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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Tiny Minority of Extremists

My title is borrowed from Robert Spencer, who calls such stories "Tiny Minority of Extremist Updates."

Several mosques in the Detroit area are mourning the death of pro-terror Hezbollah imam Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. So is a CNN reporter named Octavia Nasr, who characterizes herself as a "Christian" and as a "Middle Eastern Woman." (I think this would be a good time to break out Hugh Fitzgerald's term "IslamoChristian.")

What people who characterize problems with Islam as problems with a "minority" do not understand, and what some of them will never understand, is that there are multiple levels to the problem with Muslims and Muslim immigration. Sympathy and support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah and its leaders constitute one such level. We are not simply talking about those who actually go out and strap bombs on themselves. We are talking about those who provide money to terrorists, those who support imams in the U.S. who preach terrorism, those who send their children to madrassahs where they are taught terrorism. We are talking about a community with bad, bad ideas, a community that venerates people like Fadlallah and teaches its children to do likewise.

And insofar as so-called "Christians" like Nasr are in on the game, they are enablers. She called Fadlallah "one of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot." Think about what that wording shows. Never mind even the word "respect." I'm talking about "Hezbollah's giants." That's like referring to someone as "one of the giants of Nazism." As though Hezbollah is an admirable group so that being a "giant" among them is not just being a "giant monster." Yeah, yeah, here is her "clarification," along the lines of "Twitter made me do it."

The "clarification" blows plenty of smoke in and of itself, in between a few clear statements. So, alongside, "He regularly praised the terror attacks that killed Israeli citizens" we get not only praise for Fadlallah's alleged role in helping women in Islam but also the following ambiguous downplaying of his role in the Marine barracks attack in 1983: "In 1983, as Fadlallah found his voice as a spiritual leader, Islamic Jihad - soon to morph into Hezbollah - bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 299 American and French peacekeepers." You know, if he'd just "found his voice" a little faster, I'm sure he would have stopped that attack. Or this: "And it was during his time as spiritual leader that so many Westerners were kidnapped and held hostage in Lebanon." Wow, what a coincidence. Or this:

When the Lebanese Civil War ended in 1990 with Syria taking full control of Lebanon, Hezbollah was and remains the only armed militia in Lebanon. Under Syria's influence however, Hezbollah - declared a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union started becoming even more militant, with designs beyond Lebanon's borders to serve agendas for Syria and Iran.

Fadlallah himself was designated a terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Yep, it was after 1990 that they "started becoming more militant" (never mind the barracks bombing?), and Fadlallah was "designated" a terrorist, but you never know, maybe we got it wrong.

In the "rolling around laughing" category we get her attempt to cast Fadlallah as a "moderate":

Through his outspoken Friday sermons and his regularly updated website, Fadlallah had a platform to spread what many considered a more moderate voice of Shia Islam than what was coming out of Iran.

And here's her last line:

Sayyed Fadlallah. Revered across borders yet designated a terrorist. Not the kind of life to be commenting about in a brief tweet. It's something I deeply regret.

Deep, man.

If an IslamoChristian "Middle Eastern woman" like Nasr can be starry-eyed about Fadlallah (which she pretty obviously was, as you can see both from her initial "tweet" and from her "clarification"), what should we expect from the Shia community in America? And Nasr's attitude is a good reason even to question some "Christian" immigration from certain parts of the Middle East, by the way. Wake up, Americans.

Comments (15)

The willful stupidity of so many Americans sometimes makes me want to beat my head against the wall in frustration. It's almost like they have said to themselves "what nutty idea could someone hold that neither has a shred of evidence, nor, if true, would it lead to my short-term and very base hopes of good in this life? That's what I will adhere to." Kind of like N.I.C.E without even the pretense of there being some sense behind it, even if nobody knows what the sense could be. Here it's like they intentionally abandoned the pretense of sense.

Tony, I'm afraid it arises from a kind of strange "guilt toward the other." Hence the "first law of majority-minority relations," which, as I recall it, is that the worse some minority group in the U.S. behaves, the more special and positive treatment they will receive. I think the last 9 years bears this out amply w.r.t. Muslims. Prior to 9/11, we were much more willing to talk about "Muslim terrorism" and to recognize facts in that area. The moment 9/11 happened, our government (and, yes, that was under Bush) began bending over backwards to show that we didn't hold this against Islam, the media began screaming about non-existent backlash. We became much more willing to tolerate sympathy for terrorism, and so forth. Insane? Yes, but it has the kind of logic that madness does have. Namely, this must be our fault somehow, the greatest danger caused by these attacks would be the death of "diversity" (you remember when the highest ranking officer in the army said that about Nidal Hasan's murders), and so forth. I fully admit that "diversity" junk was already firmly in place by 9/11 and after. In other words, liberalism was regnant. What we've since then is just the application of that to our avowed enemies, to terrorists, etc.

Lydia,

It's actually worse than you say -- he didn't just praise terror attacks, Fadallah also issued theological justifications for suicide bombings. According to "The National" paper (from the UAE):

...he is best remembered for his fierce resistance to the 1978-2000 Israeli occupation of Lebanon, as well as his role as the first major Muslim cleric of any sect to use religious justification for suicide bombing operations.

And this is from the NYT obit:

In a 2002 interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph, he was quoted as saying of the Palestinians: “They have had their land stolen, their families killed, their homes destroyed, and the Israelis are using weapons, such as the F16 aircraft, which are meant only for major wars. There is no other way for the Palestinians to push back those mountains, apart from martyrdom operations.”

the following ambiguous downplaying of his role in the Marine barracks attack in 1983: "In 1983, as Fadlallah found his voice as a spiritual leader, Islamic Jihad - soon to morph into Hezbollah - bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 299 American and French peacekeepers."

The passage you quote is not downplaying his role in anything, but rather suggesting that he played a causal role in those events ["up-playing" his role to coin an expression]. Some evidence for this reading comes from context. Earlier she writes: "This does not mean I respected him for what else he did or said. Far from it." This functions as a kind of topic sentence to be supported by the objectionable features she thereafter describes. For example, she immediately follows the passage about the barracks bombing by noting that "And [emphasis mine] it was during his time as spiritual leader that so many Westerners were kidnapped and held hostage in Lebanon." Thus, the quoted passage occurs in a series in which the author is noting the objectionable things what's his name did.

An effective wake-up call ought not be muddied with misreadings.

Permit me to preface my remarks by saying that I haven't read articles on this story and have absolutely no personal knowledge of this particular woman.

That said, however, you will find that the attitudes of Middle Eastern Christians towards the dominant geo-political players in the region are complex and not readily amenable to the categories generally used by Americans. These people have been oppressed for centuries by Muslim tyranny and frequently find themselves placed in danger or attacked outright by Muslims today. But at the same time, Israeli retributive measures do much worse damage to their lives and property. Southern Lebanon, for instance, where Hezbollah and Israel do so much of their fighting, is not actually inhabited by Hezbollah militiamen: it's inhabited principally by Orthodox and Maronite Christians. The Christian populations had long been protected from systematic violence under Ottoman and colonial rule by treaties, international pressure, and the civilized sensibilities of European administrators. These people often thus view Israel with a certain degree of entirely understandable ambiguity; even if Jews > Muslims, Israel has undoubtedly not improved life for most Middle Eastern Christians. That's the simple fact even though Israel has definitely not set out to kill or injure Christians, and nobody claims as such. My impression has been that these people certainly don't "root for" Islamic terrorists, but at the same time would be willing to say a pox upon both your houses if they could live in peace.

But as deplorable as it is to see the MSM fawn over terrorists and their abettors, and as culpable as this particular reporter's opinions and comments might in fact be, we shouldn't treat Middle Eastern Christians as a suspect class simply because their opinions and preferences might not coordinate with ours in every respect.

Titus,

Southern Lebanon has some Christian majority cities, as well as some Christians, but is majority Muslim. See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabatiyeh_Governorate

and here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Governorate

We need to get our facts straight before we can talk intelligently about the Middle-East.

Two things, Titus:

First, Americans do not use categories notably less "complex" than that of people in the Middle East, Christian or otherwise. Their attitudes are no more sophisticated, and frequently much less so, than that of the American public, and I'm frankly sick of suggestions to the contrary.

Second, saying that their "opinions and preferences might not coordinate with ours in every respect" is a precious way of stating the case. It is excessively genteel in that what we're describing is an attitude towards the mass murder of civilians, which is Hizballah's stock in trade. And it is also a distortion of what Lydia said, since as far as I'm aware she doesn't believe that any class of foreign person will have opinions and preferences which coordinate with Americans' in every respect. I'm not even sure what it means to say that some foreign class of persons has some generic set of opinions and preferences that does not coordinate with our own, since Americans are themselves divided on most of these issues (again, American attitudes are pretty "complex," as it turns out).

But if you're saying that we shouldn't treat them as a suspect class because their "preference" for Hizballah over Israel and because their "opinion" about slaughtering Israeli civilians in shops and cafes "does not coordinate" with our own, then I'd say you're mistaken in a pretty fundamental way. I'd argue that such preferences and opinions are exactly the sort of thing we should be worried about when weighing the benefits of mass immigration from the Middle East, which was Lydia's point, not that we should demand that all immigrants prefer American football to soccer.

I'd also add, as a third thing, that how a Middle Eastern Christian might have come to have such wonderfully complex preferences for Hizballah over the US Marine Corps is absolutely irrelevant, and no concern of ours. What concerns us is their suitability to be Americans, not whether their attitudes have some rational historical antecedent.

My impression has been that these people certainly don't "root for" Islamic terrorists, but at the same time would be willing to say a pox upon both your houses if they could live in peace. But as deplorable as it is to see the MSM fawn over terrorists and their abettors, and as culpable as this particular reporter's opinions and comments might in fact be, we shouldn't treat Middle Eastern Christians as a suspect class simply because their opinions and preferences might not coordinate with ours in every respect.

Sorry, but Octavia Nasr roots for them, and she uses her Christianity as a cover for it. Nor is she the only one of her kind who does so.

Sage's comments really can't be bettered, here, by the way.

Here is a link on Christians in the Middle East that might be of interest to those interested in evidence:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-plight-of-christians-under-the-palestinian-authority/

Alex H, I disagree with you. Sure, she's trying to list objectionable things, but please contrast the _way_ she does this with the forthright way in which these things are listed by other people. For example, why does she not say that he personally approved the barracks bombing (as does Jihad Watch) or that he was the mastermind behind the Lebanon hostage crisis, as Con Coughlin does at the Telegraph? Her wording is slippery and frustrating, and it is deliberately crafted as it is. This is her "clarification," after all. She doesn't actually _attribute_ any clear hand in any of these things to him. They happened while he was the spiritual leader or as he was finding his voice, etc. It is deliberately vague wording, and it absolutely obviously arises from her "respect" for him and her reluctance to come out and be clear about the evil that he actively did.

This country has gone MAD!!!

What is up with these LOONY LIBS defending
everyone that HATES the country that THE LORD
has BLESSED?

I would like some INSIGHT into this LIBERAL DEMENTIA.

Why do the following groups HATE America and
the SANCTITY of HUMAN LIFE so much???

ATHEISTS. LIBS. DEMS. FEMINISTS. POSTMODERNISTS.
MARXISTS. EXISTENTIALISTS.

Why do they alll HATE America and humans?!?!?!

God have mercy. Soften their HARDENED hearts.
Selah.

Anybody for "giants of the Tea Party", anybody that is, in the media?
They know who the enemy isn't & who the real enemy is, one of the benefits of worldly sophistication.

Aquinas Was Right,

I agree with your comments.

I believe that Naturalism leads to a devaluing of human life,
the meaning of life, and a grounding for morality. This explains
why so many Secularists have such life denying views. What really
bothers them is that at root America is a Christian nation.
Atheists hate apple pie, mom, God and country.

Lydia,

Glad to see you hanging out at Pajama's Media! Here is a great article from their website about what's going on right now in Southern Lebanon, brought to you by that "tiny minority of extremists":

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/hezbollah-takes-southern-lebanon-hostage/

By the way, Landes has his own excellent blog called "The Augean Stables" which I would highly recommend to all W4 readers who want a clear picture of the Middle-East.

I cannot tell a lie. I don't hang out there regularly. I can't remember now who sent me that particular link, but I've been saving it up for a long time! Looking forward to reading the link you give.

Lydia,

More good stuff on Fadlallah and his fans in the West:

http://www.nationalreview.com/david-pryce-jones/230911/indecent

Europe is really the canary in the coal mine on this subject!

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