Ilan Halimi – some phobia warranted?

I mentioned in the post below that some who oppose the UAE/ports deal are not taking kindly to any suggestion that their principled stands might be rooted in “Islamophobia.” And I don’t blame them for being annoyed by it, because as soon as people start throwing around such words, as soon as they start minimizing someone’s opinion by labeling it as “racist” or “Islamophobic” they’ve signalled that they are not listening. And it’s disrespectful, too.

But I am wondering if some “phobia” (which means “fear” not hate) IS at the bottom of the swift “oh no” which so many of us felt upon hearing about the deal. After all – let’s be honest – one can have a completely principled stand on either side of this issue and still feel fear, still feel “phobic” about what these folks might bring. I know that’s true because I SUPPORT the deal, and I still feel a little fearful, a little apprehensive, a little, yes, phobic.

And I think the phobia is warranted, because every other headline these days is about murderous Muslims who seem to want to kill everyone. That sort of attitude is not conducive to the creation of trusting relationships.

But – it can’t be said enough – not all Muslims are part of the Islamofascist extremist mob. The thing is, it is time for them to come out and play – it’s time for the moderate Muslims to declare their disagreement with the tactics of the tyrants. It might be scary for them, because heaven knows they may feel just as “phobic” about the extremists as the rest of us do. But if this man can speak out then maybe they can, too. Shinkwrapped writes here that “Islam is splitting in front of our eyes. This split is not primarily between Shia and Sunni, or between Arab and Persian and non-Arab Islam, or any of the other variations of Islam we read about. The split, which is already accelerating, is between those who accept Islam as a totalitarian system controlling all behavior (commonly referred to as Islamofascists) and those who aspire to an Islamic version of liberal democracy (Moderates).”

The split can’t happen fast enough. We need to see the moderates – we need to be able to keep them out of our line of fire and accept their help in this ongoing struggle.

Olly-olly-oxen-free, Mr. Abdul and Ms. Miryam, who live and work and have a stake in America, in England, in France, in Holland, in Germany, in Ireland! Please come out and tell us that you find a story like this to be reprehensible:

No longer able to deny or play down the racial motive, the investigation is entering a new phase. One of the most troubling aspects of this affair is the probable involvement of relatives and neighbors, beyond the immediate circle of the gang, who were told about the Jewish hostage and dropped in to participate in the torture.

Ilan’s uncle Rafi Halimi told reporters that the gang phoned the family on several occasions and made them listen to the recitation of verses from the Quran, while Ilan’s tortured screams could be heard in the background. The family has publicly criticized the police for deliberately ignoring the explicit anti-Semitic motives, which were repeatedly expressed and should have dictated an entirely different approach to the case from the start. Police searches have now revealed the presence of Islamist literature in the home of at least one of the gang members.

Writes Fausta: The torture lasted for three weeks. Three weeks. Contrary to protestations that this was the first time in sixty years that a Jewish person had been killed for being Jewish,

The murder of Ilan Halimi invites comparison with the November 2003 killing of a Jewish disc jockey, Sébastien Selam. His Muslim neighbor, Adel, slit his throat, nearly decapitating him, and gouged out his eyes with a carving fork in his building’s underground parking garage. Adel came upstairs with bloodied hands and told his mother, “I killed my Jew, I will go to paradise.” In the two years before his murder, the Selam family was repeatedly harassed for being Jewish. The Selam case has not been opened by the magistrate. The murderer, who admits his guilt, was placed in a psychiatric hospital, and may be released soon.

Does phobia play a role in the resistance to the Dubai deal? Of COURSE it does – how can it not? How can reasonable people NOT develop a fear of such persons? Once cannot read this sort of thing, or read of the press suppressing itself, or look at pictures of Islamofascists holding signs urging random beheading and NOT feel distrustful. And that’s not racisim. It’s not even “hate.” It’s a reasonable, sane fear. As I said, I support the deal – I really do believe it is the next logical step in the war on terror – but I still shiver.

Fausta also points out that Rome is taking a stand against the fascists, and that is welcome news. I don’t see how Benedict can NOT speak out.

Pope Benedict signaled his concern on Monday when he told the new Moroccan ambassador to the Vatican that peace can only be assured by “respect for the religious convictions and practices of others, in a reciprocal way in all societies”. Read Fausta’s whole post.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has the funeral of Ilan, in Paris.

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