November 1, 2014

 

When Samuel Huntington first posited his “Clash of Civilizations” theory, many of his colleagues criticized it, even going so far as ad hominem attacks at what they viewed as anti-Muslim for his comments on Islam.

“The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.”

That was 1992, and that world far away from the one we live in now has brought Huntington’s words ever closer to reality.

Bill Maher, the host of Real Time on HBO got into it recently with Ben Affleck over comments by another guest, atheist philosopher Sam Harris’ breakdown of the rise of radical Islam backed up by a recent reputable poll saying that Muslims were pretty much the way Harris described.

That conversation has grown some legs thanks to activist University of California at Berkeley left wing and Muslim groups who signed a petition to have Maher disinvited as commencement speaker in December. On the 50th anniversary of the free speech movement, which originated on that campus, thousands of students signed a petition solely because of his views on Islam.

So much for Free speech at Berkeley.

However, thanks to Bill Maher who might be channeling Mario Savio, the center of the Free Speech controversy in Berkeley 50 years ago, he stands as the symbol of our first amendment rights today, challenged by educated American Muslims and their lunatic fringe Marxist allies who see it differently.

Last night Bill addressed the move to disinvite him on his show and had on secular Muslim writer, (her description) Rula Jebreal who tried to make the point that giving a commencement speech is not “free speech” because it doesn’t allow for debate by those who don’t agree with it.

What? That is about as obtuse as Ben Affleck’s idea that the bad guys of Islam are very few in number even though a recent pew poll says something very different.

In Rula’s defense how is she going to be able to stand against what Maher says without some overly convoluted, mistaken, clearly ignorant idea of what free speech entails. Being Palestinian, born in Haifa, does not help her with her arguments much. Palestinians are constantly, and with some success I might add, twisting and turning facts around to make themselves look like innocent victims when they are the ones inciting and perpetuating all the violence with their enemy Israel that reacts in defense.

Bill asked, “Can you be gay in Gaza.”

Rula answered without hesitation “Yes, you can.”

 

Either it has been too long since she has been home or she lied to a worldwide audience. To be gay in Gaza, the West bank, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or anywhere else in the western Asiatic Muslim world, is a death sentence.

You might recall former president of Iran, Mahmud Achmadinijad,  speaking at Columbia University in 2012 when asked how gays are treated in Iran he answered that there are no gays in Iran and therefore  don’t have these problems like we have in the United States. And, then looking like a deer in the headlights when a largely sympathetic audience of intellectuals and PhDs roared with laughter at his comments that homosexuality didn’t exist in Iranian culture. His look was like a little kid just being caught in a lie. How’d  they know.

It’s pop culture but you can definitely get a feel for what being gay is like in the Middle East. Check out a movie on Netflicks called “Out In the dark.” It’s in Hebrew and Arabic, but with subtitles. It tells about the clash of the gay lifestyle in the Middle East colliding with the harsh realities of the Israeli Palestinian dispute. Not a happy ending I’m afraid.

So Rula is just wrong the same way Ben Affleck was wrong. If you’re gay in Gaza, don’t express it or you are in for a lot of trouble.

The Muslim practice of executing Muslims who convert to Christianity which 78% of Muslims apparently support, Bill asked, “I could walk inside a door in Gaza and say ‘guess what, I’m a Presbyterian today?’” and waited for a response.

“Maybe not in Gaza, to be honest.” An admission that seemed to just get glossed over.

Rula covered her remarks by saying you could however do that in Lebanon or Jordan. Jordan, I’m not sure if she’s right or not, but over 70% in that country favors Sharia law over state law, so this might be another reality check for Rula, like you can be gay and live in Gaza.

Lebanon is half Christian, consequently Less than a third support Sharia which is one of the lowest in the region. So, for at least two thirds of that population execution because you leave Islam is not accepted, but to say it’s never practiced in Lebanon would be another false statement.

Check the Pew poll here to see all of the other answers which might make you think a little about supporting Islam as a persecuted minority.

Thanks to the Berkeley left wing students and the fundamentalist Muslims that stand against calling them out for what they are, this debate will probably not go away anytime soon. Expect a reiteration of this conversation again when Maher makes his speech in December.

We just might possibly be looking at the beginning of a much more drawn out examination about whether the western Judeo Christian ethos can live side by side with Islam in America and by extension throughout the rest of the western world.

Huntington’s theories do not lead to a peaceful conclusion. We are heading into a much larger confrontation with Islam if we don’t come to some kind of accommodation between our two cultures. In order to do that, students, starting with the Berkeley crowd need to heed their own history and not only support but promote free speech as it once did.

And the rest of us need to support Bill Maher when he does make his speech in December. I’m sure the anti-western American Muslim community will have more to say.

Including Rula.

Rula’ comments on Bill Maher’s show

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