Over the years I have seen it happen more than once: a plausible “moderate Muslim” appears on the scene and becomes the darling of hopeful non-Muslims who believe that he epitomizes the peaceful, reasonable face of Islam upon which they have placed so much hope (and based so much policy). His non-Muslim patrons loudly sing his praises and denounce anyone who is rude or “Islamophobic” enough to examine his statements closely and find that they don’t actually amount to what those patrons think they do or wish they did: a genuinely peaceful and pluralistic version of Islam that is strong enough on Islamic grounds to convince Muslims that they should abandon jihad against Infidels in all its manifestations.
Not infrequently I have been the first to burst the bubbles of these “moderates,” thereby arousing the ire of the willfully ignorant and self-deceived, who found my unwillingness to be satisfied with these moderates’ blandly incomplete or deceptive versions of Islam to be evidence of my “Islamophobia” or bigotry or what have you. In reality, it was nothing of the kind. It was just an unwillingness to be fooled.
There was Ed Husain, who continues to bamboozle many in Britain, but not the redoubtable and clear-sighted Melanie Phillips, who saw through him when he began inciting young Muslims to hate Israel over earlier false charges of atrocities against Gazans.
There was Hamid Mir, who wowed audiences in the U.S. with his tales of interviewing Osama bin Laden and avowals of a peaceful, tolerant Islam, who was recently discovered to be aiding the Pakistani Taliban.
There is the cuddly Tarek Fatah, who reassures everyone with his comfortable manner — but who, when confronted with Wafa Sultan’s unblinking truth-telling about Islam and Muhammad, resorted in the blink of an eye to tried-and-true CAIR-like tactics of personal defamation and character assassination.
There have been others also, including a still-prominent, much-ballyhooed moderate who was caught in an interview decrying the Israeli “occupation” — but that is a story for another day. Today there is Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish moderate with whom I had several exchanges a few years ago.
Akyol, like Ed Husain and the other moderate I mentioned above, finds one great obstacle in the way of a lucrative and adulation-filled career as a “moderate”: Israel. It is one thing to sell unsuspecting and ignorant Infidels on the idea that Islam is peace. But Islamic antisemitism, based on the Qur’an’s designation of the Jews as the worst enemies of the Muslims (5:82) and their repeated cursing by Allah (2:62-65; 2:89; 5:59-60; 7:166; 9:30, etc.), is harder for even these “moderates” to shake off, and it leads them to take postures toward Israel that are frequently revealing.
I hate to say I told you so, but I don’t hate it all that much.
“Who the hell does Israel think she is?,” by Mustafa Akyol in the Hurriyet Daily News, June 1 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Two days ago, Israeli forces attacked a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters. The whole purpose of the activists on the raided Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, and several others around it, were to bring aid and supplies, including playgrounds for children, to Gaza. They paid the price by being the targets of Israeli machine guns.
“Flotilla ‘Aid’ to Gaza Includes Expired Medicines, Old Equipment,” by Hillel Fendel for Israel National News, June 1: “Much of the equipment and supplies aboard the ‘humanitarian’ ships for Gaza has been checked and found to be worthless….An IDF source said that the poor condition of the supplies renders most of it unusable. ‘This once again strengthens the evaluation that the intentions of the flotilla organizers were not humanitarian in the first place,’ he said.”
Back to Akyol:
At least 10 unarmed civilians, most of whom are Turks, were killed. Dozens of others were injured.
There is no need to mince words in the face of this atrocity: Israel has committed piracy, barbarism and state terrorism.
Beyond doing all these shamelessly, Israeli spokesmen have also lied shamelessly. One of them, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, was doing exactly that when he portrayed the ship, and the whole aid flotilla, as full of people “well-known for their ties with global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas.”
In fact, the 600 or so activists in the flotilla were a diverse group from 32 countries and many faiths. They included Christian priests and secular humanists. They included Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, the 85-year-old Nobel peace laureate from North Ireland, and Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor. They included children, including a 1-year-old.
Does the presence of these Useful Idiots actually refute the contention that the ship was also full of people tied to Al-Qaeda and other jihad groups? Of course not.
These two Dutch-language stories (thanks to Denise) reveal that one of the two Dutch citizens on the Flotilla, Amin Abou Rashed, is a Hamas leader who has also worked for the Al-Aksa Foundation, which was suspected of raising money for Hamas. One of the articles mentions that he lost his arm in battle against Israel.
Ayalon was also lying when he said, “we found weapons that were prepared in advance and used against our forces.” The Turkish authorities had checked the ships thoroughly before their departure, and there were simply no firearms on board. The only “weapons” that can be spoken of were the wooden or metal sticks that some of the activists had in their hands, apparently taken from the chairs or other ordinary materials on the vessels.
Yesterday, Israel released the photos of some other “weapons” on board, which were just knives taken from the ship’s kitchen.
The video footage we have seen on TV actually gives a sense of what happened: Israeli commandos raided the ships at dawn, sliding down from helicopters via ropes with machine guns in their hands. Some of the activists on board took this as an assault on their ship, which was, to repeat, in international, not Israeli, waters. (How could they take it otherwise?) Then they tried to resist the commandos with the sticks in their hands. The soldiers, in return, fired on the activists, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens.
Actually, the “activists” took it upon themselves to “resist the commandos” before the “commandos” had done anything. Here is the actual videotape — see for yourself:
From the Israeli point of view, everything is perfectly fine here: They have a policy of blockading Gaza, and those who defy it have to face the consequences.
Note that Akyol utters not a word about the indiscriminate rocket attacks upon Israeli civilians, launched from Gaza for many years.
The question is why in the world do people have to obey Israel’s dictates and recognize its inhumane blockade on Gaza?
Who the hell is Israel, in other words, to force 1.5 million people to live in an open-air prison for years?
Scenes from that hellish open-air prison:
The answer from Israel is that “Hamas fires rockets from Gaza.” Well, the last time those rockets were flying in the air, Israel was also firing rockets (and phosphorus bombs) into Gaza, killing a hundred times more civilians than Hamas did. According to a United Nations report, the actions of both sides equally amounted to war crimes….
Akyol doesn’t mention that that UN report was funded by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Nor does he bother to note that it has been thoroughly debunked.
There is even a more fundamental question here, relating to the elephant in the Middle Eastern room: Who the hell is Israel to occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967, and to systematically steal these territories by building illegal settlements?
Question to Akyol: why didn’t the “Palestinians” fight against Egyptian “occupation” of Gaza and Jordanian “occupation” of the West Bank between 1948 and 1967?
And how can she expect the Palestinians, and other nations like us, the Turks, to bow down to this unabashed theft of land?
When I asked that question to an Israeli hawk some years ago, I received a very revealing response: “Might,” he said, “makes right.”
Well, that might be a popular belief in Tel Aviv and Occupied Jerusalem, but not here in Istanbul. In fact our creed tells us that the exact opposite is true: Right, sooner or later, makes might.
The hundreds of heroes who sailed to Gaza last weekend had this faith in their hearts. Here in Turkey, 70 million more stand by them. We mourn for our fallen, but also know that they did not die in vain. Their sacrifice unveiled to the world not just the suffering of the innocents in the Gaza ghetto, but also the brutality of the rogue state that imposes it.
Read my lips: This spirit is really not going to die. We Turks will continue to stand for what is right, regardless of Israel’s might. None of her lobbying, bullying or killing is going to change that.
Nor will truth, evidently.