Saturday, April 21, 2007

Canadian Journalist Attacked By Muslim Extremists

Jawaad Faizi was attacked in suburban Toronto by two men he calls "religious fanatics." They assaulted him with a cricket bat as he sat in his car outside his editor's house.

Faizi's attack was in retribution for a piece he wrote for the Pakistan Post critical of a Pakistani cleric.

Steve Emerson, executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, says this kind of intimidation of reporters is common in the Middle East and has occurred in Europe. But, he says, this is the first such case he knows of that has ever taken place in North America.

Faizi, a guest on my show, remains obviously shaken by the experience. He fears, not only for himself, but for his wife and children.

Threats preceded the attacks. The police took his report and did, he says, little else. Now, he says, they are finally on the case.

This is the problem with radical Islamists. Rather than protesting, demanding equal space in the paper or even boycotting the newspaper, they attack. It won't make Faizi take back his words. But it sends a message to Faizi, and to other journalists, that they should mind themselves in the future.

Sort of like the response to the editorial cartoon in Denmark that mocked the Prophet Mohammad.

This would be like Rev. Al Sharpton sending out religious thugs with baseball bats to teach me a lesson for my vocal criticism of him. People would be shocked if Sharpton were to do that. They should be equally shocked by the attack on Faizi.


Cass said...

This man was clearly shaken and fearful for his life. Anyone who listened to him could tell this. Yet still we had people who were saying........ he shouldn't have said these things - amazing. The moment we allow fanatics to dictate what we can and cannot say we have totally lost the plot. My relatives, and my countrymen died in defence of our right to free speech, why would we surrender it?

psychie said...

Below is an article I wrote during the incident with Pope Benedict.

Muslims are miffed and again it’s because something unfavorable was said about their founder, Mohammed, and their faith, Islam. The last time the drive-by miffing had to do with cartoons which were unfavorable to their prophet, Mohammed. Never mind the fact that it was Muslim Clerics who brought in cartoons which were not printed in Jyllands-Posten in order to rile the Muslims up in the Middle-East. Never mind the fact that the cartoons which were run in Jyllands-Posten were on their second run in a year.

No, that situation, which resulted in riots, demolition of buildings, and the taking of lives, wasn’t about the truth, rather, it was about flexing the Muslim muscle for all the world to see, or as my mama used to call it: pitching a fit.

Back then, with the cartoons, the Muslims were miffed that their prophet was depicted as the inspirer of violence. After all, we all know Mohammed was a peaceful man, right? A tolerant man, right? And to demonstrate it, Muslims took to the street and destroyed property, took livesand marched along holding such peaceful signs as “massacre those who insult Islam” and “Europe you will pay, your 9/11 will come”.

The Jyllands-Posten protests weren’t the first in modern history, either. In 2002 a Nigerian newspaper suggested that Mohammed, had he lived today, might have picked a bride from among the Miss World contestants, some 200 people died as a result of Muslim protests:

Dozens were killed in northern Nigeria in rioting that erupted after a newspaper suggested the Prophet Mohammed would have approved of the Miss World beauty contest. The death toll in the town of Kaduna was an estimated 105 with a further 521 injured taken to hospital…Angry mobs in the mainly Muslim city 600 kilometres (375 miles) northwest of Lagos burnt Christian churches and rampaged through the streets stabbing, bludgeoning and burning bystanders to death .

And, as with the cartoons, any attempt to an apology, shy of a serious grovel, didn’t placate the now angered Muslims.

And now we come to the issue of Pope Benedict’s speech at the University of Regensburg in Germany. Just what did he say that miffed the Muslims this time?

To begin with, there’s a context to consider. The speech wasn’t about Islam, rather, it focused on reason and university life and how those fit together with religion. He goes on to reflect on an event:

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (M√ľnster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both…

…The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between - as they were called - three "Laws" or "rules of life": the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an.

The Pontiff then went on to explain the content of the dialogue:

In the seventh conversation [text unclear] edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: “There is no compulsion in religion".

According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war.

Thus far, the Pope has not said word one in terms of his own opinions about Islam or Mohammed. Rather, he focuses on a discussion between others as recorded many years ago.

Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".

Aside from the fact that the Pope was citing a conversation between other than himself, and offers no personal opinion about the comments made by the parties cited, for some reason the next paragraph gets lost in news reporting of the event, and is completely lost in the Muslim mindset:

The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.

Again, I will remind the reader that the Pontiff was addressing the issue of violence in religion, and whether or not the two are compatible. He used, as an example of opinions, a conversation between the Byzantine Emporer Manuel II Paleologus and an unknown, but presumably educated Persian, some time in the late 1300’s. This conversation was related many years later by Professor Theodore Khoury.

Just exactly what did the Pontiff say which could cause such outrage amongst Muslims? Was the Pontiff wrongly representing Islam’s growth? The speech wasn’t about Islam, rather, it was a discussion about how the Christian faith should be spread. And while it did highlight the differences between Christianity and Islam, the speech wasn’t intended to “insult” Muslims, unless of course, the history of their religion is considered an insult to Muslims.

Islam: Spread by Peace or Pieces?

If you listen to the voices of Islamic revisionists and their sympathizers, there’s a conspiracy (has been for years) to make Islam “look bad.” Of course, everyone who says Islam was spread by violent means in it’s early years is naturally so brain dead that they could never look this information up for themselves, right?

And, of course, the Christians are part of this conspiracy. The reason, according to one source, is that we Christians are a jealous lot and always have been:

Most of Western writers, especially under the influence of the Church, have never failed to accuse Islam of spreading by force of the sword. The causes of this prejudice lie mainly in the fact that the spread of Islam has often occurred at the expense of Christianity. While Islam has for centuries obtained numerous conversions from Christianity without much effort or organized missionary activities, Christianity has almost never been able to achieve conversions from Islam in spite of sophisticated means and well-organized missionary activities, and it has always been at a disadvantage in its competition with Islam for fourteen centuries.

Christianity has never been jealous of Islam. To begin with, Christianity doesn’t “target” people from Islam for conversion. The message is that God so loved the world, not just Muslims, that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16) and the great commission (Go Ye into all the world) doesn’t target Muslims. In other words. Christianity has never seen conversion as a competition. On the other hand, Islam does. Islam counts and boasts on numbers. Christianity talks of souls.

Did Islam spread by violence?

624-627 A.D.: Mohammed attacks Jewish Arabic tribes for refusing to convert to Islam. Eventually all of the Southern Arabic tribes are destroyed.

626 A.D.: During a trip to proselyte for Islam, Mohammed captures a group of about 600 people from the Banu Kurara tribe and forces them to chose between conversion to Islam or their lives. About 300-400 were beheaded.
627 A.D.: Banu-Qurayza tribe of Jews were besieged by Mohammed’s military for 25 days before surrendering due to starvation. Mohammed had a trench dug around the main market of Medina, the men were made to stand by the trench with their hands bound behind their backs, then shoved one by one alongside the trench where they were forced to kneel. They were then offered a last chance to convert to Islam. Failure to convert resulted in the head being cut off and corpse kicked into the ditch. An estimated 900 were slaughtered that day. It is said none converted.

After Mohammed’s death, the slaughter continued until the expansion of the “Islamic Kingdom” was finally stopped, but not until thousands had died for refusing to convert to Islam.

Islam: The Religion of Peace?
Ultimately one is left to ask the question: If Islam is so peaceful, why can’t Muslims seem to resolve their problems through peaceful means?

Imagine, if you will, what would happen if Christians worldwide had responded, and in equal percentages, to anti-Christian and anti-Jesus media presentations and statements from high profile persons? Take for example the alleged artistry of Andres Serrano and his work “Piss Christ”. Could something more inflammatory have been made than a Crucifix submerged in the so-called artist’s own urine?

It won the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts’ “Award in the Visual Arts” competition, sponsored with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a government agency offering support and funding for artistic projects.

How many Christians hit the streets, destroying property and maiming others? How many Christians threatened Serrano’s life?

And then there’s the work of Chris Ofili. His depiction of the Virgin Mary brought a lawsuit in 1999 between then Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. What was offensive about it? Close ups of female genitalia cut from magazines, anyone?

How many Christians hit the streets, destroying property and maiming others? How many Christians threatened Ofili’s life?

And then there’s some recent television attempts to portray Christianity- even the less evangelical among us, such as Episcopalians, as bumbling bigoted boobs, as is the case with The Book of Daniel, an NBC sit-com that, thankfully, didn’t quite fly. It’s pro-homosexual overtones; portraying a minister as a prescription drug addict who has conversations with a non-biblical representation of Jesus, wasn’t exactly the most flattering image of modern Christianity.

How many Christians hit the streets, destroying property and maiming others? How many Christians went to the NBC building and set it on fire?

If you want to say Mohammed hasn’t been accurately portrayed by historians, you can do so. But we have a saying down here in the South: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And if the responses to the Pope’s comment do anything, it’s to support the idea that Islam breeds anger and violence and possibly has done so from it’s inception.

The Pope hasn’t apologized to the satisfaction of some Muslims. And others are trying to tell the Pope what is, and is not, “Christian”. Is it their place to tell a person of another faith what is, and is not, appropriate to that faith? Hardly. But when you think you can tell “God’s Viccar on Earth” what to say and do, then your ego probably tells you that you can define another man’s faith for him.

Something Muslims aren’t fond of others doing to them. But hey, you can’t find the Golden Rule in the Quran.

(PS: Mr. Baumgarten, if they issue a fatwa on me, I am coming to YOUR house to hide!)