah Lover will make it to 40. He seems like just the sort of uncritical true believer you send to the front to clog tank treads.

Posted by: dontgetit at January 16, 2007 07:47 AM

The argument made here is that Hezbollah is only popular because of their charity arm, and the likes of Husseini are unpopular because a lack of funding.

A similar argument was made of Hamas: they were not voted into power because of their unrepentant jihadist philosophy, but because of their charity work, lack of corruption, and promise to improve the lives of Palestinians.

However Palestinian life and prosperity has deteriorated drastically under Hamas, who have vowed they would rather let their people starve than even utter the words that would support Israel's right to exist.

Similarly, Hezbollah's policy of endless war has only led to the destruction witnessed in Southern Lebanon and worsening poverty.

Thus I remain unconvinced that the support these jihadists organizations earn is due to their benign charity work, rather than the product of a local culture that indoctrinates hatred and fundamentalism.

I wish I was wrong for many reasons, including the fact that the Islamist's jihad could then be ended with the writing of one really big check. If only it were that simple.

Posted by: mertel at January 16, 2007 08:10 AM

@rima

I said this guy was a christian because he's talking about how you should be peaceful because of Jesus Christ's teachings.

What other definition of a Christian would you use ? I'll gladly agree he's not a catholic or a protestant.

But as everybody can plainly see in the quran, fighting is part of islam. A big part.

Posted by: nevergotit at January 16, 2007 08:11 AM

HL, I'm sorry, but you wouldn't recognize wisdom if it hit you in the head with a bat. This 'nobody' is at the very least smart enough to understand the folly of starting pointless wars that achieve nothing and wreck the country. Its is more that can be said about your precious Nasrallah.

You believe perpetual war is needed to 'liberate' a postage stamp-sized piece of uninhabited land from Israel, but you are ok with Syria occupying and plundering the whole of Lebanon for decades. And of course freeing Samir Kuntar is paramount, nevermind the hundreds of your contrymen languish in Syrian jails. But whatever. Go thank Syria if you like. And perhaps later you can go to a candlelight vigil for Ariel Sharon, or say a prayer for Yasser Arafat.

Posted by: Bruno at January 16, 2007 09:11 AM

And dance a gig for Khomeini.

Posted by: Bruno at January 16, 2007 09:14 AM

I said this guy was a christian because he's talking about how you should be peaceful because of Jesus Christ's teachings.

Don't be ridiculous. Jesus is an Islamic figure as well as a Christian figure. And he was talking to me, a "Christian," so he probably quote Jesus to make me happy.

The guy is an Islamic cleric with a PhD in religion from Qom in Iran. He's not a Christian! Geez.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 09:47 AM

Great job, Michael!

Not only are there lots of religiously moderate Muslims in the more modern countries, you can find them pretty easily even in the less modernized ones. I had no problem finding some even in Saudi Arabia (in early 2005). And in Riyadh, at that. And I was there on business, and wasn't even looking for anyone outside my business contacts.

Perhaps the most important information we need to get out here in the US is the fact that the radicals are a minority even at home. A noisy, and intimidating, minority, perhaps, but still a minority.

Posted by: wj at January 16, 2007 09:49 AM

Thus I remain unconvinced that the support these jihadists organizations earn is due to their benign charity work, rather than the product of a local culture that indoctrinates hatred and fundamentalism.

It's both.

Hezbollah owns schools, newspapers, and TV stations as well as hospitals.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 09:49 AM

Here is a bit I did on where Islamic philosophy went bad:

No Word For Liberty

Posted by: M. Simon at January 16, 2007 10:06 AM

It's both.

Yeah. I was just thinking that.

See, I used to follow the Peres school of thought - that terrorism stems from poverty. And alleviation of economic suffering will end support for terrorism. But then the world pumped billions into Arafat's account and terrorism won.

Then I adopted the political view point. Address the political and nationalist grievances and terrorists will lay down their arms. But then Israel withdrew from Gaza and Lebanon and Hamas and Hezbollah claimed victory, lay down their b-b-guns and swapped them for missiles.

Now it's clear to me that the fanatical hatred exhibited by Hezbollah, Hamas and our very own HL, amongst many many others, will not be alleviated through sensible compromise or good will gestures.

Bugger.

Posted by: mertel at January 16, 2007 10:13 AM

Mertel: the world pumped billions into Arafat's account and terrorism won.

Of course. He was a terrorist.

Money needs to go to people who aren't terrorists. Bringing Arafat out of exile and giving him money and guns was insane.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 10:18 AM

Money needs to go to people who aren't terrorists

I agree, but how? How do you get money to the Shia in Southern Lebanon without going through Hezbollah. How do you get money to the Palestinians without supporting Hamas / Fatah.

Anyway, I don't think money solve the problem. Poverty isn't the cause - there are MANY more impoverished people in the world who don't go around blowing themselves up. In fact there was a recent survey showing that Islamic extremists were in fact wealthier and better educated than their more moderate counterparts.

Posted by: mertel at January 16, 2007 10:25 AM

Mertel, I agree that poverty isn't the cause.

Mali is a Muslim country, and one of the fifth poorest in the world. No terrorists come from Mali.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has scads of money...

It's about ideology and indoctrination. Those who alleviate poverty in Palestine and South Lebanon are given the means to indoctrinate.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 10:28 AM

I wrote a bit on where islamic philosophy went wrong

http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2007/01/no-word-for-liberty.html

No Word For Liberty

Posted by: M. Simon at January 16, 2007 10:33 AM

HL, CAN YOU PLEASE ANSWER EACH OF THE QUESTIONS BELOW TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY. THE ONLY REASON I USED CAPITAL LETTER IS NOT TO YELL BUT SO MY QUESTIONS STAND OUT FROM THE REST OF THE TEXT.

According to the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base and the BBC, "[f]or many years, Hezbollah was synonymous with terror, suicide bombings and kidnappings. Hezbollah's acts have included multiple kidnappings, murders, hijackings, and bombings. HL, THIS DOES NOT SOUND LIKE A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION TO YOU?

Hezbollah’s Position on Israel :
From the inception of Hezbollah to the present the elimination of the state of Israel has been Hezbollah's primary goal. Secretary-General Nasrallah’s has stated "There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel." In an interview with the Washington Post, Nasrallah said "I am against any reconciliation with Israel. I do not even recognize the presence of a state that is called 'Israel.'" HL, HOW CAN THEIR EVER BE PEACE FOR LEBANON WITH HIZBOLLAH’S RADICAL GOAL OF WIPING ISRAEL OFF OF THE FACE OF THE EARTH?

Position on Jews and Judaism:
Hassan Nasrallah has made anti-Jewish statements such as "if they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." HL, HOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS REMARK REGARDING THE PEACE LOVING HEZBOLLAH?

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a Shiite scholar and assistant professor at the Lebanese American University, however, argues that Hezbollah is not Anti-Zionist, but actually Anti-Jewish. She quotes Hassan Nasrallah as saying, "If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli." Regarding the official public stance of Hezbollah as a whole, she argues that while Hezbollah, "tries to mask its anti-Judaism for public-relations reasons..a study of its language, spoken and written, reveals an underlying truth." In her book, Hezbollah: Politics & Religion, she dissects the anti-Jewish roots of Hezbollah ideology, arguing that Hezbollah "believes that Jews, by the nature of Judaism, possess fatal character flaws." Saad-Ghorayeb also argues that "Hezbollah's Koranic reading of Jewish history has led its leaders to believe that Jewish theology is evil." HL, THIS IS PRETTY RADICAL THINKING THAT ONLY TEACHES AND BREEDS HATRED! IF IT DOES NOT HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN IT?

In 2004 the Hezbollah-owned television station Al-Manar was banned in France on the grounds that it was inciting racial hatred. The court cited a 23 November broadcast in which a speaker accused Israel of deliberately disseminating AIDS in Arab nations. HL, WHAT KIND OF RIDICULOUS RADICAL MUSLIM PROPAGANDA IS THIS? PLEASE TELL ME YOU DON’T ACTUALLY BY INTO THIS BS!!!

HL, FROM SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN I THINK THAT YOU ARE TO WELL EDUCATED TO ACTUALY BELIEVE THE WEAK MINDED RADICAL HEZBOLLAH THINKING THAT IS LISTED ABOVE…

Posted by: Hezbollah Hater at January 16, 2007 11:10 AM

"It’s extraordinary how the violent extremists of the Middle East have managed to portray themselves as mainstream in front of Westerners. In some countries, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, perhaps at least the passive supporters of Islamists really are mainstream. In most places, though, they are not. Religiously moderate Muslims are easy to find in the Middle East, especially in modern countries like Turkey and Lebanon. But they get precious little attention in the media."

While the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality helps the islamists with the media, most media types are more sypathetic to the islamist's cause. The media are disproportionately left-of-center in their politics, and they see this as a struggle of Muslims vs. the US, and the Americans are the bad guys. Giving media attention to a learned Muslim religious leader who does not heap scorn upon the US and/or George Bush is not something they would be prone to do. It's not part of their world view. Imagine the criticism they'd get from their peers too. They'd be seen as America's lapdog, doing Bush's bidding. So the islamists get a more sympathetic hearing and westerners perceive islamists and their supporters as the majority in the Arab world.

Yes, the Islamists are very good at PR, but the playing field is not level, and the media are predisposed politically to the islamist's cause.
To most of them, it's more important that America be taught a lesson.

Posted by: wadikitty at January 16, 2007 11:16 AM

re. Mr. Mohammad's "Israel position," the way I read his responses were that while he does believe in the right for all people, including Israelis, to live in peace, he also belives that there are some issues specific to Israel that need to be addressed. It is not surprising that he chose not to put these into a laundry list for MJT since he was wanting to emphasize his position of peace and also had likely not carefully considered a response to this specific question. Not wanting to say something that may be misunderstood or mistranslated on such an important topic seems only prudent for a man who was quite candid in wanting this interview to get the widest exposure.

re Mr. Mohammad being "Christian," I have known many Buddhists that, inthe condict of their daily lives, behave much more Christ-like than many self-proclaimed Christians. I am of the opinion, as a semi-Christian, that there are many ways to "know" Christ and walk in his path, even if the individual traveller may not realize until the end that it was He who blazed the trail for them.

Posted by: submandave at January 16, 2007 01:50 PM

he also belives that there are some issues specific to Israel that need to be addressed

He didn't say that, I did.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 02:16 PM

HL:"I want to say, we both agree on one thing, the arab world now lives a time of humiliation. I do not disagree with you on that in any way. They have come from being the most un-humiliated people, which was a very long time ago and im not going to go their, to becoming the most humiliated people, which is now."

I suppose when you talk about being un-humiliated you are refering to the time that the Arabs had conquered and occupied other peoples land and oppressed them. So, it's okay when Arabs or Muslims conquer, oppress, and occupy, but the reverse is a crime against humanity and a great "humiliation."

Justin

Posted by: Justin at January 16, 2007 02:27 PM

Justin,

Islam promises dominance. If it can't dominate it fails.

What we see now is a last gasp attempt at dominance.

In other words we are in the middle of the Muslim reformation.

Posted by: M. Simon at January 16, 2007 02:53 PM

Husseini does look like Hassan Nasrallah, but I can't get over the way they both look like my former boss at 3Com (the department's top IT person)

It's also odd to note that a source of Hezbollah's funds is "audiovisual bootlegging" In a saner world, Nasrallah would probably have led a happy life as a well-paid Sales Engineer.

Hezbollah's power is all about ideology and indoctrination. Right-wing (mostly middle-class) extremists gain power by promising to defeat some external and/or foreign threat. Left wing (mostly middle-class) extremists gain power by pretending to care about the poor and the oppressed. Hezbollah and their ilk are innovators in that they combine both sales pitches - help the poor and kill the scapegoat. That may be one reason why their message appeals to the extreme left and the extreme right.

This indoctrination is based on the illusion that Hezbollah's political goals are motivated by their religious beliefs. Husseini's message destroys that illusion.

Posted by: mary at January 16, 2007 03:43 PM

It's not that poverty causes terrorism -- it's that poverty, lack of infrastructure, absence of available health care, lack of broad education and opportunity to live a somewhat secure or 'predictable' lifestyle -- that is, lack of any perceived control, however illusory -- makes a populace far, far more vulnerable to persuasion, indoctrination, and being bought and sold by whoever provides some of that for them.

The West hasn't offered anything beneficial at all to the run of the mill Arab; their own national governments have not provided much generally beneficial development (but instead like Arafat, squirreled away or squandered the billions or distributed it inequitably). Yet they can see on their TVs another world out there that is shiny and rich and alien. A civilization they can only envy, and with no sense of power to achieve it for themselves, envy is easily turned to resentment and then trained to hate and malice.

Now say an organization that actually DOES provide some sense of a comparable 'civilization' (running potable water, police, medical clinics, etc) also completely controls the educational and religious system, i.e., the values infrastructure. They tell you it is righteous to resent bitterly, it is justice to destroy that other civilization, it is a religious calling in fact -- that its wealth and corrupt values maintains your poverty -- welcome to terrorism 101.

A 'big check' is only part of the long term answer (and that still assumes surgery/military actions to cut out the immediately destructive tumors) -- the money must go TO the people in communities, not the corrupt gov't leaders, and it must be done in a way to enhance and build local self-respect and sense of relevance (i.e., not Halliburton profits); women must begin to be educated and empowered in every possible way; and the educational systems above all must be torn from the grip of radical ideologues and corrupt governments as well.

Posted by: Pam at January 16, 2007 03:59 PM

More of this guy, please!

Posted by: d00d at January 16, 2007 03:59 PM

Islam promises dominance. If it can't dominate it fails. What we see now is a last gasp attempt at dominance. In other words we are in the middle of the Muslim reformation.

Or seeing the beginning of a very long period with tons of very destructive wars and infinite suffering, long before Islam expires rather than reform.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 16, 2007 05:41 PM

The word “Islam” means Peace.

Not really. It means submission.

But I'm glad he's looking for peace and I wish more Shia would follow him.

MJT, just curious about a side issue - you know how you said Hezbollah was anti-flagellating/cutting with respect to the celebration of Ashura because they felt it made the Shia look backwards?

Do you happen to know this gentleman's take on the issue?

Is he also on the outs with Hezbollah because of differences on how to celebrate Ashura?

Posted by: SoCalJustice at January 16, 2007 06:29 PM

OH...MY...GOD...
You guys won't believe what i just found out!
I was having a little talk about some comments here which i couldn't argue against. It started off with Hizbollah and ended in media and religion.

When i told him about some of the comments made by nasrallah in the past and quoted here by certain individuals which is considered to be "anti-jewsish" (not anti-semite)

I told him about how they suffered etc He then asked me the best question any of you have ever asked - Why? Why were they so downtroden etc. I didn't know, obviously. He told me that around the world - and i believe this is true because it used to happen alot in school - the term "jew" is sometimes an insult to many. And he gave me a speech about how throughout history they have been the main source of fitnah, meaning stiring up trouble between communities so that they may gain the upper hand.

Yes, i know what you are thinking, i must have an anti-semite father. Fair enough. But we had a further talk about many things and researched them all together online. Something very interesting came up and i would like to use the results of those searches in the following comparison of dhimma (non-muslim laws under muslim rule) and goy/goyim (A jewish term for all non-jews, or jews who are not following their religion as they should be.)

The first thing i would like to note is that on wikipedia, when i searched dhimma, it went very far into explaining and elaborating on the term as well its rules and examples etc, but when i searched goyim, which is the plural word for goy, i only found a definition, but not an elaboration of any sort or kind. I had to find deeper elaboration on the term by going on google etc. My dad, during the conversation, told me you can never ever have peace with a people who believe in things such as goy, i will explain now why:

Before i start quoting and giving links, i want to give my own answer in my own words of what i think a goy is and the elaboration of a goy or goyim:
A goyim is the plural form of goy. Goy is used 550 times in the hebrew torah to refer to ?other nations and peoples, meaning non-jews. In the Jewsih belief, a goy i.e. non-jew, is classed to be less worthy of a human, more along the lines of an animal or slave, whose only owners and masters are the jews.

In the Jewish religion, it is not forbidden for a jew to deciept, rob, rape, kill, fraud or rob a goy (non-jew). Though, circumstances differ depending on whether or not the goy is under jewish rule or not.

I will be quoting to everyone here exactly what dhimma is and the elaboration etc. But first, for some greusome facts about some things jews believe in:

"Deception in Business:

It is a grave sin to practice any kind of deception whatsoever against a Jew. Against a Gentile (goy) it is only forbidden to practice direct deception. Indirect deception is allowed, unless it is likely to cause hostility towards Jews or insult to the Jewish religion. The paradigmatic example is mistaken calculation of the price during a purchase. If a Jew makes a mistake unfavorable to himself, it is one's religious duty to correct him. If a Gentile is spotted making such a mistake, one need not let him know about it."

"Fraud

It is forbidden to defraud a Jew by selling or buying at an unreasonable price. However, "Fraud does not apply to Gentiles (goyim), for it is written 'Do no defraud each man his brother' [the Halakhah interprets all such idioms as referring exclusively to one's fellow Jew.]"

"Theft and Robbery

Robbery of a Gentile (goy) by a Jew is not forbidden outright, but only under certain circumstances such as "when the Gentiles (goyim) are not under our (jewish) rule," but is permitted "when they are under our (jewish) rule." Rabbinical authorities differ among themselves as to the precise details of the circumstances under which a Jew may rob a Gentile (goy), but the whole debate is concerned only with the relative power of Jews and Gentiles (goyim) rather than with universal considerations of justice and humanity."

Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Two Thousand Years (London: Pluto Press, 1994), 89-90, 117 n49.

The Jewish Diaspora community in Europe has been formally called to task by Christian authorities a number of times in history to find out exactly what the Jews in their midst believed and where they morally, politically, socially, and religiously stood with regard to Gentiles (goyim).

One of the most important accounts of such an occasion was in France in the year 1240. A Jewish apostate named Donin, Christianized to Nicholas de Rupella, well versed in Hebrew as a Talmudic scholar, claimed to Church officials that there were many elements in Jewish teachings that were threatening to non-Jews. A public disputation was held between Donin and Rabbi Yehiel ben Joseph of Paris. As Jeremy Cohen notes about Hebrew records of the event: "Some modern writers have labeled the Hebrew protocol [of the disputation] a prime example of literary polemic, using well-known forensic motifs to reinforce popular Jewish belief rather than actually reporting what occurred."

To move on. The Talmud, the well known written text of rabbinic discutions about Jewish laws, hostory, ethics and customs. The most infamous line in the Talmud "the best among Gentiles (goyim) should be slain" I don't know about you lot, but this explains alot about Israel's history. Especially why it tried to assasinate Sayyid Fadlallah and exactly why not very recently it has adapted itself and relied on tactical assasination of certain persons...

I mean, come on, how on earth do you expect peace with such a people? Rabbis even tried to convince Christian interrogators at the France conference in 1240 that insults and degradations in the Talmud directed toward Jesus of Nazareth referred to a different Jesus because it was a common name! As Rabbi Yehiel ben Joseph said in defense of the Talmudic texts that defamed Christ, "Not every Louis born in France is the king of France. Has it not happened that two men were born in the same city, had the same name, and died in the same manner? There are many such cases." "The Jesus of the Talmud," scholar Jeremy Cohen writes, "... is mentioned as condemned to wallow eternally in boiling excrement ... When forced to admit that one talmudic passage mentioning the crimes of Jesus and his execution did indeed apply to the Christian Jesus, Yehiel still emphasized that the Talmud was not responsible for maintaining this opinion among Jews."

Finally, traditional Jewish prayers ask, as the apostate correctly charged, for the end of the "unrighteous kingdom." Did "unrighteous kingdom" mean the surrounding society in which the Jews currently live? It does. This, in effect, meant to all Jews "the whole secular world and its entire political edifice."

Now to move on to dhimma:

A dhimmi (also zimmi, Arabic: ذمي‎, plural: اهل الذمۃ, ahl al-dhimma) was a "free" (i.e. non-slave), non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia — Islamic law. A dhimmi is a person of the dhimma, a term which refers in Islamic law to a pact contracted between non-Muslims and authorities from their Muslim government. This status was originally only made available to non-Muslims who were People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians), but was later extended to include Zoroastrians, Mandeans, and, in some areas, Hindus and Buddhists. The status of dhimmi applied to millions of people living from the Atlantic Ocean to India from the 7th century until modern times. Over time, many dhimmis converted to Islam.

Dhimmis were granted protection of life (including against other Muslim states), the right to residence in designated areas, worship, and work or trade, and were exempted from military service, and Muslim religious duties, personal law and tax on certain conditions such as paying the poll (jizyah) and land taxes as set by Muslim authorities. At the same time they were subject to various restrictions in relation to Muslims and Islam (for example, Muslim men could marry Jewish women and own Jewish slaves, but the opposite was not true), the Qur'an or Muhammad (such as desecrating scriptures or defaming the Prophet), and proselytizing. At times Jews were subjected to a number of other restrictions on dress, riding horses, carrying arms, holding public office.

Dhimmis were allowed to "practice their religion, subject to certain conditions, and to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy" and guaranteed their personal safety and security of property, in return for paying tribute to Muslims and acknowledging Muslim supremacy. Taxation from the perspective of Dhimmis who came under the Muslim rule, Cahen states, was "a concrete continuation of the taxes paid to earlier regimes" and from the point of view of the Muslim conqueror was a material proof of Dhimmi's subjection. Negative attitudes towards Dhimmis existed partly due to the "normal" feelings of a dominant group towards subject groups (which exists in virtually any society), partly due to the contempt Muslims have for those who they perceive have willfully chosen to refuse to accept the truth (convert to Islam) while the opportunity to do so exists; and partly due to certain specific prejudices and humiliations. The negative attitudes however rarely had any ethnic or racial components. Various restrictions and legal disabilities were placed on Dhimmis, such as prohibitions against bearing arms or giving testimony in courts in cases involving Muslims. Most of these disabilities had a social and symbolic rather than a tangible and practical character. Disarmed and unable to defend themselves in courts, dhimmis were vulnerable to the whims of rulers and the violence of mobs, although persecution in the form of violent and active repression was rare and atypical. While recognizing the inferior status of dhimmis under Islamic rule, Bernard Lewis states that in most respects their position was "was very much easier than that of non-Christians or even of heretical Christians in medieval Europe": for example, in contrast, Dhimmis rarely faced martydom or exile, or compulsority to change their religion, and with certain exceptions they were free in their choice of residence and profession.

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 16, 2007 06:45 PM

Wow, all that and not even a reference to Little St. Hugh of Lincoln.

Impressive restraint.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at January 16, 2007 06:57 PM

SoCalJustice: Do you happen to know this gentleman's take on the issue?

I have no idea.

Hezbollah Lover, you aren't going to learn much about modern Jews by reading ancient Jewish texts. It's the same with Islam. The Koran will only tell you so much about 21st Century Muslims.

I tell people all the time they need to visit Muslim countries if they want to understand what modern Muslims are really like. One weekend in Istanbul will tell you 1,000 times more about modern Turks than the Koran possibly could.

It would do you a world of good to visit Israel. You can go there now that you have a British passport. You will find that people in Tel Aviv are a lot like people in London, and that this silly "goyim" business has nothing to do with anything, just as the people of Christian East Beirut are not made into "dhimmis" by the people of Muslim West Beirut.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 07:16 PM

Hezbollah Lover, you aren't going to learn much about modern Jews by reading ancient Jewish texts. It's the same with Islam.

Most Jews have no trouble with the idea that their religion has changed (for the better).

Muslims have a terrible problem with change as heresy is a terrible crime in Islam (punishable by death of course). Even worse, jihad against those who are judged to have changed Islam is a dutyy. As such, there are offically no changes in Islam and offically Islam does not evolve. Of course it's impossible for it not to evolve, that's the nature of time - ideas change from generation to generation and from place to place without people realizing it.

Because of this Muslims must paper over differences in opinion from region to region otherwise they'd be forced to be at war with all other Muslims. They also must always claim that whatever their own opinion is, it was the original opinion of Mohammad. Change in Islam must always involve rewriting history.

There is no such crime as heresy in Judaism, and no such problems. Modern Judaism is completely different from ancient Judaism and Jews are completely aware of that fact, and even proud of it.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 16, 2007 08:15 PM

I suggest we set up an aid organization to counter the Iranians dollar for dollar. I think we'd win that contest and drain their funds dry pretty fast.

Posted by: Aaron at January 16, 2007 08:15 PM

All he [Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini] seemed to do is beg for the greencard off MJT.

Oh, fuck you. Just fuck you!

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 16, 2007 08:48 PM

While Husseini seems to be a decent guy, it still amazes me how deeply Manichean political attitudes tend to be in the Middle East, regardless of what they are. Whether you're talking about pro-Americans or anti-Americans, Islamists, democratic secularists, or Arab nationalists, Israeli hawks or Israeli doves, pro-Hezbollah Lebanese or anti-Hezbollah Lebanese, damn near everyone's got a black-and-white view of the world that dovetails thoroughly with the views of one particular political faction.

I'm getting the feeling that it's not enough to promote liberal, secular, or democratic values in the region for long-term political progress to be made. This basic mindset, which seems deeply ingrained into much of Middle Eastern culture, needs to change as well.

Posted by: Eric at January 16, 2007 08:53 PM

"you aren't going to learn much about modern Jews by reading ancient Jewish texts. It's the same with Islam."

Some people here are quickly missing the point and playing the blame game, which was what i was accused of. Some have even come as psychological analysts pretending to study me and pretend to know everything in my mind by just looking at my writing and using long words, which kind of freaked me out for a bit. The point here are the ethics being learnt on the israeli side, and the ethics on our side.

And No, Islam is totally different. In Islam we believe in co-existance, a proof being the dhimma, which for me looks more like a privelage than anything else. State protection, no tax exept for dhimmi tax, exeption from military service etc. Looks like these people are much better off than the rest of the muslims.

In Islam, both christians and jews are called the "people of the book" and must be granted the same respect as any other muslim. They are not heretics like Osama says, us and osama are very, very, veryyy different. Our theology of principles and ethics revolve in two seperate universes, believe me. In madrasas we are not taught it is ok if i jack my christians friend's mum, or his fraud his disabled brother. We are taught of stories where the prophet sent most of his people to what now is called somalia, at the time ruled under a christian ruler, to seek refuge. When the companions asked whether it was OK since it was a christian monarch controlling the country, the prophet persuaded them that the king was a fair ruler and that christians, as well as jews (Fair ones, only), were brothers in religion and are the "people of the book". Not to go to that land to get communities fighting each other so i can "lawfully" kill them to steal their wealth and property.

It's very sick seeing these type of stuff being taught, and at the same time try to convince us that they own the most ethical army in the world. Maybe they are the most ethical because stealing and taking over property and wealth as well as murder is justified in thier religion, then they aren't doing anything wrong after all, eh!

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 16, 2007 09:01 PM

"Oh, fuck you. Just fuck you!"

Nice!

Fuck you too, bitch.

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 16, 2007 09:03 PM

The comment that he is a Christian, in reality is a standard epithet that is used by the Wahabbis against any apparent Muslim that takes a stand against the violent interpretations of islam. Walid Shoebat was attacked on Irish TV by some wahabbi moron that he was always a Christian, despite the fact that he was born a Palestinian Muslim.

From what I have heard from theologians of various religions who are not in the mainstream of their religions, and who are people who I respect for their larger view of reality, islam was never meant to replace all other religions and indeed it is as grotesque distortion of the koran and the surahs that is perpetrated by ignorant and evil men to assert this idea. According to such people, including Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the imam of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy (and an avowed enemy of the Wahabi-Salafis) and Yakov Leib Hakohain (the leader of the Donmeh West), islam was intended only to augment Christianity and Judaism, and not replace them.

Surely Sheikh Husseini is one of those erudite theologians who understands the true nature of God as it was intended to be interpreted by the mystics of all religions.

Posted by: ankhfkhonsu at January 16, 2007 09:11 PM

Eric - Michael Oren was just on the Daily Show -- his new book is about the history of American ME policy from 1776 to the present. He commented that one consistent thread has been the serious error of Americans looking at the ME as if it was a mirror; as if it was at least culturally contiguous with our own values and mind-set -- when it so very definitely is not remotely similar. I think expecting the ME to assume our cognitive style is completely unrealistic.

HL -- So your Dad believes the Protocols. Big surprise there.

If you look at 1500 years of Christian teaching and opinion, you will find at least as many statements permitting and even encouraging the abuse and mistreatment of non-Christians -- Jews and Muslims in particular -- by Christians --including 'infallible' papal statements.

Like Judaism, mainstream Christianity believes in the ability to progress and improve itself, and to evolve to an improved understanding of the basic religious tenets through reason and experience.

Pope Rottweiler's big flap last Fall was because he was pointing out that Islam very explicitly does NOT allow an evolution of greater spiritual and societal understanding.

But of the big three, only Judaism says if a person lives a truly righteous life, and tries to improve the world, that's good enough for God.

All the major religions suck rocks from the perspective of women, of course.

Some people here seem to think you're redeemable -- a 'project.' Maybe you will be redeemed by life experience, but not by anything we're going to say. The attention just reinforces and reifies your obvious prejudice.

Posted by: Pam at January 16, 2007 09:31 PM

One more thing -- I'm a Buddhist, HL -- not a Dhimmi. Care to tell me what your religion says about me?

If you think the crap you dug up online is being taught to Israelis or that their ethics are inferior to yours, your head is really so deeply inserted you're looking out your own mouth.

Posted by: Pam at January 16, 2007 09:35 PM

Great article as usual. (I don't understand why a MSM organization isn't ponding on your door.)

One small note, I think this is a typo:
I said Why are you talking to me? I didn’t burn anybody.
I think that should read:
He said Why are you talking to me? I didn’t burn anybody.

I could be wrong... Thanks again for the great work.

Posted by: LA Guy at January 16, 2007 10:04 PM

LOL... and of course I meant 'pounding' not 'ponding' on your door. Doh!

Posted by: LA Guy at January 16, 2007 10:05 PM
My dad, during the conversation, told me you can never ever have peace with a people who believe in things such as goy...

The fact a word for non-Jew exists does not mean Jews cannot seek or have peace with non-Jews. Nor does it even denote any particular attitude toward other groups. It it simply the expression of a community. Americans/foreigners: this is ubiquitous in human life. A Jew can just as easily say, for instance, "God loves the Goyim as much as he loves the Jew." Indeed, I have heard Jews say that the Jews were chosen for the 10 commandments because they were worse than the other nations, because they needed the Law more.

Thank you, Michael, for informing us, for broadening our world view.

Posted by: Abu Nudnik at January 16, 2007 10:15 PM

I would like to register my objection to the use of expletives in the comments, Michael. They cheapen a wonderful site and, in the context of the photo-essay, are jarring. On the other hand, maybe it's a good thing since it illustrates the fine qualities of your interview subject, Sayyed Husseini. Clearly, peace will not be easy. It took many hundreds of thousands of years for man to rise above the animal, mere seconds to fall all the way back.

Posted by: Abu Nudnik at January 16, 2007 10:26 PM

"Bani Hashem" on the business card... translates as "Sons of the Name," I believe, or in other words "Sons of G-d." Interesting choice, and I'm not thinking in a Christian context here.

Posted by: Joe Katzman at January 16, 2007 10:28 PM

My dad, during the conversation, told me you can never ever have peace with a people who believe in things such as goy

Somehow, the goyim nation of America has found a way to "make peace" with Israel. You should try it sometime.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2007 10:31 PM

Mr. Lover:

I apologize in advance for the seemingly 'nitpickedness' that is to follow, but felt it warranted comment on this forum. You stated the following:

"This person supports the bush administration which has lost the support of most of the presidents own people, as shown in the current elections."

It can be argued, sure, that many fellow Americans gave up their once majority support for current campaign in WOT (Iraq). However, it would prove unwise to state that previous election result was/is an indicator of this. Unless, federally funded stem cell research; budgeting and spending issues; 'Gang of 14' repercussions; damaging scandals preceding (i.e. Foley); and various local issues involving seats that changed Parties. In fact, if one actually followed the campaigns that involved the power exchange; I can only find one in Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island that actually ran on a cut-and-run quitting approach to Iraq.

It does not do your perspective justice when you offer faulty analysis and poor judgement thereof to make assertions.

To segue this point into larger context, it matters to which lens to properly view 'happenings' and why. I understand you are not an American (by not only your handle but your posts as well) and could not/should not understand every detailed aspect of American politics (foriegn policy notwithstanding...). Just as why I would be careful to examine outcomes in other countries' affairs and react similarly, it might be wise to 'dig' a little for a better analysis...the reason why I venture websites like this in the first place.

Sincerely,
Anuts

Posted by: anuts at January 16, 2007 11:17 PM

It sounds soooooo very strange that such a learned person like Husseini, with all his books and degrees still tries to "sell" you that the word Islam means peace!!!! while everyone in every remote corner of this world knows that it means sunmission (from the root slm). He goes on trying to persuade everyone that Islam prohibits terrorism (just a note shows you the contrary: "Allah came to them from quarters from which they little expected (it), and cast terror into their hearts, so that they destroyed their dwellings by their own hands and the hands of the Believers, take warning, then, O ye with eyes (to see)!" (59:2))
So why are you believing a person that is obviously trying to apply taqiya?

Gebre Egzavier

Posted by: Gebre egzavier at January 17, 2007 01:22 AM

Seems the message here is an old one: Give Peace a Chance.

Money, money, money may buy temporary relief, but funds provided by international charities and various governments have been too frequently used to further indoctrinate and arm Muslims in the Middle East, and not much more than that—the PLO and Arafat a prime example.

While education is touted as remedial, what is actually taught is more significant than the simple idea of making the illiterate literate. Education alone does not necessarily lead to new job opportunities, other than for more employed teachers in a growing population.

In fact, in the Middle East those with belligerent ideologies parading around in black masks, suicide bomb belts, and whatnot, are the have-nots because most international investors are not interested in loosing their investments in the unstable neighborhoods of warlords and independent militias.

Where economies consist mainly of services and goods exchanged among the local populations, economic growth is related to those endeavors and that particular population growth. Where population growth is rapid, local entrepreneurs and charitable organizations must keep pace with that population. Increased population growth and education without related job opportunities (due to lack of outside investors or entrepreneurs within any particular community) leads to the prospect of economic disenfranchisement for educated, but nonetheless unemployed, in a community. The result is a growing welfare state with large percents of disenfranchised youth who have come to expect others to provide for them and blame scapegoats. A reminder here, Western cultures grew and prospered from within.

Belligerent ideologies and masked gunmen are not helpful whatever the claimed cause. If one reads any World Bank assessment for the Middle East and North Africa the predictions are dire—stuff like “100 million new jobs are needed by 2020.” Population growth in many poor Muslim communities now will only increase the number of poverty stricken, weakening not strengthening those cultures.

As a rule, if you find yourself in a ditch, stop digging. Eyes wide open and heads up.

Posted by: JAS at January 17, 2007 01:23 AM

In fact, in the Middle East those with belligerent ideologies parading around in black masks, suicide bomb belts, and whatnot, are the have-nots because most international investors are not interested in loosing their investments in the unstable neighborhoods of warlords and independent militias.

Yes it occured to me the other day that "immiserate" is the best word to describe what jihad does to societies because it means both "to impoverish" and "to make miserable".

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 17, 2007 03:55 AM

Great Post MJT; am travelling now but am looking forward to reading the post in detail.

Comment: "Anyway, European Muslims seem to be considerably more extreme than Middle Eastern Muslims. Weird, but true." I think that 9-11, Kobar Towers, the Cole, events would be in some disagreement with this.

US should pony up more money? Where is the Muslim Brotherhood (and the Billions of $$$ they have) when they are needed to bring a fellow country back (or up to) the 21st Century. Funny how this seems to be a missing point from conversations. We (the US) did a similar service via the Marshall Plan after WWII and that worked out rather well. Agreed that the MP was self-serving, but it seemed to be o.k. for Europe also.

Posted by: Ron Snyder at January 17, 2007 04:13 AM

Abu Kais makes a good point,

One proof of the extent of Lebanese feelings towards Israel is that the first suicide bombers were christian women.

The Israelis did much to create Hezb and reinforce it; by undermining Lebanon, they have undermined their own security and survivability.

Posted by: Jeha at January 17, 2007 05:08 AM

Thank you Michael for your inetersting post, that helps to learn to look at things more deeply and in more differentiated way. It is also good to hear about people like Husseini.

Pam:

"If you look at 1500 years of Christian teaching and opinion, you will find at least as many statements permitting and even encouraging the abuse and mistreatment of non-Christians -- Jews and Muslims in particular -- by Christians --including 'infallible' papal statements."

I realize that this is not the central point of your statement, and all in all I would quite agree with what you say. I just wanted to tell you, that (as far as I know, and I am quite sure here) there has been no "infallible" papal statement about (and therefor also not against) any people of other religions. I actually know only of 3 "infallible" papal statements. There might be a 4th. But all of them are concerning catholic believes and not other religions.
This does not mean that those things you mentioned did not exist (and unfortunately still partly exist in some people's minds today). But it never has been an "infallible" statment.

Posted by: a from berlin at January 17, 2007 05:53 AM

sorry.. I just realized that I forgot that there are also other popes than the roman catholic one. I know only about the one in Rome. I don't know, if any of the other popes ever claimed "infallibility" though..

Posted by: a from berlin at January 17, 2007 05:58 AM

HL's first quote comes from this neo-Nazi website:

http://library.flawlesslogic.com/index.htm

His next quote seems to come from this anti-semitic website:

http://www.jewwatch.com/jew-genocide-gentilehate.html

His third quote is again from the neo-Nazi website:
http://library.flawlesslogic.com/goyim.htm
(Note the thinly disguised swastikas)

I could go on but I think I've read enough Nazi literature for today.

MJT, Josh Scholar, it's true that Judaism has evolved, but these quotes are all complete anti-semitic fiction manufactured by racist scum. I'm astonished that you think it's even worth responding to.

HL, next time you want to educate us, try and lift yourself out of the gutter. And if you want to get into bed with neo-Nazis that's fine with me. It's obvious that you can't recognise anti-semitism when it's staring you in the face and that you're ready to embrace it with open arms.

But you really should have read their websites a little further to see what they have to say about Muslims.

Posted by: mertel at January 17, 2007 07:26 AM

Trackbacked at The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 01/17/2007

Posted by: David M at January 17, 2007 07:49 AM

a from berlin,

Just a note; Cahtolic Popes are not infallible per se. They are only so when they speak "ex cathedra", and only since the 19th Century, when the new dogma was added.

Also, they may have done so only a couple of times during Catholic history. I think the Vatican II council was one of them.

Posted by: Jeha at January 17, 2007 08:48 AM

OK, sorry about the papal infallability -- not a Roman Catholic. Let me rephrase that: the history of Christianity in its many forms is littered with 'official' statements permitting or excusing the mistreatment (by our standards) of non-Christians on a variety of religious and religious-educational grounds.

I am still curious to hear how HL's gussied-up and white-washed version of Islam deals with us non-Dhimmies. I know the official version.

btw, good work, mertel.

In light of the reported UK TV show on hidden jihad and racism in 'moderate'UK mosques, it appears HL is getting spoon-fed his garbage from more than just his benighted father.

Posted by: Pam at January 17, 2007 09:33 AM

Gebre Egzavier: So why are you believing a person that is obviously trying to apply taqiya?

You are banned for both bigotry and stupidity.

I have five of his books. Do you actually believe he writes hundreds and hundreds of pages (thousands, actually) in support of peace and democracy and that he's lying about it? Go away.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 17, 2007 09:46 AM

Hezbollah Lover, Mertel busted you good. You will not quote Nazi Web sites on my blog. The only reason I'm not banning you outright for doing it is because I you're just a kid and some people seem to find your point of view interesting. But you're on thin ice.

I will not tolerate overt bigotry toward anyone here.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 17, 2007 09:53 AM

HL, your post on Jewish ethics totally disgraced you & showed you for the little brainwashed boy that you are. And here I thought you had some potential!
It is obvious you don't know any real Jews. Why don't you start there before posting that garbage?
Since you seem to live online, why don't you start reading Jewish and Israeli blogs? I know you are just a kid but if you want to play with the big boys & post on this site, you need to do more than just cut & paste.

Posted by: Ruth at January 17, 2007 10:06 AM

Pam,

I think expecting the ME to assume our cognitive style is completely unrealistic.

So do I. What I'm looking for is not the ME to adopt a cognitive style exactly like ours; just one that doesn't inevitably lead the people there to be at each other's throats. Maybe there's something about the Semitic languages (Hebrew and Arabic) that lend themselves to didactic modes of thinking. Or perhaps the problem has something to do with the nature of "desert cultures". I really can't say.

One interesting fact: I attended some public lectures at Yale last year focused on foreign policy issues. Among the lecturers I heard were a secular Palestinian human rights advocate, an Israeli Labor Party supporter of French ancestry, and Iran's ambassador to the U.N. What amazed me about these lectures is that the Iranian U.N. ambassador, while a complete BS artist, was nonetheless far more "Western" in his rhetorical style than either the Israeli or the Palestinian, who resembled each other in terms of their debating mannerisms more than just about any European or American lecturer I've seen - each with that Manichean attitude that deeply conformed with the views of a chosen faction.

That old line about those who know each other the best hating each other the most has a lot of truth to it.

Posted by: Eric at January 17, 2007 10:13 AM

Wonderful idea;

Since Dhimmis' position "was very much easier than that of non-Christians or even of heretical Christians in medieval Europe", this justifies opression in the Arab world.

I think it was the Franks, who attacked a city that they ransomed, after having been paid tribute in Iron Ore... When confronted about their duplicity, they simply commented that they used the iron to make swords, and that the people of the city did not deserve pity, since they could have smelted the Iron into swords and attacked them instead of relinquishing their precious iron.

The Dhimmis today can easily follow the same example. They did so a few times before, which resulted in civil war. They can do so again, no matter that Hezb has 30,000 rockets; a couple of shiploads and a few containers can easily bring back the "balance"...

Posted by: Jeha at January 17, 2007 10:20 AM

Pam - "HL -- So your Dad believes the Protocols. Big surprise there."

You know, pam, ignorance is a very bad habit. Where did i say in all m y text that my dad believes in the protocols? All he said is that it's a controversial book written a very long time ago. Its a book suposedly telling zionists how to be good zionists. The thing is, it very much falls in line with the idea of the goy and goyim. But, he said he obviously hasn't read it and said its controversial because some people say it was written by the KGB to prove jews are bad people, and that others believe it was actually a jewish leader who writ it. My dad doesn't believe in any of it and told me he doesn't get involved in anything he doesn't know about properly.

Pam - "One more thing -- I'm a Buddhist, HL -- not a Dhimmi. Care to tell me what your religion says about me?"

I don't know what my religion would say about you. But buddhism is more of an ideology, philosophy and system of psychology rather than a religion. You have hardly any prohibitions or allowances, all your "religion" teaches is for a person to always oppose war, find the peaceful state within and a justified ideology of ethics must be followed. I mean, with all due respect, i respect all religions and beliefs but buddhists seem to make a god out of a man who fasted for couple of days and became really skinny. I mean i've heard of prisoners endure such circumstances. There are no objectives in buddhist lives other than not engage in wars and violence. I mean, thats the natural cause of nearly every single human being on the face of this planet, but im afraid your philosophy does not teach anything about self defence, seems to be ok with any oppresive acts against your people and hardly explains what justified ethics are. Your whole philosophy is sumed up in islam which is called futrah. Do some research and you will know.

Pam - "If you think the crap you dug up online is being taught to Israelis or that their ethics are inferior to yours, your head is really so deeply inserted you're looking out your own mouth."

I don't think so babe. The talmud is still taught to this day without a single change in it. The talmud is not a holy nor a divine script it's a record of acts and comments said by previous rabbi's etc. It reflects the corruption of the jewish people historically and why they ended up so oppresed and now so oppresive. It's not an accident believe me.

And if you think a man made out of the same flesh and blood as you are is god because he fasted for how long? 30 days? 60 days? 90 days? Muslims fast ever year for a month, big deal. If you believe that the world should be free of wars and peace-lovers and state of peace within must be sought after, i congratulate you for such an ideology, but i also feel sory for you because look at the hippies, what have they gained in their long history of existance other than drugs and sex in public concerts?

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 17, 2007 10:57 AM

Jeha, you could probably tip the balance in your favor. My suggestion would be to aquire rockets that you can aim. It would probably be more effective than Hezbollahs giant bottle rockets.

Posted by: mikek at January 17, 2007 11:05 AM

HL: "And No, Islam is totally different. In Islam we believe in co-existance, a proof being the dhimma, which for me looks more like a privelage than anything else. State protection, no tax exept for dhimmi tax, exeption from military service etc. Looks like these people are much better off than the rest of the muslims."

Muslim societies don't believe in co-existance, they believe in domination. Which muslim countries actually respect their minorities? Which muslim countries have human rights and the rule of law? Co-existance? Is that why the Jewish population in Arab countries is virtually nil. A prime example of tolerance and co-existance.

And you say that dhimmi status is a privilage.

"Dhimmis were subject to legal and social inferiority, and discrimination was permanent, necessary, and "inherent in the system and institutionalized in law and practice," due to the fact that Dhimmis were not allowed to testify against a Muslim in court. Dhimmis were often subject to violence and crimes committed by Muslims."-Wikipedia

Again, you prove that you are a hypocrite. When muslims rule over others, "humiliate" them and treat them as inferior you consider this to be a privilage, yet when the reverse occurs it is a crime against humanity, a "humilation", and a blow to the arrogant muslim pride and ego.

This is the Islamic supremacist belief that I don't understand. This isn't planet Islam, the world does not revolve around you. You can't treat others as inferior Dhimmi, and at the same time demand respect from them.

Posted by: Justin at January 17, 2007 11:09 AM

The word "Islam" means submission, not peace

Posted by: steve at January 17, 2007 11:15 AM

Mikek,

No sure whether I would want to fight in such a war; my "side" is not served by internecine warfare.

But in case I decide to join the whopass fiesta, no need for rockets in such a war; it would be an infantry affair. So other than transport, you would need mostly mortars, anti-tank, and anti-aircraft weapons, with the odd artillery.

Rockets of the Katiusha type are mostly saturation weapons for attacking formations in plains, or for terrorizing civilians in cities. But in the context of Lebanon, they have little effect. During the past war, each side averaged 4000 rockets a day at some stages, with little advantage, and had 155 howitzers, russian 132's and 240's. But even then, Lebanon's geography is such that there are "choke points" that can be held with little infantry, as demonstrated recently.

The most famous is at Nahr El Kalb, where every single army left a mark when it was able to pass, from Ramses to the Australians...

Posted by: Jeha at January 17, 2007 11:22 AM

Since enough commentators have pointed out that HL's post regarding Jewish religious ethics is fictional, I'm only going to point out one small, but commonplace error, which is the use of the word "goy."

Connotatively, "goy" is simply the Hebrew word for "nation," with the plural being "goyim." In the Torah and in prayers Jews themselves are sometimes referred to or alluded to as being one among the "goyim," and other times as not being among the "goyim." Either way, it's a common, I should think universal linguistic term.

Now, there is no question that denotatively goy can be and is disparaging, but those who are at all familiar with Jewish history probably will won't look askance at this. In the US, it is essentially an anachronism, except as a petty, but amusing adjective concerning matters of taste that supposedly no Jew would do--a corn beef sandwich on white bread or a lime green-polyester beds--and even then this as often self-mocking as not. At this point, this is nearing Garrison Keillor territory.

Posted by: Jeff Z at January 17, 2007 11:30 AM

I mean, with all due respect, i respect all religions and beliefs but buddhists seem to make a god out of a man who fasted for couple of days and became really skinny. I mean i've heard of prisoners endure such circumstances. There are no objectives in buddhist lives other than not engage in wars and violence.

You're even more incredibly ignorant and biased about Buddhism than you are about Judaism and Christianity, which nevertheless doesn't stop you from blathering on arrogantly.

btw: "When you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads, until ye have made a great slaughter among them; and bind (the rest) in bonds: and either give them a free dismissal afterwards, or exact a ransom; until the war shall have laid down its arms. This shall you do. (Muhammad, Quran ch. 47)
"Kill them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage. ... Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded..." (Quran, Sura 2)

You ought to try getting to know people outside your own narrow cultural group -- real people, not just sparring with people on line.

Posted by: Pam at January 17, 2007 11:43 AM

Jeha:

"Just a note; Cahtolic Popes are not infallible per se. They are only so when they speak "ex cathedra", and only since the 19th Century, when the new dogma was added.

Also, they may have done so only a couple of times during Catholic history. I think the Vatican II council was one of them."

That's exactly what I meant. :)
Although the Vatican II Council is something different.
But I won't go into the details here, given that the original discussion and post are about other topics.

Cheers

Posted by: a from berlin at January 17, 2007 11:45 AM

MJT, Josh Scholar, it's true that Judaism has evolved, but these quotes are all complete anti-semitic fiction manufactured by racist scum. I'm astonished that you think it's even worth responding to.

Yes I figured that was probable, having run into those forgeries before, but frankly I can't really be bothered to read HL's hateful rants let alone to investigate his sources.

I did consider looking that up just to make the point that middle easterners often find fringe hate groups more familiar than mainstream western culture and don't realize that they're missing the mainstream (and indeed the respectable and the sane) entirely when they make connections there.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 17, 2007 11:58 AM

I don't think so babe. The talmud is still taught to this day without a single change in it.

Uhm, dude, read a few posts before yours. Mike has already called you on this. If you're going to be ignoring Mike on his own site I'm sure you gone but good!

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 17, 2007 12:04 PM

Erubin 21b. Whosoever disobeys the rabbis deserves death and will be punished by being boiled in hot excrement in hell.

Baba Kamma 33a Hitting a Jew is the same as hitting God

Sanhedrin 58b. If a heathen (gentile) hits a Jew, the gentile must be killed.

Sanhedrin 57a. A Jew need not pay a gentile ("Cuthean") the wages owed him for work.

Baba Kamma 37b. "If an ox of an Israelite gores an ox of a Canaanite there is no liability; but if an ox of a Canaanite gores an ox of an Israelite...the payment is to be in full."

Baba Mezia 24a If a Jew finds an object lost by a gentile ("heathen") it does not have to be returned. (Affirmed also in Baba Kamma 113b).

Sanhedrin 76a. God will not spare a Jew who "marries his daughter to an old man or takes a wife for his infant son or returns a lost article to a Cuthean..."

Sanhedrin 57a. When a Jew murders a gentile ("Cuthean"), there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.

Baba Kamma 37b. The gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has "exposed their money to Israel."

Baba Kamma 113a. Jews may use lies ("subterfuges") to circumvent a Gentile.

Yebamoth 98a. All gentile children are animals.

Abodah Zarah 36b. Gentile girls are in a state of niddah (filth) from birth.

Abodah Zarah 22a-22b. Gentiles prefer sex with cows.

Shabbos 104b. He (jesus) learned witchcraft in Egypt and, to perform miracles, used procedures that involved cutting his flesh, which is also explicitly banned in the Bible.

Sanhedrin 55b. A Jew may marry a three year old girl (specifically, three years "and a day" old).

This gets dirtier and dirtier believe me. Yesterday night i stayed up untill 5am to prove you wrong mertel. Go online, search for an english version of the talmud, and read the references i made and you will see they are exactly like mines. Some of these uotes i got from different websites, but some i got while reading the talmud and saw them so i thought it's worth to quote them.

All i know is that some of you here even admit that both bible and torah were moderated by humans, which makes both books un-holy and non-devine, whereas you also admit that the quran has never been changed, otherwise they become the laws and rules of humans rather than god. To do such a thing would be like saying that human rules are better than those of god.

The biggest proof of jewish meddling in their scriptures is the fact they talk of jesus, mary and the bible - all of whom never existed at the time of judaism. The proof of the bible being meddled with is the fact whenever i go to the local chruch they haqve billboards with notices telling christians to hurry and buy the new up-dates edition of the new testament or what-ever.

The thing about islam is not the religion nor the quran, any of you here pick up a quran and read it in english, as well as as connotations at the bottom for deper analysis of the story being told.

Jews have proved throughout history that they can never be trusted simply because of there corrupted beliefs centred on other peoples opinions rather than the teachings of abraham and god. For christs sake they believe that a man once challenged and beat up god!!!

Another thing, in arabic every word has 77 meanings. Islam is rooted from many different words, two of them being silm meaning peace and istislam meaning to give up or submit. Put them both together, you get Islam, which could mean submission, to god, or peace to everyone, or even both, peaceful submission, to submit yoursef to god for peaceful purposes i.e. you are convinced that islam is the right path rather than being forced to become muslim.

When some-one here reads the ideology and theology of the Hizbollah, then you can come back and scream at me whatever you like. All i know is that islam is no near any other religion, judaism they believe in the craziest things i've heard in my life which i found out recently, christians give infalibility to a normal human as well as give the power of forgiveness to a random priest, half of whom molest kids and practice gay acts./

Wahhabi's, Salafi's, Soofis, etc these are not muslims, at least they don't follow the islam i know of.

In hizbollah our beliefs are completely different to those of the wahhabis who believe that everyone is and infidel exept themselves and that the whole world must be taken over and converted into wahhabi islam, otherwise they must be killed. Their beliefs contradict all teachings of the prophet and his family and that of the quran and in effect gods teachings.

Chou everyone i won't be bothering anyone here anymore. I was just here to piss off joshua the maniac, and i did. See you all :D.

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 17, 2007 12:10 PM

And HL, your ignorance of Buddhism is astounding. It's a common problem that Muslims, because they're told by their Imams that all other religions offend God, are completely unwilling to understand other religions.

I'm not religious at all, and there are no buddhists in my family, but I know Buddhism infintely better than you do. Among other things, I've read a number of books on Buddhism that were written by buddhists, and from countries all over the world. Obviously, you know only what your ignorant mullah told you if that.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 17, 2007 12:17 PM

Pam, you ignorant whore.
1) theres no such surah called quran, and sura no.2 is called al baqarah.

2) in surah muhammad, God is telling prophet muhammad to wage war on the dis-believers who commited such acts as beheading and linching and blinding etc innocent people. All you did is twist the story so it's as if god is telling muslims to kill all dis-believers, which isn't true.

Thanks and goodbye suckers. Look at josh, he just can't believe his religion is getting exposed so hard.

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 17, 2007 12:20 PM

Mr. Totten,

HL has revealed himself to be just another tiresome Jew hater. He is fowling your most excellent work.

I have had enough of this creature. Please put a stop to it.

Dizzy.

Posted by: dizzy at January 17, 2007 12:24 PM

I was just here to piss off joshua the maniac, and i did.

No you didn't. I don't even call myself Jewish except by heretige. Why you think your ignorant anti-semetic rants bother me, I have no idea.

I'm more interested to know that something I wrote set you off. I had no idea.

No doubt it was the fact that I did critisize Islam.

Islam doesn't take criticism well does it? And so there can be no sanity checks.

What did I say that made me "a maniac"?

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 17, 2007 12:24 PM

No joshua, ive never heard a mullah talk about other religions in a bad way.

What i know about buddhists is what i've learnt in humanities lessons in school since Grade 4 to Grade 9. Its very sad they believe in little gobblins and munchkins controling the earth and the after-life, by doing what again? They check how strong your breath is or some bullshit like that.

When someone is ignorant of my religion and i carry on talking nice and jolly, and i keep myself distant from religion because i have some mutual respect and understanding concerning friends etc, but once you get too carried away from politics into religion,their's a breaking point where only prophets could withstand, and unfortunately im not a prophet. Anyone here is ignorant enough to insult islam as a religion on the basis of what saudi bukllshit arabia does or what osama did doesn't mean it applies to every single muslim. The sole reason shia and sunnis are at war is because of the way those pussies have degraded islam and made it look like dirt.

Im sorry, but don't insult a religion od 1.2 billionpeople on political lines and comments of a single person.

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 17, 2007 12:27 PM

"I have had enough of this creature. Please put a stop to it."

D.W. i quit this site, i don't need no red-neck to ban me thank you. But one thing,your mum also said im a creature as well as a filthy beast - but that was when i was in bed with her. :D

bye...for good ;)

Posted by: Hezbollah Lover at January 17, 2007 12:31 PM

HL it's your own culture's insanity that criticism is taken as insult, especially of Islam.

But that's a deliberate choice because it DOES make thought and debate impossible, and that's the intent of hating and punishing the critic, to shore up power and prevent thought.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 17, 2007 12:31 PM

Hezbollah Lover, you are no longer allowed to post here. We're all tired of your bigoted rants. And calling another commenter an "ignorant whore" is not okay.

I have better things to do than babysit my comments.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 17, 2007 12:59 PM

HL, Obviously the wise men in Ryad have read the Koran, and somehow concluded that obsessive headchopping is ok. You have quite wisely defined your own faith to exclude such nonsense, and gets offended when people confuse your beliefs with Osama's. Of course, you know what your beliefs are better than anyone else, so its silly to try to lecture you about what what your faith 'really is'

But then you slander other religions (Judaism and Buddhism), about which you know next to nothing, and is totally dismissive when people who actually practice or know something about said religions say you are wrong. You instead start lecturing them about what their beliefs really are, that they are inherently silly or evil, and how infinitely superior your own beliefs are. This is beyond pathetic, and the ridiculousness and clear bigotry of your position are obvious to everyone else in this thread but yourself.

Posted by: Bruno at January 17, 2007 01:13 PM

Nice interview. The US govt has to be careful with official help, though. I don't think US govt money is popular in a country that our allies bomb a lot. He may think he wants it, but he'd be better off without.

private western donor money funneled through a neutral third-world state would be better.

You can't break Hizballah's hold on the Shia through money alone. You need a new political system in Lebanon that doesn't reserve slots based on religion. A genuine straight proportional-representation system would do fine, allow for cross-sectarian alliances to start, and genuinely non-sectarian candidates in 50 years. Fifty years without major fights with anyone.

Posted by: glasnost at January 17, 2007 01:15 PM

Thanks MJT. ('bout time.) Hey, I can't help it if University of North Alabama Islamic Studies quote page gives incorrect attributions -- though I would trust them more than a 17-year-old junior-jihadi with total brain-lock.

"Ignorant Whore" -- wow, that's almost as good as getting carded buying beer for someone in my age range!

Posted by: Pam at January 17, 2007 01:54 PM

"The biggest proof of jewish meddling in their scriptures is the fact they talk of jesus, mary and the bible - all of whom never existed at the time of judaism" What????? What a priceless quote from baby hizbo! How did this baby fascist manage to hog the last 3 to 4 threads? My god! This kid is worse than the native variety of hizbos, and he has had the benefit of an English education. Imagine the rest of them.
Scary! But I am sure that the average, even semi literate lebanese has more sense than to spew the kind of garbage HL dished out here.I always assumed that there was a kind of tolerance and acceptance of various religious beliefs over there. What do you think Michael? We should have sent him to the Little Green Footballs for a proper beating. I guess the best thing to do from now on is not to feed the trolls.

Posted by: Ruth at January 17, 2007 02:23 PM

Ruth: I always assumed that there was a kind of tolerance and acceptance of various religious beliefs over there. What do you think Michael?

Yes and no. It depends on the person.

Anyway, baby Hizbo is banned.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 17, 2007 02:38 PM

Jews have proved throughout history that they can never be trusted simply because of there corrupted beliefs centred on other peoples opinions rather than the teachings of abraham and god.

Ahh, anti-Semites are so cute at that age.

I miss him already.

Sigh.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at January 17, 2007 04:49 PM

MICHAEL J -

Once again I have 2 questions -

1) When can we (I - me) get a break the tension post from all of this gut wrenching politics? A bring a smile to your face - take a break from the everyday - and just sit in awe of the Beauty of Lebanon and you know what I am referring to.

2) When are you going to ban tbhat useless obnoxious troll who now is spending his time demeaning Buddhism and Buddha.... but if an innocuous cartoon of Mohammed is printed nuns get stabbed and churches burn. So what happens when Muslim terrorists murder 3000 in dowtown NYC....?

anyway.... refer back to 1) asap.

Best Regards,

Mike Nargizian

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 17, 2007 04:57 PM

Nouri Lumendifi said -
In a place like Lebanon, it is unsurprising that Husseini doesn't get as much play, he needs a militia or the ability to rally large numbers as per the other groupings in the country. There isn't a major party that couldn't muster some kind of fighting force if it liked. That's why there are so few Quakers.

Nouri -

Re: Quaker point is true. However -

1) They are not big into gaining more converters.
2) They live in a very safe country (US) for the most part and don't need "big guns" to survive or kill off extremists.

Re: Extremists in Europe and Middle East

The problem is the extremists are gaining everywhere in the Muslim world and not only because of the violence and extremism they teach and practice but because they are the BEST FUNDED groups as well.

The Saudis are sending the money everywhere from Kazachstan to Thailand to the Phillipines - Malaysia - Britain etc..... And Al Jazeera, the Sunni Al Queda Loving Muslim Brotherhood propoganda channel is beamed all over the world now in all different languages.... and Al Manar is getting play as well.

Iran is trying to catch up to Saudi Arabian Salafis beaming extremism to Shias around the world now as well.

Nouri said -
brutish folks kill the little guys with better ideas.

In Egypt Mubarrek doesn't jail Muslim Brotherhood leaders he jails intellectuals and NON MB political opponents... and judges that stand up to the corrupt Dictatorship and Police.
And while the MB is supposedly "outlawed" they receive tons of $$ from the gov't to build more Mosques... No Churches are allowed to be built.

Nouri said -
But now that the clerics are running things, most poorly, the ones with actual learning need to get into the fray. Then get out really quick.

A) Like that'll happen... It only took 500 years to get the Powerful Popes out of running Europe.

B) What are you talking about the Clerics in Iran are doing a 'bang up' job in Iran... like my Egyptian friend tells me - "We have Democracy first, in the Koran, we have "our democracy" not like yours.... all we need is the Ko ran"

Best Regards,

Mike Nargizian

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 17, 2007 05:13 PM

Mike,

I don't have any Lebanese babe photo galleries in the waiting. Sorry.

And Hezbollah Lover is finally banned. He posted a few more times, including an insult directed at my wife for no reason, and his comments were deleted. All future comments by him will be deleted as well.

If I weren't writing about Hezbollah right now I would instantly ban anyone who showed up in support of Hezbollah. Bigots, terrorists, and fascists aren't welcome here.

I'm trying to be a good sport about it, though, since I'm writing about them. But so far no one who supports Hezbollah in the comments has managed to be anything but a rude bigoted creep.

Anyone will wants to interact with Hezbollah will have to go elsewhere. I'm done.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 17, 2007 06:04 PM

I'm not particularly sure I liked Husseini's repeated and unqualified approval of the Administration and its policies in Iraq, but I suppose it was necessarily a short interview.

In any case it was a smart thing for him to say, if he needs aid and a voice, he needs to make nice with the big power (at least for a few more years or so).

Leaving that aside I'm mostly only curious now, after reading all the comments, about the meaning of the word 'Islam' (along with citation). I guess I'll look around eventually, but I can only reach online sources.

As to HL, it felt so strange to me to be reading this sort of inflammatory commentary out of the blue that I was wondering if it was someone else altogether just trolling to see if he could get a reply from the site owner. : / And if anything it just proves Husseini's point. With an alleged stranglehold on educative systems...

Posted by: Anya at January 17, 2007 06:47 PM

This is why the sewers of major metropolitan areas are crawling with crocodiles -- they have that bug-eyed, so-ugly-they're-cute quality when they're young, but all of a sudden you realize they're mean, and really ugly -- not cute-ugly.

Better not to get taken in at the start, rather than have to flush them down the toilet when you realize they'll never be trainable, or as companionable as, say, a nice black dog.

Posted by: Pam at January 17, 2007 09:04 PM

and he has had the benefit of an English education. Imagine the rest of them.

I expect that he was lying about his placement and that the English school system can't possibly be dysfunctional enough to have placed that illiterate idiot ahead of his class. Michael probably checked his IP address and would have told us if it wasn't at least coming through a European gateway.

Posted by: Josh Scholar at January 17, 2007 10:23 PM

michael; this is an exceptionally illuminating piece of journalism ... i never heard of this man even though i was certain that his likes really exist. but in this world of relativist western ideologues and fascist arab ideologues, it is rather confusing where one or the other really stands. ultimately, it is the human in the human-being that stands out and allama (scholar) husseini stands for one, which is one more reason why the work of people like you stands out. thank you

Posted by: aboujahl at January 18, 2007 05:07 AM

I was actually disheartened by this interview. Although he does clearly come across as a moderate voice for peace, nothing he said strikes me as even remotely a realistic platform for changing the existing dynamic. It is good to know that there are people like Husseini among the Lebanese Shia, but I wouldn't put on large bet on his ability to play a meaningful role in creating a viable resolution to the existing problems in that country.

Posted by: Bill at January 18, 2007 09:45 AM

Fantastic interview, and a useful anodyne to the notion that "all the Muslim world" thinks this or that. The Ummah is a big and varied place, and it's good to hear that there are voices in there that that those of us in the West can and should support, if possible. Thanks for giving a voice to a man of peace.

Keep up the good work, and don't let the Haters get to you!

Posted by: GeneThug at January 18, 2007 10:12 AM

I see alot of you want some cool pics of leba non :D

This gallery might be a use:-

http://yalibnan.com/site/gallery/
click on "trendy beirut"

Posted by: UNcontested at January 18, 2007 07:50 PM

Michael J (in the house) says -
I don't have any Lebanese babe photo galleries in the waiting. Sorry.

Sure you the pictures you posted last year (summer 05) from the Beirut sit in against Syria. you had a couple of nice pics (babes) in there...

MJT -
And Hezbollah Lover is finally banned. He posted a few more times, including an insult directed at my wife for no reason, and his comments were deleted.

And he was complaining you weren't paying enough attention to him. Ironically the first time you replied to me, I got him banned. If he's still reading this (which I'm surrre he is) - that's what I call - picking your spots kid!
Knew it was just a matter of time for him... my impression is he was some young dude who probably isn't even living in Lebanon... somewhere in the West.

MJT -
I'm trying to be a good sport about it,

Way more magnanimous and patient than me.

I stand by my jestful comment though -
"Your posts are invaluble really, the insite and information - but in the end won't make a bit a diffrnce when Hezbollah ignites another war, the UN, Reuters-AP-AFP "reporters", and Europe will act the same exact way again.

Olmert is actually freeing a Guy (Kuntar, a Hezballah Hero who smashed a mother and little daugher's skull, then took the remaining daughter and father to the beach, smashed the father's skull in front of the daughter so she could witness it and then killed her... NOW THAT IS ONE FIN HERO brave dude if you ask me. Allahu Akhbar baby!!

Best Regards,

Mike Nargizian

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 19, 2007 04:44 PM

Michael J (in the house) says -
I don't have any Lebanese babe photo galleries in the waiting. Sorry.

Sure you the pictures you posted last year (summer 05) from the Beirut sit in against Syria. you had a couple of nice pics (babes) in there...

MJT -
And Hezbollah Lover is finally banned. He posted a few more times, including an insult directed at my wife for no reason, and his comments were deleted.

And he was complaining you weren't paying enough attention to him. Ironically the first time you replied to me, I got him banned. If he's still reading this (which I'm surrre he is) - that's what I call - picking your spots kid!
Knew it was just a matter of time for him... my impression is he was some young dude who probably isn't even living in Lebanon... somewhere in the West.

MJT -
I'm trying to be a good sport about it,

Way more magnanimous and patient than me.

I stand by my jestful comment though -
"Your posts are invaluble really, the insite and information - but in the end won't make a bit a diffrnce when Hezbollah ignites another war, the UN, Reuters-AP-AFP "reporters", and Europe will act the same exact way again.

Olmert is actually freeing a Guy (Kuntar, a Hezballah Hero who smashed a mother and little daugher's skull, then took the remaining daughter and father to the beach, smashed the father's skull in front of the daughter so she could witness it and then killed her... NOW THAT IS ONE FIN HERO brave dude if you ask me. Allahu Akhbar baby!!

Best Regards,

Mike Nargizian

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at January 19, 2007 04:45 PM

Rudeness aside, the record must be put straight.

Firstly there is much foul stuff in the Talmud, yes, but the Talmud was compiled a long time ago, between the 3rd and 7th century. I may be off by a bit on the dates. The period after the expulsion was bitter and it shows in the text. Very few Jews go by these bigotted views of gentiles in our day. And that should be the point. There's been a long period of growth and it's been difficult and painful, from the European enlightenment to the Holocaust to the establishment of Israel as a homeland.

The biggest proof of jewish meddling in their scriptures is the fact they talk of jesus, mary and the bible - all of whom never existed at the time of judaism.

HL neglected to point out that the Talmud was compiled after the birth and death of Jesus. Indeed, he appears not to know.

The proof of the bible being meddled with is the fact whenever i go to the local chruch they haqve billboards with notices telling christians to hurry and buy the new up-dates edition of the new testament or what-ever.
Here he shows he doesn't understand that the New Testament was written in Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew and has been translated into probably every language people speak on the earth. The new "up-dates editions" he is talking about are translations. Languages change.
Jews… believe that a man once challenged and beat up god!!!
I can only assume he is talking about Jacob's wrestling match on the night before he is to fight his brother Esau, whose inheritance he has taken by trickery. The figure with which Jacob wrestles, variously interpreted as an angel, the angel of death and yes, sometimes even God, is only called "a man" in the text. That's right. The Bible says "Ha-Ish" (a man) came to him and Jacob wrestled with him all night. Obviously Jacob wrestled with himself all night. That's why "the man" won't tell him his name, flatters him to get him to let go, why he must leave as sunrise, etcetera. He is about to face his brother and he doesn't know what to expect. To wrestle with one's self at a time like that is natural enough.

I leave these corrections for the record. I leave it to the reader to decide whether the ignorance and hatred is the result of the writings he has unearthed or whether his hatred is the flashlight searching the darkness for confirmation of the justification for such hatred.

Posted by: Abu Nudnik at January 20, 2007 09:33 AM

Forgive me my post above. There is much beauty in the Talmud and it takes a genuine Jew hater to go searching through its pages in search of matter for his hatred to feed on.

I should have said that in the first paragraph and not merely imply it in the last.

Posted by: Abu Nudnik at January 20, 2007 09:38 AM

Hezbolla Lover: All i know is that some of you here even admit that both bible and torah were moderated by humans, which makes both books un-holy and non-devine, whereas you also admit that the quran has never been changed, otherwise they become the laws and rules of humans rather than god.

Wrong. Nobody said Koran was never changed. Don't put words in our mouths.

Islamic scribes wrote down Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)'s hallucinations in multiple editions, after his death, from fragments and from the memory of his followers. Some of these earlier editions are in existence and preserved. See the article in Atlantic Monthly on this.

Then about the year 60 Hejri (680 AD), Othman ordered all copies of Koran outlawed and collected and destroyed and only one version of Koran re-edited and standardized. This was the only copy allowed to be in circulation - and you call this "word of God"? You can't even show how this edition of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) the child molestor hallucinations is the true word of god, much less to show there exist god(s). And then you imbeciles want to rule on M.E. society ???!!!

Posted by: manda at January 22, 2007 12:14 AM

Michael,

Great interview!, you have some balls man, for going in like that to interview the Allamah!

I practically grew up on the streets of Beirut and even I would think twice before doing what you did.

You are wrong on one thing though: Western journalists are NOT immune to assassination. I am warning you because you said you lived in Beirut, where "accidents" are just as common as assassinations. BE CAREFUL and more prudent next time!

Regarding what you said about money, hospitals, and schools buying loyalty, no one could agree more with you. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY NASSRALLAH AND HIS THUGS ARE FIGHTING PARIS 3 FROM HAPPENING.
You next article should be titled: "From paris 3 to Tehran 1" LOL

Posted by: Ryan at January 22, 2007 03:44 PM

Your take on the dictator in exile Khadam, the retired butcher of Lebanon was on the money. Problem is, no one cares. It is ironic that for the Arabs it is only a question of who will be the next brutal dictator. Democracy can wait.

Van Dola

Posted by: Van Dola at January 27, 2007 03:56 PM

Amazing how the Jewish bandwagon move and work.

"He could not bring himself to say the word.."
The least you can do is to give the guy a break, as for pro-israel nutters should know that since israel itself is based on terror and corruption, you always want to tread with your words, ask Hamas and other Palestinian leadership who took the brunt of the systematic "targeted" assassinations under broad day light.

By the way, to that person who is finding it 'strange' that such true honest Muslims (and even called him Christian!) exist; this is the very attitude that you're being fed day and night on that lousy box you call T.V.-I think your remarks is self evident to such Hippocratic outlooks to the Muslim world. There are millions like this guy in the Islamic world, but since your dear media lackeys and 'masters' always go exclusive whenever blood and violence (perpetrated by "Muslim" extremists) it becomes the staple diet of the day on the numerous 'Zionist' (read Jewish) outlets, then what you see is what you appreciate; not much of independent thinking buy oneself, or is it?

Had the Jew been as smart as he's trying to deceive the world in thinking so, for a start, he would have behaved like a human being instead of rampaging animal in 1982 and in July war of 2006-they murdered 400 children for two lousy "soldiers". In the history of conflicts this kind of savagery never took place by any one except the "democratic state" of israel.

Posted by: John at October 24, 2007 07:55 PM
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