The Veil of Hatred

The expression “the best defense is a good offense” is most often applied in the military and sporting competitions. It is now being used regarding anti-Semitism with greater frequency.

The World Conference Against Racism met from August 31 to September 7, 2001 in Durban, South Africa with a stated noble goal: to rid the world of racism and intolerance while promoting human rights. However, the forum was hijacked by several Muslim and Arab countries who pushed for particular attention on one country, Israel, even as the conference was conceived to address a global phenomenon without delving into any specific country.

Several western countries did their utmost to strip the Israel agenda item from the conference to no avail and were left with the choice of not attending an important event. The United States’ compromise was to send a mid-level representative rather than Secretary of State Colin Powell. Ultimately, the conference became so toxic with anti-Israel sentiment that many withdrew. Powell ultimately described the situation as  “a throwback to the days of ‘Zionism equals racism’” at the United Nations.

The Durban Conference became the playbook for many Muslim and Arab countries as well as far-left progressives to attack Israel under the veil of fighting racism. Each held conferences and promoted peace centers to establish co-existence bona fides while simultaneously trampling human rights in their own countries and promoting a fictitious anti-Israel narrative.

Recent conferences and center openings include:

  • Opening the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz (Saudi Arabia) International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Vienna on November 26, 2012
  • Forum on the Role of Religious Leaders in Preventing Incitement that could Lead to Atrocity Crimes, held in Fez, Morocco, on April 23 and 24, 2015
  • the International Institute for Tolerance and the Muslim Council of Elders in the United Arab Emirates, in 2017
  • Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue, held in Qatar February 20-21, 2018
  • the World Tolerance Summit, in Abu Dhabi on November 13-14, 2019

The notion of interreligious dialogue and peaceful coexistence sounds wonderful, but the hypocrisy of the situation doesn’t seem to enter the minds of the willing participants.

The KAICIID website states that “Our vision is a world where there is respect, understanding, and cooperation among people, justice, peace and reconciliation, and an end to the abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence, and conflict.” Yet this statement comes from an organization founded and named for the leader of Saudi Arabia which denies women basic rights and kills people for converting from Islam.

Apostasy is subject to capital punishment in many of the countries which hosted recent interfaith conferences, and include: Afghanistan; Brunei; Mauritania; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In 2013, the Supreme Council of Religious Scholars in Morocco issued a fatwa that Muslims who leave Islam should be sentenced to death.

Additionally, Qatar funds mosques around the world which host imams calling for people to kill Jews.

Yet these countries host conferences and centers promoting coexistence among faiths.

People would never attend a conference on the freedom of the press in Turkey as they comprehend the irrationality of discussing such topic in the country that jails the most journalists every year. They would similarly not attend a forum on Holocaust studies in Iran when its leaders actively deny the Holocaust.

But they show up for interfaith dialogue in countries that deny basic human rights.

When the Jewish Voice for Peace hosted a discussion in December 2020 to discuss anti-Semitism with panelists who want to destroy Israel, it employed that familiar twist of attempting to excuse the accused.

anti-Israel group hosted event about anti-Semitism to absolve people accused of anti-Semitism

Genuine reform to combat bigotry and anti-Semitism is most welcome and should be encouraged but many of today’s conferences are only granting absolution to haters and sanctifying them as champions of a just cause. Beware of the Durban Conference coming to a forum near you.

Related First One Through article:

Peter Beinart is an Apologist for Anti-Semites

Bitter Burnt Ends: Talking to a Farrakhan Fan

Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference

The Insidious Jihad in America

Omar and Tlaib’s Antisemitic B.D.S.

Jewish Voice for Peace Ignores Dead Jews

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

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I’m Offended, You’re Dead

The US President and the media have portrayed “radical extremists” as angry about cartoons of the Muslim prophet by western media. Such a view focuses very narrowly on the recent attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. This is because democracies consider freedom of speech a fundamental right in their societies and object strongly to such rights coming under fire. Should the media and democracies look more broadly, they would note the broader attacks on basic human rights that Islam imposes where it is in control.

The “hateful ideology” (as US President Obama calls it) is not simply an “ideology” by a few “extremists”. The basic laws of several Islamic countries trample on many fundamental human rights. Islamic laws do not only challenge what you can say, but often attack the essence of who you are, and enforce double standards regarding what you can do. To aggravate the Islamic illiberal attitudes further, the laws impose severe punishments to the offenses, often the death sentence.

 muslim protest
Muslim Protest in England

What you said

Blasphemy is clearly part of the objection of the Muslim killers. Whether Charlie Hebdo (2015), Copenhagen (2005; 2015) or Theo Van Gogh in the Netherlands (2004), the drawings of the Islamic prophet Mohammed were considered offenses deserving of murder. Those attacks made news and drew world attention because they happened in Western Europe. In the Islamic world, blasphemy is considered a crime in over a dozen countries. Pakistan recently sentenced a blasphemer to death, but the laws and actions do not often attract the world’s attention.

Asa Bibi
Asa Bibi sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy,
November 2014

Who you are

Islamic countries impose the death sentence on people for simply being who they are.  Innocent civilians are viewed as criminals even though they harm no one.

  • Apostasy is the act of changing religion. In several Islamic countries, the act of converting from Islam to another religion is punishable by death. Those countries include: Afghanistan; Brunei; Mauritania; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; United Arab Emirates; and Yemen. Many other countries also consider it a crime, punishable by a year or more in prison.
  • Being Gay is considered a crime in 76 countries in 2015. There are several Islamic countries that sentence gays to death including: Iran; Iraq; Mauritania; Nigeria; Qatar; Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
  • Islamic terrorists targeted Jews in recent attacks in Jerusalem; Paris and Copenhagen. Many Muslims feel that non-believers are doomed and should be killed according to Islamic teachings. While many Islamic countries do not sentence non-Muslims to death, they subject the non-Muslims to secondary “dhimmi” status and make them pay special taxes. There are “radical” Islamic groups like Boko Haram and ISIS that are actively killing non-Muslims throughout NigeriaIraq, and Libya.

gay hang iran
An estimated 4,000 gays have been killed in Iran since 1979

What you do

Some Islamic countries have laws that prevent persecuted segments of society from doing what other members of society (Muslims, men) can do freely.  The double standards and misogyny are simply part of the culture that the world ignores.

  • In Saudi Arabia, there are laws that prevent women from driving cars; only men can drive.
  • In Pakistan, girls are prevented from going to school to get an education; only boys can go to school.
  • In many Southeast Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, a girl who reject a boy’s marriage proposal may be disfigured either by having her nose and ears cut off, or acid poured on her face. Boys do not deal with such issues.
  • In Israel, the Jordanian Muslim Waqf prevents Jews from praying on the Jewish Temple Mount; only Muslims are allowed to pray on the entire 35 acre site.
  • In Gaza and Islamic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, people kill female family members in “honor killings” if they dress inappropriately or date unapproved men. Men do not face honor killings.

KSA women drive
Woman arrested for driving in Saudi Arabia,
December 2014

How they Respond

The punishment for many of these basic activities that people in the western world take for granted, is death.  The death sentence is often brutal and public.

“Minor” infractions also can yield a death sentence:

  • Adulterers are stoned to death in Iran; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Sudan; UAE; Yemen
  • Drug traffickers are killed in: Egypt; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Kuwait; Oman; Saudi Arabia; South Sudan; Syria and UAE
  • Prostitutes are killed in Sudan

The Danger

The view that a few “extremists” have hijacked Islam and are attacking the freedom of press is both myopic in terms of history and geography, and hazy in terms of numbers and scope. In reviewing the laws and actions of several Islamic countries, one can better understand the gross intolerance and extremism in their societies. Many Muslims are offended by a great many things, and will kill the offender.

If the West limits its review to freedom of speech in the world of social media, the conversation becomes limited as well.  Hate speech versus freedom of speech, and attitudes towards censorship of social media (such as in Turkey) are worthwhile discussions, but far too narrow.  The value of jobs and economic development for a handful of radicals is brought up by the Obama administration because he misses the larger point. Obama argues for “reasonableness and restraint” from countries because he views the attacks on them as limited to a handful of radicals.

That flawed worldview led Obama to abandon Iraq without helping secure the vacuum.  It will lead an Obama administration to enable Iran to get a nuclear weapon.

Perhaps it is time for Obama to visit Cairo again as he did on his first international trip in 2009.  This time he will meet a new leader in al-Sisi who has called for a “revamping” in Islam. Maybe al-Sisi should be on Obama’s Iran negotiating team.

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Murderous Governments of the Middle East

Many countries in the Middle East have legal systems that enforce the death penalty in non-violent crimes and matters that have no victim at all such as apostasy (conversion from Islam) and homosexuality.  Many of those countries have public executions, condemn minors and encourage the public to view and participate in the murder (in the case of stonings).

Israel is the only country in the region to not carry out the death penalty for any person in the past 50 years.

Number of people executed (2012):

  • Iran: 314+
  • Saudi Arabia: 82+
  • Iraq: 68+
  • Yemen 28+
  • Somalia 10
  • Sudan 7+
  • Palestinian Authority: 6
  • South Sudan 5
  • Syria 1 (thousands in Civil War not included)
  • UAE 1

iran executions
80% of Iranian executions are for drug offenses

Executed Minors (under 18 years old):

  • Iran
  • Saudi Arabia

Iran Minors
Most of the minors in Iran are killed for drug offenses

Judicial Method of Execution

  • Bahrain: Shooting
  • Egypt: Hanging
  • Ethiopia: Shooting
  • Iran: Hanging, often in public (floggings often before the hanging); stoning (women buried to the neck, men to the waist)
  • Iraq: Hanging; shooting
  • Jordan: Hanging.
  • Kuwait: Hanging; shooting
  • Lebanon: Hanging (civilian court); shooting (military court)
  • Libya: Shooting
  • Palestinian Authority: Hanging
  • Qatar: Stoning
  • Saudi Arabia: Beheading (often in public); hanging; stoning
  • Somalia: Shooting; stoning
  • Sudan: Hanging; stoning; crucifixion afterwards for armed robbery
  • Syria: Hanging (civilian court); shooting (military court)
  • UAE: Shooting; stoning
  • Yemen: Shooting (vast majority); stoning. Post execution public crucifixion allowed for three days

Stoning is used for cases of adultery

somalia adultery
Man stoned in Somalia for adultery

Public Executions

  • Iran
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Yemen

KSA behead nanny
Saudi Arabia publicly beheads a nanny,
January 2013

Reason for Capital Punishment [last execution]

  • Bahrain: premeditated murder; treason [2010]
  • Egypt: rape; murder; treason; drug trafficking [2014]
  • Ethiopia: murder; treason; genocide [2007]
  • Iran: adultery; homosexuality; murder; armed robbery; drug trafficking; kidnapping;rape; paedophilia; apostasy [2014]
  • Iraq: drug dealing; rape; terrorism [2014]
  • Israel: Crimes against humanity [1962]
  • Jordan: Murder [2006]
  • Kuwait: drug trafficking; rape; murder [2013]
  • Lebanon: murder [2004]
  • Libya: treason; premeditated murder [2010]
  • Oman: murder; drug trafficking [2007]
  • Palestinian Authority: murder; collaboration [2014]
  • Qatar: treason; apostasy [2003]
  • Saudi Arabia: drug trafficking; homosexuality; atheism; apostasy; adultery; rape; armed robbery; witchcraft; murder [2014]
  • Somalia: homosexuality; murder; adultery [2014]
  • South Sudan: murder; treason; drug dealing [2013]
  • Sudan: Homosexuality; apostasy; prostitution; treason; murder; armed robbery; smuggling [2013]
  • Syria: speaking against the government; rape; membership in Muslim Brotherhood; drug trafficking [2014]
  • UAE: drug trafficking; rape; treason; armed robbery [2014]
  • Yemen: homosexuality; adultery; apostasy; murder [2013]