Malala Yousafzai and the Failure of Muslim Moderates

Malala Yousefzai giving a speech at the UN on the occasion of “Malala Day”. While Malala herself has demonstrated remarkable bravery, her situation epitomizes the dismal failure of Islamic moderate activists to make any impact within their own communities and countries. Far too many activists in the Muslim world eventually end up dead or pleading for asylum in the West.

Malala Yousefzai giving a speech at the UN on the occasion of “Malala Day”. While Malala herself has demonstrated remarkable bravery, her situation epitomizes the dismal failure of Islamic moderate activists to make any impact within their own communities and countries. Far too many activists in the Muslim world eventually end up dead or pleading for asylum in the West.

A year ago in September 2013, the teenage Pakistani education advocacy activist Malala Yousefzai opened a £188 million library in the British city of Birmingham.

Having spent the previous eleven months recovering from a shot in the head inflicted by Pakistani Taleban terrorists in retaliation for her activism, Malala had become the most commemorated teenage girl since Anne Frank. Honors from three continents were awarded to her, as were numerous media awards and distinctions.

By the time of her 16th birthday, a day the UN commemorated as “Malala Day”, Malala came to symbolize the struggle against Islamic militant extremism.

A struggle which her home country of Pakistan and much of the Islamic world today have clearly lost or are in advanced stages of losing. While Malala’s courage and resolve are without question, the dismal reality is that for all her activism and accolades abroad, her work has done next to nothing to challenge the trajectory and momentum of the Taleban in her home community.

Sadly, Malala epitomizes the dismal state of numerous Muslim activists, too many of whom eventually end up dead or pleading for asylum in the West. Prominent Muslim activists end up continuing their work from within the very societies that have none of the problems or issues those activists are seeking to fix.

Muslim communities themselves, the very places where the efforts of reformers are needed the most, are woefully incapable of providing the protection and space necessary for reformist activism in the face of religious extremism. The personal bravery of isolated individuals counts for little when society in general is too intimidated or cowed to stand up to the extremists.

In the face of the rise of savage extremist groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda affiliates, the world has waited on the “moderate Muslim majority” to assert itself. And yet to date, most Muslim societies have proven utterly incapable of rallying around even their own social reformers and activists.

A multi-million pound library in Birmingham? It would have been better had the Pakistani state been strong enough to enable Malala to open a modest thousand pound library in her home town of Mingora.

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Dear Europe, Please Get Your Shit Together

"Pro-Gaza" demonstrators flourishing the Quenelle reverse-Nazi salute, on top of Paris' Place de la République monument. On the centenary of the First World War, European societies seem to lack the resilience and resolve to reign in the extremism running rampant on their streets.

“Pro-Gaza” demonstrators flourishing the Quenelle reverse-Nazi salute, on top of Paris’ Place de la République monument. On the centenary of the First World War, European societies seem to lack the resilience and resolve to reign in the extremism running rampant on their streets.

Dear Europe,

I never thought the day would come when I’d be lecturing other people on the subject of failing societies. But when a Syrian tells you that you are in deep shit, you may rest assured that the shit you are in is deep indeed.

What in heaven’s name happened at Copenhagen? Last week’s disgraceful events in Calgary were bad enough, but Copenhagen was a hundred times worse.

A group of 250 Jewish and Iranian activists got together infront of the Danish Parliament for a rally, the agenda of which could not have been more laudable; peace for both Israel and Palestine, with both Israeli and Palestinian flags in evidence, and a keynote speech by Denmark’s former Chief Rabbi, Bent Melchior, one of Europe’s foremost figures in interfaith dialogue.

It was exactly the kind of commendable gathering needed for these troubled times.

And, apparently, exactly the kind of rally that is impossible to hold in Copenhagen in this day and age.

Within an hour, the police had to urge the participants to disband their event and flee into the Parliament’s courtyard, as intimidation from a growing horde of “pro-Gaza” Hamas-flag brandishing “kill the Jews Allahu Akbar” thugs grew to such horrendous proportions, that the police felt that they could no longer guarantee the safety of the Jewish and Iranian participants.

"Pro-Gaza" thugs taking over the monuments at Paris' Place de la République. Note the Swastika graffiti at the base of the statue.

“Pro-Gaza” thugs taking over the monuments at Paris’ Place de la République. Note the Swastika graffiti at the base of the statue.

Europe, do you really need someone to tell you how so very, very bad it is when honest citizens can no longer express their opinion in Denmark, of all places?

Denmark is one of the least objectionable and inoffensive societies in the world. The last time anyone ever had cause to be offended by Denmark, the Danes were in longboats and wearing helmets with horns.

I really wish I could go back to using this blog to complain about Syria every week. Although the world has demonstrated that it can, for now at least, go about its business unaffected by a Levant intent on burning itself to the ground, Europe is another matter altogether.

Last Friday’s events didn’t just concern some Jews and Iranian dissidents. One of the fundamental pillars on which a civilized community is built on had been violated in the heart of one of Europe’s most civilized societies. The extremists won that day.

And the “pro-Gaza” thugs in Paris, Holland, Germany and London, already openly testing the limits of society’s tolerance for their thuggery, will be enormously emboldened by the precedent set by their reprehensible brethren in managing to disperse a rally by Jews. On the centenary of the First World War, Europe faces a crisis as challenging as any in 1914.

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ISIS May Not Have Reached Canada,but the ISIS Mentality Has

"Free,free Palestine". 22-year old Calgary native Samantha Hamilton (insert) lies unconscious on the ground after being brutally beaten by six "pro-Palestine" thugs. A "pro-Gaza" demonstration turned into a daylight lynching of a small group of Canadian Jews holding a token demonstration on the other side of the street.

“Free,free Palestine”. 22-year old Calgary native Samantha Hamilton (insert) lies unconscious on the ground after being brutally beaten by six “pro-Palestine” thugs. A “pro-Gaza” demonstration turned into a lynching of a small group of Canadian Jews holding a token demonstration on the other side of the street.

The Middle-East is a depressing place. Today the Levant serves as a cautionary tale in how quickly societies can tear themselves to pieces when the only dominant ideologies are extremist ones.

A lesson, apparently, which many Western societies seem to be losing sight of. Against the backdrop of the current conflict in Gaza, the past few weeks have seen synagogues attacked in Paris, and openly anti-Semitic demonstrations in Germany. And an attempted lynching of Jews in Calgary, Canada.

Yes, Canada. When Syrians went out to demonstrate for change in 2011, everyone had their own idea of the kind of society they wanted Syria to emulate. For me personally, that society was Canada.

But on Friday 18th of July, Canadian values were blatantly and contemptuously disregarded as a demonstration of a thousand “pro-Gaza” demonstrators turned into a brutal and vicious assault on a group of ten pro-Israel Calgarians, who at the time were holding a token counter-protest.

The account of the violence inflicted on the small group is sickening. A middle-aged woman who had been recovering from surgery was repeatedly punched.

A young man had the Israeli flag he was holding tied around his neck noose-like, and dragged along the streets.

A young woman was set upon by no less than six thugs and beaten unconscious. Another young man had the shirt ripped off his back, was bitten and beaten into a concussion.

All because the mob of “pro-Gaza” rioters found the open expression of an opposing view deeply offensive. And apparently, the only answer to such “offense” was to physically and barbarically assault those deemed to have inflicted the offense. To treat the Jews in Calgary like one would treat a Jew in Gaza.

ISIS may not be in Canada yet, but their mindset is very much alive there.

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While the Levant Burns,the Region’s Non-Arab Societies Get on With Life

Two contrasting parades. (left) Istanbul saw its biggest ever Gay Pride Parade on the same day ISIS announced the establishment of their Caliphate. (right) Shia militias parading on the streets of Baghdad.

Two contrasting parades. (left) Istanbul saw its biggest ever Gay Pride Parade on the same day ISIS announced the establishment of their Caliphate. (right) Shia militias parading on the streets of Baghdad.

During my university studies in Jordan, I had the good fortune of studying under some superb Iraqi professors. Iraqi engineers and scientists were acknowledged as being the very best in the Arab world, and Jordan offered a rare outlet for the talents of the heavily sanctioned Iraqi people.

In the aftermath of the 2003 American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam’s Baathist regime, there was widespread optimism that after decades of war and sanctions, Iraq could finally live up to its potential.

The only Arab country with oil, water and native talent in abundance, Iraq should have experienced a veritable renaissance in the years that followed, an economic boom to rival that of 1970s Gulf states.

Alas, today the country stands on the brink of disintegration, yet another Arab country on the road to failed statehood.

The mayhem and chaos prevalent in the region has caused nearby non-Arab societies to band together in an effort to keep the flames of failed statehood at bay, and the first fruits of that co-operation has been shipments of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan, to Israel via Turkey.

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We Thought Obama Was a Neville Chamberlain. He Turned Out to be Judas Iscariot

Obama recently offered yet another justification for failing to arm the Syrian rebels,stating that teachers and farmers make bad soldiers. Which in the end just leaves us with these guys

Obama recently offered yet another justification for failing to arm the Syrian rebels,stating that teachers and farmers make bad soldiers. Which in the end just leaves us with these guys

If there was any doubt at all that Barack Obama never intended to work towards the removal of Bashar Assad, one only needs to read his latest justifications for not arming the Syrian rebels. In a now infamous interview with CBS News, Obama called the idea that the USA could arm a moderate rebel force that was capable of beating both the regime and ISIS, a “fantasy”.

America’s Appeaser in Chief went further, stating that those in opposition to Assad were “farmers and dentists and folks”, implying that they weren’t much of a force to take on Assad’s for-hire-for-a-bag-of-weed-and-$200 rent-a-shabihas.

Which just goes to prove that wise old Yiddish proverb; “If you don’t want to do something, any excuse is as good as another”.

It wasn’t circumstances that prevented Obama from helping the Syrian people against the regime’s genocidal slaughter; it was policy. A hidden policy in blatant contradiction to the Obama administration’s public statements and stated intentions. For years, Obama told America’s allies one thing, while deliberately planning something entirely different.

The world has long regarded Barack Obama as a 21st century Neville Chamberlain. The truth turned out to be much worse; the man is a veritable Judas Iscariot.

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