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You Were Right, I Was Wrong; Danios’s Mea Culpa

mea-culpa

Recently, I published another part of the Understanding Jihad Series.  In the series itself, I tackle the Islamophobic claim that Islam is somehow a uniquely violent religion.  I point out that all religious traditions, not just the Islamic one, have their violent aspects to them.  To drill this point home, I explored the violent aspects of other religions, including Judaism and Christianity, the two religions many of the Islamophobes follow.  The intent was to: (1) disprove their thesis, and (2) bare their rancid hypocrisy.

The articles on Christianity were well-received.  On the other hand, the ones on Judaism were not.  My most recent article on Jewish law received especially critical reviews by some of our readers.  Given the backdrop of a long history of Anti-Semitism in the world, I realize there is a certain sensitivity when it comes to such issues (which I think is reasonable).

Because I had become obsessed with disproving the anti-Muslim thesis–that Islam is a uniquely violent faith (which I believe is the Mother of all Islamophobic Myths)–I was bulldozing through, without realizing the harm that I was putting forth at the same time.  Initially, I was resistant to hearing any criticism and pushing through it.  Yet, after reading through some of the well-written comments by our readers, I decided to pause and reflect.  Criticism is not something easy to take, but I decided to really think about what was being said to me and consider if there was an element of truth to it.

After reflecting on the matter, I realize that I was wrong.  It’s as simple as that.  Although it’s intellectually valid to note the violent aspects in various religious traditions in order to prove that Islam is not somehow uniquely violent, the style and tone I had adopted to do so were completely inappropriate.  This is a very touchy matter, and it requires the calm and detached voice of the scholar, not the belligerent mannerisms of the pugilistic polemicist.

The book I am writing employs a much more softer, inoffensive tone.  I think there is something about the internet that encourages an exaggerated, even bombastic style.  It begins with the choice of title.  The intention when forming a title is to goad readers to click.  My recent title choices were designed to shock.  Although an asterisk did clarify my real viewpoint, what is a tiny asterisk and fine print compared to a blaring headline?  The title then set a negative tone for the rest of the article.  Beyond just the tone, I should make sure to realize that these are very sensitive matters, and require finesse.

In any case, I have heard your criticisms, reflected on them, and have conceded.  Therefore, going forward, I will make sure to be more responsible.  It can be said that I was fighting fire with fire.  But, as someone pointed out, the only proper way to fight fire is with water.  I apologize to you and seek your forgiveness.

  • Ummer

    The Jews are waging covert war from behind the shadows as a collective, everyone knows that.

  • Guess

    Hi JSB,

    Thanks for replying, also sorry for this late reply for lack of time. But though I really don’t have much time (or desire) to go back and forth on a subject that’s been debated to death by countless people (though Palestinians are still waiting for the fruit of it) I’ll try to be as brief as possible.

    > “based on what I wrote above, perhaps I am a “Palestine firster.””

    I don’t really agree with your comparison. Advocating for basic human right (which all sensible people basically agrees Palestinians severely lack as an oppressed people) doesn’t translate to “Palestine firster”. But a much better applicable term would be more like “basic human right firster”. Those people across all races & nationalities that objected the oppression of indigenous South Africans due to white supremacist policies weren’t “black firsters” but simply basic human right advocates.

    > “If you find the term “Israel firster” acceptable, then you lack credibility if you claim that Islamophobes cannot label many politically active Muslims as more loyal to Dar al-Islam, to Palestine, to Syria in the past few weeks, or to Iraq if they protested the planned 2003 war, etc. than to the country where they live.”

    Again, that’s an unfair comparison. I find totally unfortunate that you seem ready (lately) to throw around this unfair comparison to Islamophobes anyone who severely rejects the oppression of Palestinians. Here it sound to me like you’re saying (and again if I may go back to the indigenous South Africans case) thus is as if the some white people that decided to stay “neutral” in that apartheid case, would say to those advocating for the indigenous basic human right, “if you don’t speak “neutral language” then you sound same as the white supremacists”.

    As for Syria, Iraq and for whatever else “Dar al-Islam” Muslim majority country, trust me, Muslims hate more than anybody Muslim oppressors. Although very true (and very valid) they’re highly allergic to non-Muslim oppressors/ dictators aggression “wars” on their people, if you were to take a poll for who’s more responsible to Muslim grief,
    I’m pretty sure their first answer would be the Assads, Saddams, Gaddafis, al-Souds, al-Sisis of the “Muslim world” more than the Bushs, Blairs, Sarkozys .

    Salaam.

  • Jekyll

    Muslims sell out too quickly, usually to the Jews.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    “Do you believe what “Israel firster” stand for?”

    I guess I have two responses.

    First, I tend not to like labels for ideologies because few people fit neatly into a category. I think I have stated my views in the area several times, but if it helps I will repeat. I think that Israel should immediately stop building new settlements and expanding existing settlements in the West Bank, remove the blockade of Gaza (other than for true military equipment), and remove probably most of the checkpoints and other restrictions it imposes on Palestinians in the West Bank. Israel should also begin dismantling existing settlements and start serious negotiations to quickly lead to a fully independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. My primary reasoning behind this is that I believe that Palestinians deserve to have the opportunity to control their own political destiny, even if that leads to outcomes that I do not favor, such as the possibility that they elect Hamas to run their government.

    Second, based on what I wrote above, perhaps I am a “Palestine firster.” After all, my primary, or first, reason for my views is what I believe is correct for Palestinians, not Americans or Israelis. This again relates to my concern that people on one side of an issue often accept the same tactics they find objectionable when used by others. If you find the term “Israel firster” acceptable, then you lack credibility if you claim that Islamophobes cannot label many politically active Muslims as more loyal to Dar al-Islam, to Palestine, to Syria in the past few weeks, or to Iraq if they protested the planned 2003 war, etc. than to the country where they live.

    More generally, it seems that some of the commenters on this page may not have recognized the distinction I was making between the logic of an argument (or the use of terms like “Israel firster”), whether your argument is offensive, and whether your argument is likely to be persuasive. If you support Policy ABC, you don’t go to a group of Democrats and say, “Ronald Reagan was a huge supporter of ABC” and you don’t go to Republicans and say, “Bill Clinton was a huge supporter of ABC.” That has nothing to do with logic, bigotry, or being offensive. It has to do with persuading your audience.

  • AM24

    I don’t see how that article is offensive. It only shows the hypocritical right wing zionists and evangelical christians who portray Muslims as violent savages that their own scripture can be used against them.

  • Guess

    Do you believe what “Israel firster” stand for?

  • jameyfan

    First, it’s MUSLIM not moslem! Next, your link is also a conspiracy so I can call you moron too but won’t resort to name calling like you! Last but not least, what do you mean by “Muslim and Arab world”? Many of us are doing fine here in the West and Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, etc. I’m so sick of hearing about West vs. Arab/Muslim world as if we’re considered “others”. Many of us live in the West too. Try to remember that. Thank you and have a nice day. BTW, we are all off track here. This is Danios apology post and we have pretty much invaded it. Sorry Danios but I had to respond! My last one. 🙂

  • jameyfan

    “Most are sympathetic to Obama?!” Really?! Do you have proof of that?! If Pakistan was collaborating with terrorists then please explain why President Musharaf allowed Obama to drone some terrorists?! (although not happy with drones since it killed many innocent civilians)

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    Some of my ancestors were under the occupation of the Japanese in what used to be called Manchuria (Shenyang area).

    I won’t talk about my family personally from here on, because some of the things I was told should be kept within our legacy to preserve the dignity and honor of those who suffered.

    For longer than WW2, the Japanese occupied the area, and were very brutal to the civilians. Almost everything the Jews suffered under the Nazis, the Chinese suffered under the Japanese occupiers. The Japanese targeted their victims because they were Chinese.

    Some of those people, although Americans don’t admit it, were American Christians, and American prisoners of war as well.

    The United States, and the allied nations decided not to prosecute the Japanese tormenters in trade that they share the biological weapons research they did, for the same reason they decided not to prosecute the Nazis who were engaged in the rocket program.

    Today, I admit there is a little animosity toward the Japanese for those times, but for the most part, the ancestors do dwell on those days as a group. They don’t blame the Japanese today for what happened a generation ago.

    In other words, the people have moved on. They have survived an atrocity, and have learned to forgive.

    Perhaps this is why I am not into a ‘certain group’ of people always playing victim, and wanting the rest of us to be ‘sensitive’ to their holidays, their religious practices and so on, or to justify the immorality and oppression of others because they cant grow up as a people.

    To me it is like giving a drunken driver the keys to your car, a full tank of petrol, a bottle of his favorite liquor and an unlimited credit card that you pay the bill for…and when he hits someone and kills them, you excuse it because ‘he is your unshakable friend’

    The world has done plenty to help them. It is time now that they survive like the rest of us.

  • FreedomOfSpeechNeeded

    Danios,

    I don’t think you were “wrong”. I think you’re being too humble.

    Your a great poster, and you have done a great job in exposing hypocrisy. Well done.

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    My personal view is when people play professional victim for 60 years, it is time enough for them to stop ‘having their feelings hurt’, and join the rest of us in surviving.

    To me the world has done plenty enough to help them through their atrocity, even at the expense of their own people, reputation, health and well being.

    Maybe it is time for them to think about our feelings now, especially since it seems that they ignore the worlds contributions to them, the tears and the blood sacrificed for them, the people ignored and shorted justice because of them.

    Every day the sun comes up, and it goes down. It is a special day for someone…whether it be bad or good. The world doesn’t stop for either.

  • Shirin Ali

    This just in:

    “NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/11/nsa-americans-personal-data-israel-documents?commentpage=1

  • Ali Mohammed

    The main problem is the Muslims themselves.

    Why cannot the hordes of Wahabbis (like Qardawi) and Nasrallah understand that they are being played against each other?
    Israel does what it does best. But it should be these Wahhabi and Shia mongrel leaders who need to understand the old addage “divide and rule”. It was true of British Imperialists at the time they invaded India and it is true now as US/Israel gang up to carve out a “new” Mideast which will albeit be a slave of US+Israel.
    Look at the PNAC policies and make the other concerned Muslims look at it too.

    It is well out in the open.

  • Sam Bin Ismail

    Frank discussions are good but considering other peoples feelings are just as important

  • Sam Bin Ismail

    Tarik do you have a patent on this picture or am I ok to use this haha

  • thegreenmantle

    “The Saudi people don’t want democracy”
    er … how do we know this ?
    Maybe we should have an election to find out
    Sir David

  • Danios_of_LoonWatch

    Thank you for staying and thank you for giving me a chance, JSB.

  • Christian-Friend

    Do you really think Saudis have some sort of hive-mind? That they all want to be rule by a family who cares little about it’s subject?

  • RD Sultan

    “The Saudi people don’t want democracy”

    I love how people like you can read into the inner most thoughts of every Saudi. Do you have any data to back up your claims, specifically the one about Saudi’s were happy about 9/11. The only people I recall celebrating 9/11 were the Israeli art students (please give them my regards).

    What do Malaysians etc. being mistreated have anything to do with wheter or not Assad used chemical weapons. Typical troll. Perhaps we should alert you to how Sephardic and Falasha Jews are treated in Israel, never mind the Arabs.

  • RD Sultan

    “…cry Hasbara when confronted with facts.”

    Dear Moshe,

    You have no facts at all. You’re just spewing conjecture. Let me repeat the standard retorts , in plain English.

    1. Iraq has already been broken down and is in internal turmoil as planned by Israel. As is Libya. As is Egypt. The idea is that by destroying the capability of those countries to focus upon anything but internal divisiveness, Israel becomes the dominant power in the region.

    2. I’m going to wager a guess and declare that you don’t even know the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam. Nevermind that Sunnis and Shias live in peace with each other in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Azerbajian etc.

    3. What began in Syria as a peaceful revolution against the corrupt and hereditary presidency of Assad, has now become a proxy war by Israel, the West, Iran and the Arab Emirs. The goal is to break up Syria and redraw its national state borders.

    4. Please stop pretending as if you care about Muslims being killed in Syria. You’re not fooling anyone. You’re simply engaging in distractions. If you studied history, you’d know that many other states, religions, cultures etc. have also gone through civil war, so Muslims don’t have a monopoly on internal strife.

  • 1DrM

    Look who’s babbling. Going by your treatment of Palestinians, I’m sure an “israeli” hasbaRat like you cares about Syrians. The scum who used white phosphorus on Palestinians in Gaza care about chemical weapons used on Syrians? Just like how the “israelis” magically discovered Turkey’s mistreatment of the Armenians and Kurds after the breakdown in relations following the terrorist attack on the Mavi Marmara. It’s not JonDiamond, but you and the terrorist outpost of “israel” which are the dirty, mass murdering, opportunistic liars hoping that the yanks get involved another war on your behalf. Iraq and non-existent WMDs, Iran and their fictitious nukes, and now Syria and it’s chemical weapons..the pattern is clear, all nations opposed to the Anglo-American-israeli axis targeted for regime change.
    Facts to “israelis” are like sunlight to vampires.

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