Will Arabia’s Reform Start in Iraq?

According to my magic 8-ball, “Signs point to ‘yes'”. The inflamatory Arab media is in shambles. They have very little credibility left; that credibility fell with the Baath regime in Iraq. I wanted to go to MEMRI and find some nasty things coming out of Iraq (because that is the kind of prick that I am) and I couldn’t do it. Instead, I saw things like sermon from Falouja, Iraq:

“–The Prophet Muhammad signed agreements and treaties with the polytheists who worshipped idols. He signed agreements and treaties with the Christians and with the Jews. All those who honored the agreement, the Prophet Muhammad honored the agreement with them. Let the people of the New Testament and also the Torah hear: ‘We are guided by the Koran and by the words of the Prophet. Anyone who harms the People of the Book harms me.’ What does this mean? If you are a Muslim and in your country are Jews, Christians, and Sabians, do not harm them, because if you harm them, you are harming the Prophet Muhammad. How wonderful this tolerance is?!– When the Jews emigrated to Palestine, some families remained in one of the cities. When they witnessed the tolerance of Islam in the city– they converted to Islam, willingly and out of love for this great religion. In our city, Falouja, there are Sabians, and you all know it. When they saw that Islam is the religion of tolerance, the religion of good, the religion of love, they all converted to Islam, and became our brothers.”
This is the sort of tolerance that Islam will have to develop if it is not going to force the west to destroy it like fascism and communism. Tolerance is not acceptance; we don’t ask that Islam accept us. Tolerance is putting up with. You don’t have to agree with us to do business with us.

Of course, I knew that an Imam wouldn’t let me down and give a completely positive sermon:

“We appeal to the Christians, the People of the Book, in the east and west of the land, to look at Islam and compare it with their New Testament. All are books [sent] from Allah, and all emissaries are from Allah– Oh People of the Book, come let us reach the truth. The people of the New Testament should act according to what Allah brought down to them. You [Americans] are Christians? Then, please, read the New Testament. If it is written in it that you must oppress the wretched, then let’s talk about it. But if it is written that you must act justly, then we appeal to the American forces that entered [Falouja], and quote the words of Jesus to them: ‘If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the left cheek.’ Wonder of wonders. America, the invading forces, struck us first, with uncalled-for and unacceptable force, in Baghdad and in other places. In our city, they struck us on the right cheek and on the left cheek and from above, from the front, and from behind, and their planes hover above our city, verily, above the houses. The tanks and armored personnel vehicles drive through the streets and aim their weapons at people. They say that America does not act with terror. By Allah, this is the gravest terror.”
You would think that they would know what real terror is after decades of Saddam. Go figure.

Also worth noting is this one from a Qutari (is that the proper nomenclature?) intelectual:

“We are forever listening apprehensively to ‘the other,’ to him who wishes us evil. Others have had similar problems, but they have risen up and rebuilt themselves because they were able to rid themselves of the fear of ‘the other.'”

“It was no wonder then when we called defeat victory in 1956 and 1967 as well as in the Mother of all Battles and Qadisiyya.”

“There are still those who justify and philosophize about media partiality. They claim that it is partiality for the honor and dignity of the community. [Have] not honor and dignity been rendered miserable if the dignity of man has not been preserved? There are those who say it was to raise morale, but this is faulty reasoning: It is not necessary to raise morale by trickery and deception of the masses.””The musings of a simple Iraqi from a liberated area caught my attention. He said: ‘The Arabs left us and did not liberate us. Why are they attacking the coalition which wants to liberate us?’ Why is this simple fact not realized by our men of culture, our intellectuals, our men of the media and our religious leaders, the men who call for participation in ‘Jihad?'”

Keep an eye on MEMRI.

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