Cornering the Market on Human Suffering

Category: World Affairs Topics: Canada, Conflicts And War, Human Rights, Islamophobia, Racism Views: 2677

In an attempt to further their cause, pro-Israel extremists are now claiming that irrational hatred of Muslims, or Islamophobia, can never exist. Calling it an "invention", an activist with the Canadian Jewish Congress accused Muslim groups of using the term as part of some grandiose scheme to "dismantle the State of Israel".

At a news conference this week, Manuel Prutcschi, National Director of Community Relations for the CJC, released a paper, which makes the ridiculous assertion that Islamophobia could never be equated with anti-Semitism.

"The intent, in equating anti-Semitism with 'Islamophobia' and 'anti- Arabism,' therefore, is to strip the Jewish people of this moral capital and to negate the value and validity of anti-Semitism in Jewish advocacy," wrote Prutcschi.

In other words, Prutcschi and his colleagues wish to corner the market on human suffering, making it strictly Jewish phenomena.

Interestingly, his comments come on the heels of a report that says attacks on Muslims in North America are in fact on the rise. The Council on American Islamic Relations reported this week that incidents of anti-Muslim discrimination rose 15 percent in the past year, and the organization detailed more than 360 incidents of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination, stereotyping, bias, and harassment across North America.

The author also conveniently overlooked the suffering of Muslims around the world. More specifically, he disregarded the ethnic cleansing that took place in Bosnia, where Muslims where killed by the truckload simply because of their religion. And Prutcschi also ignored reports of ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Kosovo, which were well documented by human rights groups. In fact, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International provided detailed accounts of atrocities committed against thousands of Muslims in the 1990's, including systematic executions, forced displacements, and destruction of property.

Similarly, Muslims activists and civilians have been routinely executed in Chechnya. Russian forces have carried out a systematic campaign of terror to break the will of a people determined to acquire the simple right to self-determination.

And just last summer, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom urged the US government to raise the issue of the persecution of Uighur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province directly with that country's government.

Also in Asia, an estimated 500 Madurese Muslims were slaughtered this year in the streets of Borneo, many beheaded by ethnic Dayaks. An additional 50,000 Muslims fled the Indonesian province in fear for their lives and most now live in squatter camps as refugees.

Unfortunately, the list goes on, but Prutcschi need not have looked further than his own back yard. Israel has been one of the worst perpetrators of religious persecution. Since last October, more than 500 Muslim and Christian Palestinians have been killed, some as they slept in their beds.

Not surprisingly, Prutcschi 's assault on Muslims also comes one week before the World Conference on Racism in South Africa, where several governments are expected to raise the issue of Zionism.

A 1975 United Nations resolution equating Zionism with racism was repealed a decade ago after strong opposition from Israel's staunchest ally, the United States. However, after the recent Israeli crackdown on Palestinians, Arab states and Muslim run governments have rightfully revived the issue, threatening to boycott the conference if Zionism is taken off the agenda. Whatever the outcome, the issue certainly has many Jewish groups seriously concerned about being labeled on such negative terms.

But the timing of the CJC news conference may be no accident. By all appearances, it seems that this latest attack on Muslims is to detract from the real issue -- the racist Zionism ideology.

Ironically, such groups as the CJC are only feeding the perception that Zionism equals racism by outright denying the suffering of non-Jews.

  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Canada, Conflicts And War, Human Rights, Islamophobia, Racism
Views: 2677

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