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Blogger, heal theyself


This is cross posted by Dave Rich at the blog of The CST

Inayat Bunglawala has written a predictable blog post attacking the government’s new Prevent strategy; predictable in that he blames “Zionists” for influencing the government’s new position.

There is one line in his article which, although almost an aside, caused me to catch my breath. He writes:

As I argued in my previous blog, Zionists view any political progress made by Muslims (or ‘Islamists’ as they term them) as detrimental to their interests.

Putting to one side for a moment the conspiracy theory about “Zionists” attacking Muslims, which seems to be a core belief of both Bunglawala and the iEngage lobby group which he founded, the allegation that people who campaign against Islamism use it as a code for Muslims is simply untrue.

Firstly, it is untrue because plenty of well-known Islamists use the word quite freely to describe themselves. For example, Yusuf al-Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood, writing in the magazine of the Federation Of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in 1990, warned that “Islamists must pay special attention to the preparation of competent cadres.” In 1995, when addressing a meeting of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House, the Tunisian Islamist Rashid Ghannouchi, told his audience that he “prefers to be described as an Islamist.” Kamal Helbawy, also of the Muslim Brotherhood, even founded a magazine called Islamism Digest.

Secondly, it is untrue because Islam is a religion and Islamism is a political ideology and movement, and it must be possible to critique and criticise the latter in a way that does not automatically include an attack on the former. To argue otherwise is both evidence and fuel for Islamophobia.

And thirdly, if Bunglawala really believes that “Islamist” is just used as a code word for “Muslim”, then he really ought to look at his own use of the word “Zionist”, because he leaves himself open to the charge of hypocrisy.

For example, writing in the magazine Trends in 1992, Bunglawala presented evidence of what he considered to be excessive Jewish influence over the UK media:

The chairman of Carlton Communications is Michael Green, of the tribe of Judah. He has joined an elite club whose members include fellow Jews Michael Grade (Chief Executive at Channel Four) and Alan Yentob (Controller at BBC2 and friend of Salman Rushdie). The three are reported to be “close friends” (The Times, Oct. 17). So that’s what they mean by a “free media”!

When challenged on this by the Daily Telegraph in 2005, Bunglawala said:

 Those comments were made some 12 or 13 years ago. All of us may hold opinions which are objectionable, but they change over time. I certainly would not defend those comments today.

Fair enough: as he says, plenty of people hold extreme views in their youth that they regret as they mature. But what, then, should we make of this paragraph, in his blog post yesterday:

Alhamdulillah, despite their considerable influence in the mainstream media – influence which they routinely use to smear and bully politicians and senior civil servants that regard anti-Muslim policies as wrong and detrimental in the real struggle against AQ-inspired terrorism – the Zionists seem clearly destined to lose this battle.

It may be true that Bunglawala considers it objectionable to claim there is some sort of Jewish media conspiracy, but he regularly claims there is a Zionist one. And it may also be true that he does not consider a person’s religion to be relevant, although he did imply that Lord Carlisle was not credible partly because he told the Jewish Chronicle that “he was proud of his “100 per cent Jewish ancestry” and that he was a strong supporter of Israel.” But given Bunglawala’s blanket assumption that all Zionists use “Islamist” as a synonym for “Muslim”, he can’t be surprised if some of those “Zionists” think he uses that particular label as a synonym for “Jew”.

19 replies »

  1. There are many idiots who are employed by the Guardian to write comment pieces. Bungler is probably one of the worst.

    The good news is that he is so laughably in a parallel universe that only the already brainwashed could ever take him seriously.

  2. “Secondly, it is untrue because Islam is a religion and Islamism is a political ideology and movement, and it must be possible to critique and criticise the latter in a way that does not automatically include an attack on the former.”

    I agree, and it must be possible to criticise Zionism without being called anti-semitic, but you wouldn’t think so if you read CifWatch.

    • That has to be because when you try it sencar, you fail to make the distinction clear enough. (Hint: EUMC working definition – google it)

  3. “…and it must be possible to criticise Zionism without being called anti-semitic,…”

    No, it’s impossible. Even if we leave out the many classical Jew-haters hiding behind anti-Zionism, it can be shown to be a form of Jew-hatred just by being a particular stance of the general truth that, if you deny a nation’s right to political sovereignty on its own land, it is patent you have no love for that nation.

    Analogy: It is the year 1825. You’re in a Parisian salon, and the topic of discussion is the idea that Greece should become independent after centuries of Ottoman rule. One of the discussants opposes the idea that Greece should gain independence. You ask him, “What have you got against the Greeks?” He replies, “I have nothing against the Greeks, I just think Greek becoming independent would seriously affect the balance of power the Congress held ten years ago was trying to achieve, and besides, if every nation that was historically independent sued for national sovereignty, the world would become a madhouse.” The last two propositions of his are rational—they can and should be disputed, but at least you can discuss them. The first proposition, on the other hand, is untenable. No matter what his reasons are, and however rational they might be, it cannot be disputed that the man is being untruthful when he says he has nothing against the Greeks. His very willingness, for example, to retain a balance of power on the expense of the Hellenic nation is proof that he has no love for the Greeks.

    Zionism is Jewish nationalism. If you put the idea of Zionism up for grabs, if you call for the right of Jewish sovereignty over Palestine, the indigenous territory of the Jews (the one and only true Palestinian nation—the Jews, not the Arab settlers falsely calling themselves such), to be curtailed, for whatever reason, then there can be no doubt about it: You have no love for the Jewish nation. I call it Jew-hatred. Anti-Zionism is an illegitimate political movement; it has no right to exist.

    “Islam is a religion and Islamism is a political ideology and movement,…”

    Disagree. Islam is a religion and a political ideology and movement. “Islamism” is just a PC label people have adopted to convince themselves Islam is only the first of those three.

    • ziontruth

      You beg so many questions it is hard to know where to start. Let’s try to tease out some of your logic. You say that the opponent of Greek independence “has no love for the Greeks”. That simply doesn’t follow. I may think highly of the Greeks but believe independence to be against their interests. I am British and, like many of my fellows, doubt whether full independence for Scotland and Wales is in the interests of Scotland, Wales or England either (both Sc otland and Wales have a form of partial self-rule). That opinion has no bearing on my liking for the Scots or the Welsh (some I like, some I don’t but I don’t ).
      More seriously, when you talk of Jews and Zionism opposition to the latter is
      transformed from a lack of love to “a form of Jew-hatred”. So your analogy with Greek independence breaks down; those who oppose it merely lack love whilst those who oppose Zionism positively hate.
      I don’t accept your assertion that Palestine is “the indigenous territory of the Jews” but won’t seek to argue the point here. I will however challenge the assertion that “Islam is a religion and a political ideology and movement”. There have always been many millions of Muslims for whom Islam is simply a set of beliefs and a system of moral guidance, just as there have been many Jews for whom Judaism has a similar
      position in their lives.

      • Please ignore the “but I don’t” at the end of the first paragraph – a sloppy bit of editing…

      • “I am British and, like many of my fellows, doubt whether full independence for Scotland and Wales is in the interests of Scotland, Wales or England either (both Scotland and Wales have a form of partial self-rule).”

        If there were a concensus among, say, the Scots on a desire for independence, they could rightly accuse you of hating them.

        “opposition to the latter is transformed from a lack of love to ‘a form of Jew-hatred’.”

        Well, I think it was pretty clear I was using “having no love for” as a dampened paraphrase for “hating.” I have no problem with the neutral position. viz. the one that say, “I don’t care about Israel and its local conflict.” Those who truly have neither love nor hate toward Israel and Zionism are OK as far as I’m concerned. But when someone actively takes sides with the position that Zionism is wrong, you can count on me to call them on it.

        “So your analogy with Greek independence breaks down; those who oppose it merely lack love…”

        No, they hate the Greeks. Mere lack of love would be if they were to declare apathy on the question.

        “I don’t accept your assertion that Palestine is ‘the indigenous territory of the Jews’ but won’t seek to argue the point here.”

        Alright, but it should be noted that the debate on that point is the pivotal question on which this entire conflict is hinged. (That’s why I devote a degree of effort to it that a lot of people might consider disproportionate.)

        “There have always been many millions of Muslims for whom Islam is simply a set of beliefs and a system of moral guidance,…”

        Maybe, but Islam, as opposed to certain Muslims who are lax in its observance, has a political program inseparable to it. As does Judaism, but there’s an important difference: Judaism’s political program is localized to a small part of the globe (Palestine) and applies only to the Jews, while Islam’s is global and to be forced on all of humanity.

        • “If there were a concensus among, say, the Scots on a desire for independence, they could rightly accuse you of hating them.”

          So, if the majority want independence we hate them if we disagree with that proposition. Two problems:
          1) What if the majority of people in in West Dunbartonshire (well known to readers of this site) want independence for that county? Do we hate those people if we disagree with them? Clearly a simple majority vote is not sufficient to give merit to a claim for independence.
          2) That’s silly, you say, I obviously mean the principle to apply to nations, not counties or towns. In that case what about the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza? You wouldn’t deny that a majority in those places would vote for independence from Israel, I imagine. Are you saying that Israelis hate Palestinians by denying them independence, and by implication that the cause of Palestinian independence is a just one?.

          • “What if the majority of people in in West Dunbartonshire (well known to readers of this site) want independence for that county?”

            The West Dunbartonshirians are not a nation.

            “In that case what about the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza?”

            And neither are the Arab settlers falsely calling themselves “Palestinians.” They are not a nation in its own right but part of the Arab nation, which already has a huge mass of land beyond its entitlement (the Arabian Peninsula). It is because of the patent injustice of their ambition to appropriate the Jewish State that the narrative of the faux-Palestinian nation was made up in the first place—to make the patently ridiculous proposition sound a just and reasonable one.

            We Jews are the only true Palestinians. The Arab nation’s grievances concerning our national rights are illegitimate, and anyone who accepts those grievances at face value is aiding and abetting an unjust cause. You should be ashamed of yourself (but you won’t be, of course).

            • “They are not a nation in its own right but part of the Arab nation,”

              Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘nation’: “a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory”.
              That fits the Palestinians just fine. Nations define themselves through their people. You can’t impose an identity on them from outside. Nations change over the years; their identity and boundaries aren’t cast in stone. There was a time when arabs in Palestine thought of themselves as part of an Arab Nation, just as arabs in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere did. Now they think of themselves as Palestinians, Syrians and Iraqis; you can’t stop them!

              • “…a large body of people united by common descent,…”

                That makes them part of the Arab nation, yes. Not a separate nation. The borders of the British Mandate, just like the borders the British made with their rulers in Africa, never took ethnicity into account. That’s one reason why Israel is one of the few successful countries in the Middle East: Encompassing one real nation instead of multiple ethnicities, it was spared the tribal strife that has been the bane of most decolonial states.

                “…history,…”

                None to speak of, except the recent history defined vis-a-vis opposition to the Jewish state—not a feature that could define a nation by any stretch.

                “…culture…”

                Nil. Any efforts they could have devoted to constructing a unique culture have, instead, been devoted to fostering the glorification of suicide-murder.

                “…language…”

                No unique language. The continuum of Arabic dialects in Palestine ignores the borders. Bedouins in the south of Israel have difficulty understanding the Arabs of the Galilee, while in turn the former speak the same dialect as the Bedouins near them in Egypt’s Sinai and the latter can understand their brothers across the border in Lebanon.

                In short, attempts to justify regarding the Arab settler-colonists in Palestine as a nation in its own right fail on all counts. Were it not for the PR benefit of turning the reality of the Jewish David vs. Arab Goliath on its head, no one would dream of considering them a nation.

                “You can’t impose an identity on them from outside.”

                But they can fabricate an identity that denies the inherent connection of Jews to Palestine and posits Zionism as a relic of 19th-century European colonialism, right? Double standard.

                “Nations change over the years;…”

                Nations change, but they don’t appear from scratch as has been the case with the faux-Palestinians. Pick up any book, newspaper or atlas from say 1960 and you’ll never find any reference to any non-Jewish “Palestinian nation.”

                “There was a time when arabs in Palestine thought of themselves as part of an Arab Nation, just as arabs in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere did.”

                This isn’t about thoughts and feelings, this is about reality. As the debacles in multisectarian Lebanon and Iraq show, you don’t make a nation by declaring all the people within a certain arbitrary border to be a nation. In this year 2011 there are only the following nations in the Middle East: Jews, Arabs, Persians, Turks and Kurds. Maybe I missed some, but not “Iraqi,” “Syrian” or non-Jewish “Palestinian.”

                “…you can’t stop them!”

                Yes, I can. It is you who can’t stop the Jews from justly reclaiming their one and only indigenous territory in the world. You give aid to a cause of injustice; you aid and abet the covetous ambition of Arab imperialism in favor of the just and right and fair and reasonable demand of the Jewish nation for exclusive political sovereignty on its own territory. You should be ashamed of yourself. You and all anti-Zionists.

                • This is my last comment on this thread.

                  You misunderstand the concept of ‘nation’. The people in an area develop a national consciousness for a variety of reasons. Reaction to perceived threat from another group (Palestinians reacting to Zionist settlement, for example) is one of those reasons. The arbitrary drawing of lines on a map (such as those that carved up the Ottoman Empire after World War I) can be another. Of course a national group can be stopped from becoming a state. The Kurds are a good example. Palestinians (so far at least) are another.
                  There are many examples of successful ‘multisectarian’ nation states (what about the good old US of A). Lebanon and Iraq have certainly had their problems (not helped by interventions from Israel and US respectively) but show some signs of settling into viable states. Syrians are showing a strong national identity currently – in opposition to Assad.

                  • “This is my last comment on this thread.”

                    Make it “on this forum” and I’ll be even happier.

                    “You misunderstand the concept of ‘nation’.”

                    No, you do. Your conception of “nation” is typical of neo-Marxist thinking: You are an adherent of the concept called the Proposition Nation. According to that concept, a nation is defined by (as you put it) the arbitrary drawing of lines on a map, without regard to differences in ethnicity, culture, language or any other traits traditionally associated with nationhood (as indeed the Oxford Dictionary definition you brought implies).

                    And so we put Arabs, Druzes, Christians, Sunnis and Shias in a particular region and slap the name “Lebanese nation” on them, and later are surprised when members of this “nation” massacre each other. We get surprised when the same thing happens once Yugoslavia and Iraq are no longer under an iron fist. And we get surprised when we see European cities have become less, not more, safe for the indigenous Europeans after flooding by immigrants who are not even required to identify with the history of their new residences (but we, I mean you neo-Marxists, still blame it all on “racism” on the part of those who have had their countries turned into dumping grounds against their will).

                    The idea of the Proposition Nation has been nearly totally a disaster. This relaxation of standards as regards national identity is truly turning the world into a madhouse. I don’t buy it. I don’t buy any part of the Progressivist package. I’m a traditional nationalist, and as such I hold that the nation comes first, then the land, and not the other way round; and that a nation must have positive things to show for its claim—ethnicity, history, culture, language etc.—and cannot be defined by the negative fact of a “reaction to perceived threat from another group” or anything on that line.

                    And I do not, cannot, give recognition to a “national identity” the sole purpose of whose fabrication has always been to usurp the rightful Jewish claim to Palestine, as evidenced by the rank impudence of appropriating the name “Palestinians.” Had they chosen to call themselves the “Southern Syrian nation” (they had been Southern Syrians until Britain and France split Greater Syria between themselves), I’d dispute only their claim to be a nation; but this use of the name “Palestinian nation,” which only the Jewish nation has the right to do, because only the Jewish nation is uniquely connected to Palestine and to no other place in the world, deserves nothing but a volcano of righteous indignation from any Jew who hasn’t sold his Jewish soul to the platitudes of neo-Marxism. I cannot compromise on this.

                    “There are many examples of successful ‘multisectarian’ nation states (what about the good old US of A).”

                    It was, for the brief period when the Americans believed in being Americans above all the hyphenated identities. But now, under neo-Marxist rule, the pitting of groups against one another and the constant use of the Race Card threatens to tear the U.S. of A. apart.

        • If there were a concensus among, say, the Scots on a desire for independence, they could rightly accuse you of hating them.
          Many Scots are against independence. What are they, then – “self-hating Scots”?
          Of course there’s a difference between anti-Semitism and opposition to Zionism.

          • “Many Scots are against independence. What are they, then – ‘self-hating Scots’?”

            If the majority of Scots are for independence, then yes.

            “Of course there’s a difference between anti-Semitism and opposition to Zionism.”

            Only in the sense that the Jew-haters who hide behind anti-Zionism tend to be more subtle than the honest, “hook-nosed-Jews-rule-the-world” classical Jew-haters of old. Except for a few slips here and there, like Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohammed’s “Jews rule the world by proxy” bit or Helen Thomas’s call for Palestine to be ethnically cleansed of all Jews.

            But let’s suppose anti-Zionism has nothing whatsoever to do with Jew-hatred. Would it be OK then? I say no. I say it would still be illegitimate, just as it would be illegitimate to call for the Greeks to be deprived of their sovereign state and have it given to another state such as Turkey—be it even for so noble a cause as “world peace.”

            Anti-Zionism has no right to exist; it needs to be brought down the trashcan of history.

  4. Islamist and Islamism are silly fabrications designed to pull the wool over the eyes of woolly liberals.

    Islam is the political ideology not the other way round as I am sure Bungle would agree.

    • Since Islamism depends upon Islam to give it form, function and raison d’etre (ie without Islam there would be no Islamism and therefore Islam is primarily responsible for most acts of terror which are perpetrated in its name, see http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/), the distinction is a very fine one if it exists at all.

      One can be a Zionist and support the Jews’ right to their homeland, however, without being Jewish.

      Perhaps it’d be more realistic to call Islamism the operational arm of the propagation of Islam and sharia – it is responsible for spreading da’wa and punishing infidels, those who disagree with it, or who it thinks are not “proper” Muslims.

      Bunglawala is on record as wanting there to be a caliphate, and he is an admirer of
      Mawdudi – see http://www.islamistwatch.org/texts/maududi/maududi.html – and taught antisemitism to Ed Husain, as Husain describes in “The Islamist.” He is also on record as admiring Osama bin Laden.

      He is also in favour of stoning as a punishment for adultery:

      From: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/joan-smith/joan-smith-islam-and-the-modern-world-dont-mix-760717.html

      “..Yesterday Inayat Bunglawala, assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, criticised the arrest of Ms Gibbons in Sudan and described it as a “quite horrible misunderstanding”. But during a public debate in London two weeks ago, he refused my invitation to condemn unequivocally the practice of stoning women to death for adultery. It had happened during the lifetime of the Prophet, he said, “so you are asking me to condemn my Prophet”….” Note the cock-eyed, underdeveloped, knee-jerk superstitious rigid thinking, which is impervious to reason and is typical of the genre.

      In short, Bunglawala is a weasel, a shapeshifter who can appear to be reasonable in the best of “multi-culti” fashion when it suits him, but scratch him and the true hater appears.

      I wrote the following on CiF, back in 2008:

      MITNAGED
      01 Feb 08, 2:52pm
      “Behind Bunglawala’s agenda lies a fascinating aspect of cognitive egocentrism in which he projects his own mentality onto the newspaper which offends him, and especially on to its Jewish proprietor.

      “In his conspiracy narrative, probably fed by the likes of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Jews control the media for their own nefarious purposes. As so often in conspiracy theory, the people who hold them reveal more about themselves than they do about the people they “describe.”

      “Here we see Bunglawala arguing that, with a Jewish proprietor a newspaper cannot be even handed and is even openly racist. His “Tribe of Judah” remarks in the Daily Telegraph show him as believing that because there are so many Jews in the media, they must be using it to advance their personal (tribal/religious) agenda.

      “And he has previously given us a variation of the Livingstone manoeuvre by, after having denied that discrimination against Jews is growing, arguing elsewhere in the media that Muslims are the “new Jews” in Britain today!

      “He himself denies that Jews are victimised and yet is content to use that victimisation to illustrate his point about Muslims because the cognitive egocentrism excludes the awareness that he cannot have it both ways. If he is an antisemite (and the final sentence of his blog and previous history indicate this), he has absolutely no right to use the history of the Jewish people as a victimised minority as an example by which to make his own case!

      “The irony here is that where Jews are prominent in the media this is because they bend over backwards not to be partisan, even to support the other side. People like Suzanne Goldberg did a hatchet job in the Guardian on the Israelis about Muhammad al-Durah. “

      In short, Bunglawala’s Jew-hating credentials are unchanged, and although he thinks he can get away with his new “Zionist influence in the media” routine he is too stupid NOT to use the Jew-hating tropes when he talks about that alleged Zionist influence.
      Thus we have yet another example of “anti-Zionism” which very thinly veils the usual Islamist-inspired Jew-hatred.

  5. There can be no doubt that Bunglawala is a headcase.

    Bunglawala presented evidence of what he considered to be excessive Jewish influence over the UK media

    Didn’t he once also go on about some other UK paper owner’s Jewish background in a CIF piece?