Category Archives: Islam

Cut The Girls For God

The other day, having nothing better to do I pondered why the practice of mutilating young girls had emerged in several parts of the world. Obviously, most places in the world do not practice a process of mutilating females in order to make them less likely to engage in wanton sexuality with men. Female Genital Mutilation is practiced by in Muslim and Christian areas of Africa and the Middle East or in parts of Pakistan. Of course, it is not done to all girls. Since the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq seized control of northern Iraq, this issue has emerged as a possible threat to young Muslim females. There are reports that ISIS has issued a fatwa which will require all Muslim girls to undergo Female Genital Mutilation in order to “print immoral behavior.”

If cutting sexual organs prevents immoral sexual behavior then how come we don’t mutilate the penis? Oops, I forgot that we Jews, and many Muslims, do slice off a part of the penis. Me included! Funny, it never made me avoid sexual behavior. Heck, if there is an attractive female who wants to make out with this 83 year old Jewish old man, please see me– immediately!

However, there is no joke about subjecting young girls to such brutal behavior.

Death Takes No Holiday

There are moments when one longs for an old fashioned war that has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with power or wealth or prestige. Adolf Hitler sought power, and the Allies combined to defeat his armies, conquer Germany, and assist Germans to renew their lives in peace and prosperity. Heck, the US and England defeated Japan in a war that led to millions of deaths, the war concluded, Japan signed on the dotted line, they were occupied, and since then Japan has known only prosperity and peace. But, wars in the Middle East are intertwined with religion. Sunni vs Shiite, or Jew vs. Muslim. You can also throw in Christians in either of those equations. Muslim Hamas decided to send rockets into Israel or if it was not Hamas, then the honor of this stupidity belongs to any of an assortment of local Gaza terrorists. Three innocent Jewish boys were murdered which resulted in the murder of an innocent Palestinian Muslim boy, and from that point on, the race to see which side could murder more innocent people began.

I understand that Hamas and its affiliates have been sending rockets into Israel. It is clear that Israelis can not accept a world in which rockets zoom over their skies. BUT, it is also clear that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been seeking an excuse to invade Gaza, and blast away. Does one evil equal the other? Who cares? Palestinians have been seeking for years to get Israel to halt West Bank settlements. If President Abbas had been empowered to create an independent Palestinian state, the current war in Gaza may or may not have been. Certainly halting West Bank settlements is not the end of the world for Israel. The people of Israel-Jews and Muslims and Christians have been engaged in war for half a century.

The latest count is 700 dead Gazans including children murdered while in a UN school. 29 Jewish soldiers are dead. Peace and the end of violence not only impacts Jews in Israel, it also impacts Muslims in Gaza or the West Bank. It is now time for peace.

Step One: End further West Bank settlements and get down to the issue of how other issues can be resolved.

I Do Not Understand Sudan Muslims

I have been fortunate in life meeting many outstanding people who adhere to the Muslim religion. The doctor who saved my life is Muslim as well as very close friends so it baffles me when encountering those of the Muslim faith who violate its basic principles in the name of Allah. The vast majority of Muslims in this world are just like Christians or Jews or Buddhists. Basically, most humans are decent and not into violence– sorry, Fox News, you folk are the exception to the rule of decency. A few months ago in the nation of Sudan a woman named Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death for the heinous crime of converting from the Muslim religion to that of Christianity. In the nation of Sudan, it is perfectly OK for a Muslim man to marry a woman of another faith, but it is death for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian. Actually, Meriam was raised as a Christian and married a Sudan Christian who also had an American citizenship.

Anyway, after being sentenced to death, the Sudan High Court reversed the decision and she was able to leave the country. The Muslim religion guarantees the right of people to practice their religion. It is only in nations such as the Sudan that this basic principle is violated. Meriam is now in Italy and will soon be in the arms of Pope Francis!

Israel -Hamas Redeux

During the past few weeks a few million words have been written regarding the current crisis in the Middle East. There are times when words are a weapon of war, unfortunately at this moment, actual weapons of war are in action. The entire issue of conflict between Israel and Middle Eastern nation has been on the world’s agenda for over sixty years. Yes, there have been a few examples of peace such as the agreement between Egypt and Israel or the agreement between Israel and Jordan, but the winds of war continue to blow. There IS a Palestinian government led by President Mahmoud Abbas, and he DOES desire peace between Palestinians and Israel. If we take a step back from the current slaughter of people in Gaza and ask: how did this war get started,? we are left with a degree of uncertainty. Or, are we left with a sense that both Hamas and Israel literally needs a conflict?

Let me make clear there are no innocent parties in this conflict. Hamas leaders are besides themselves with joy as thousands of Gazans are wounded and hundreds are killed. The more innocent people die in Gaza, the more Hamas leaders can seek more money, more support, and more arms from outside groups. The leaders of Hamas are trapped in a vicious cycle of war and death. They lack any political plan for the future of Palestinians other than war and death. If war halted tomorrow in Gaza, what would Hamas leaders do? The answer is simple-build new tunnels!

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also lacks a plan for the future other than build new settlements in the West Bank. Reality check: What if the Palestinian Authority unilaterally disbanded and told Israel that it is now in charge of all Palestinians? That would result in an Israel in which at least 30% of the population was Muslim or Christian. Since these groups have a higher birth rate it means by 2050, Jews are the minority in Israel. This IS REALITY. So, what is the response of Netanyahu-invade, kill, destroy tunnels. One Israel bomb hit a family of 25, at least 18 children died.

Eventually, fighting will cease. Death will take a temporary holiday. Eventually, hundreds of children will die. But, Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to refuse accepting reality. The ONLY hope for a peaceful Israel is negotiating with President Abbas. Negotiating requires COMPROMISE. And, in Israel that means desires of the state of Israel take precedence over the desires of West Bank settlers.

Say, Whatever Happened To Iraq??

During the past two weeks the world has been focused upon events in Ukraine and in Gaza. World leaders are issuing statements, making claims, offering advice and threatening action if the other side does or does not do something. As our gaze shifts to the Ukraine or to Gaza, our gaze does not shift to Iraq. Hey, remember, there is a war still going on in Iraq. We complain about leaders of Hamas, but what about leaders of the Iraq government? Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues to refuse any compromise with Sunni leaders, and has lost confidence of Kurd leaders in Iraq, and ISIS continues to hold large areas of northern Iraq. It amazes me how short is our attention span on any issue in the Middle East. From day one when President George Bush refused UN requests for more time to check out the presence of alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction, the American response to anything connected with Iraq is to blunder along without any logical policy.

Iraq is a greater mess than the situation in Gaza. It is a nation tottering on the brink of collapse. Is ISIS gains control of Iraq this means it possesses the money and power to engage in biological warfare as well as pursue a nuclear component. Is it possible for our State Department to focus on two issues -simultaneously??

Turkey Wants To Kill Universities

A decade ago, the Justice Development Party of Turkey gained power, and took away power from the military which for decades had decided who would govern in the land. Since obtaining power, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has installed a regime that is more alike that once led by the military. Slowly, but surely, he has taken power away from independent agencies of the government. The once independent judiciary has lost power, the police made a mistake of investigating corruption by the Erdogan family, schools must now toe the official line. Students who have protested often wind up in jail, and Turkey now leads the world in the number of journalists who are in prison.

The latest power grab by Erdogan is to give power to the Higher Education Board(whose leaders he appoints) to decide executive boards of universities–even private universities. This Board will decide who gets tenure, who gets a promotion, and they will even volunteer to assist college professors in deciding what to teach. The next step for Erdogan is to become President, and make that office all powerful.

Joko Widodo No Indonesian Joke!

It has become an accepted belief in most Western nations that those of the Muslim religion are linked in one way or another with violence of terrorism. WE of the West insist that OUR values are antithetical to the idea of terrorism or violence. After all, we are heirs to the Judaic – Christian way of life. Just remember, we of the Judaic/Christian belief system conducted World War I and World War II and when not engaged in slaughtering Europeans, wiped out a few million folk in Asia and Africa. So, it is so wonderful to learn that in the LARGEST MUSLIM NATION IN THE WORLD, there was a free election and a man of peace was elected to head the nation. And, belief it or not, no terrorists played any role, whatsoever in any aspect of the election.

Joko Widodo, who is the first Indonesian leader able to claim no link with the Army or previous violations of democratic procedures, was elected with 53.12% of the vote. He is the first president who comes from the ordinary people of Indonesia, and seeks peace and love with one and all. He pointed out that his candidacy had support from “artists to rickshaw drivers” and represents a “cultural event” rather than a political event. According to Joko, “politics is full of fun, politics has some wisdom, politics is freedom.’

His opponent, Mr. Prahowo, who was supported by the Army, charges “fraud!” He certainly does not come across as a happy camper.

No Fly, No War?

The killings continue in Gaza as the Israel army continues its campaign to wipe out launching facilities that send rockets into Israel. A new twist on this story concerns decisions by most major airlines to cease any flights in or out of Israel. After all, if rockets are in the air, the last thing desired is to have planes up in the sky. One suspects this ban was never anticipated by those planing the invasion of Gaza. Then again, has the Israel government a plan to end death for its citizens that goes beyond the present moment in time? UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reflects the feelings of many nations in demanding that Israel halt its current attacks in Gaza. Each minute, each hour, each day, the number of deaths grows higher and higher.

Let me make clear, that every nation in the world has a right to respond to military attacks upon its soil. No nation has to sit idly by while rockets descend upon its people. The right to employ force against violence is NOT the issue. The issue, and it will continue to be the issue is: what is the future of Israel as a society? Is the goal seizure of the entire West Bank and removal of Palestinians from the area? Is so, then the current invasion of Gaza makes some sort of sense. BUT, if the issue is: how does the Israel government develop a policy which enables Palestinians to have their own government, then the invasion makes scant sense. Why? Because after the guns grow silent in Gaza, thousands of young Palestinians have only one dream– to revenge the deaths of family and friends. Perhaps, it takes a year, perhaps two years, but in the future there will be other rockets.

What then? Another invasion?

A Big Meow For Cicek!!

There are many important events transpiring in the world, but none matches the significance of what is happening in the Turkish town of Bolu. There are 34 shopkeepers in the Bolu Reyis Shopping Center who have been found guilty of harboring a notorious Islamic militant in their midst. City authorities insist the shopkeepers cooperate with demands for safety in the city. They demand that merchants become merchants of death and end the the reign of terror that has gone on for twelve long years in the shopping center. Intelligence agents finally identified the terrorist as going by the name of Cicek(Flower). Cicek is a cat who wanders the shopping center demanding food and drink from merchants. The city, no, the nation of Turkey, demands an end to terror within their midst and this can only occur if merchants will cease feeding the terrorist, seize her, and finally put this cat down–forever.

Merchants insist they love the terrorist. But, isn’t this all too common. The terrorist in our midst always has supporters who want murder and violence to prevail. Latest reports indicate that Cicek i somewhere. Most probably Cicek has headed for Mosul to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. So, those in Baghdad, be on the alert for a grey colored cat. She is the cat who brings death and destruction.

I gather that the NSA finally admitted they had lost track of this cat which means, is their a cat in the future of America who will make 9/11 look like a day in the country??

3 Equals 550

Initially let me make clear the following analysis of events unfolding in Gaza and Israel and Palestine is not an attack on the presence of an independent6 state of Israel in the Middle East. Just about any criticism of Israeli policies results in cries they represent ANTI-SEMITISM! Those who care for the state of Israel believe its survival as a DEMOCRATIC nation depends upon its ability to forge meaningful relations with nations of the Middle East. Asa professor who has taught about the Middle East and mong the founders of a Holocaust Museum, it is clear that survival of Israel as a beacon of democracy depends upon its demonstration of leadership in the Middle East. At this moment, at leat 550 Palestinians are dead because initally three innocent Jewsih children were murdered. The numbver of Palestinian wounded has past the 3000 figure. There simply is no rational way of arguing that the murder of 3 requires the murder of 550 in order to demonstrate something.

OOps, there are now 25 dead Israeli soldiers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues, “all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas.” An intersting equation. In fairness, Bibi is right, Hamas thrives on the killing of Palestinians by Israel. It furnishes them a new set of martyrs who must be avenged. The result is that thousands of Palstinian youth flock to the banner of Deat. Reality check: Israel has prevously launched invasions of Gaza. In each sorty, the Israel government promised the Jewish people of Israel(20% are Muslim or Christian) that THIS invasion was the FINAL INVASION. Each time the promise of finality, but each time the end result is growth in the number of Palestinians wiling to becme martyrs for revenge. Sorry, THIS TIME is NOT the last time.

Death in Gaza, destruction of homes simply ensures a new generation of those willing to murder Israelis. Frankly, they don’t care if the Israeli is Jewish or Muslim, Death alone serves their cause.

At some point Israel MUST

1. Agree that 90% of the West Bank belongs to Palestinians.

Once that is accepted, the road to peace can become a reality.

P.S. Isn’t it time for Death To take a holiday from the Middle East???