In Great Britain there are a lot of Muslim commentators. I have no objection to this and some of them are eloquent and informative.
Rageh Omaar is a beautiful Somali-born reporter who has set many a female heart aflutter since his debut on BBC television in 1992. He left the BBC to work full time for the Al-Jazeera English channel in London.
At the end of May he penned an opinion piece in London’s popular Evening Standard newspaper entitled “How Britain Blew Its Chance with the Muslim World.” His premise is that Britain “should stand shoulder to shoulder with Obama as he faces the Muslim world afresh.” Omaar goes on to say that Great Britain ought to have used the Obama victory to “remake itself in the eyes of the Muslim world.”
Oh, please. Do I want to kowtow to a host of backward nations whose attitudes to women and to religious minorities are medieval? Omaar refers to the “animosity and mistakes of recent years.” Just whose animosity are we talking about? Much as I criticize the UK for appeasing British jihad I find it incomprehensible that Rageh Omaar says, “No other country is as implicated in the most glaring schisms between the West and the Muslim world precipitated by George W. Bush as the UK.”
This is laughable on two levels: 1) The pandering to Muslim radicals and the proliferation of radical British Muslim websites and groups that incite hatred of “Zionazis” is out of control; if anything, Britain has bent over backwards in the era of multiculturalism to make even the most vile of imams welcome in our green and pleasant land. 2) Britain has a dynamic and flourishing Muslim community very possibly unmatched anywhere in the West. There are Muslim spokespeople on radio, on television, in the print media, in politics as high as the House of Lords, and in academia; believe me, they are ubiquitous. When BBC broadcaster Yasmin Alibhai-Brown did not eulogize our beloved queen mother when she died I was offended but realized this is a dynamic democracy and Yasmin is entitled to her opinion. Imagine if I went on Saudi telly and bashed one of the royals.
Where, Mr. Omaar, in the Muslim world that you see as so hard done-by, could white middle-class folks screech anti-government slogans in public squares and hold up incendiary posters without being carted off to an abattoir for humans? Daniel Pearl tried to “reach out” to Muslims and was chopped up. Dora Bloch was murdered in Uganda for being Jewish. And as I write this article reports have come in that Ed Dyer, a British music festival attendee in Mali, has been beheaded by “al-Qaeda in Africa” because they do not like radical imam Abu Qatada being locked up in the UK.
Rageh Omaar says that the July 7, 2005, transit bombs and other foiled plots were inspired by Muslim rage over British foreign policy. So, when Britain does not do things to make diaspora Burmese, Venezuelans, Chinese, or Sudanese happy, it is okay for them to blow up our buses? Omaar says that Obama has taken a firm stand against Israeli settlement building and that had Gordon Brown done the same “Britain’s interests” would have been served. Is this a threat to Britain’s security? Hello? Is anyone listening?
Omaar says that standing up to Israel means Britain’s security is improved and it limits the opportunity “British-born jihadists have in using Muslim disaffection at British foreign policy as a primary tool for radicalizing young Britons.” Why should there be one jihadist in Britain? Hindus have lived in the UK for decades but where are their radicals? When Jews are murdered around the world is this a valid excuse for young Anglo-Jews to become violent radicals?
What does he mean when he keeps repeating that it is high time for Britain to be “improving our image in the Muslim world”? A nation with umpteen theaters, symphony orchestras, opera and ballet companies, total equality for women, gay bars, and a press that is free and energetic is supposed to “improve its image” to mullahs and dictators? What the hell is going on here?
Rageh Omaar tells us that Britain is “still associated with the original crime.” If this isn’t some kind of Freudian form of negative transference I don’t know what is. The “original crime”? When 9/11 happened Israel had already endured a year of unmitigated violence in the al-Aqsa Intifada. (I am one of a handful of people who actually believe it was cack-assed for the world to be offended by Ariel Sharon going to the Temple Mount. How many Jews went nuts and rioted and killed when Arafat was in New York?) And before 9/11 there were no “crimes” I can ascertain that would have provoked the attack. Original crime?
Omaar refers to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s failure to reach out to the Muslim world when Obama came into office and his missing an opportunity for a “new start.” A new start? How about the Muslim nations making a “new start” and letting Christians worship and thrive as they wish, as Christian Britain allows Muslims and other faiths to thrive and worship on our soil? How about a “new start” in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, and Jew-free Libya and Pakistan? How about a new start for political dissidents in Egypt and Syria?
I suggest Mr. Omaar, instead of telling us that he fears “it is too late,” look to his fellow Muslims and ask why a British schoolteacher in Sudan nearly lost her life because she suggested the kids name a teddy bear “Mohammed.” It is a fact that the Muslim world sees the coalition invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the Israeli attack on Hamas in Gaza as a series of giant crimes perpetrated by the crusader West and aided and abetted by the great Zionist-loving Satan America. Rageh Omaar says British Tories have a “burning desire to rid themselves of the stigma” of having voted for the invasions. He says the Obama speech in Cairo will go a long way to healing these wounds. He rejoices in the idea that Obama’s words will be written about and celebrated “from Casablanca to Calcutta, Dar es Salaam to Dubai.”
Can Rageh therefore explain why during the pre-Sharon, pre-Rumsfeld, pre-Cheney peaceful time of the Clinton presidency the American embassies in that very same Dar es Salaam and Nairobi were blown to smithereens by Muslims? What had the U.S. done to deserve the carnage these atrocities engendered? What had Buddhists done to the Taliban to make them destroy the ancient statues in Afghanistan?
And lest we forget, Rageh Omaar, that had it not been for the tens of thousands of American and British men of valor slaughtered on the beaches of Normandy sixty-five years ago, there would be no newspaper for your opinions, just a Thousand-Year Reich. Those soldiers died so that Muslims can march in freedom in London calling for jihad. Their sacrifice is no “original crime” but the gift of absolute liberty, something Rageh’s world needs to start cultivating.
Enough of my rage. Rageh Omaar needs to know that no matter how much “reaching out” is done there will always be jihad and mayhem and Jew-baiting and persecution of Christians. He needs to get to work on his own people before accusing Britain of committing “the original crime.”