The Scheming!

Everybody can smell blood now. Everybody is rushing to get a piece of the Falling Cow, as we say in Syria. Good old, very old, Syria – our long Infested Womb.

Is it any wonder then that the Cleric and the Charlatan should be forming a pact? But then, politics make strange fuck-fellows and all that.

So be it. I would have been surprised had things turned out any different. The scenario in my head needs not be revised. Things are going as planned by some collective universal madness that we like to misrepresent, if not disparage, by calling it fate.

Meanwhile, our Ambassador of the Dead is indignant with the continuous barrage of accusations from the Living Administration, that ever unfathomable entity to whom he has been delegated in search of leniency and some saving grace.

Still, our Body-Snatchers’ days are numbered, their Ambassador’s zeal and their Victims’ resignation notwithstanding.

And the storm that is brewing will burn us all, bystanders included. For the world has grown too small for anybody to remain untouchable, or innocent.

Indeed, we are all culprits in the unfolding madness now, and this our

“hand will rather
The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
Making the green one red.”

Macbeth – Act 2. Scene II

5 thoughts on “The Scheming!

  1. My latest post has something very similar to the first half of yours, but I also question the effectiveness of such a courtship.“With Valentine’s Day fast approaching love is in the air on many fronts. The Muslim Brotherhood have found a new aficionado in Abed el Haleem Khadam the ex Baathist and one of the party’s pillars for decades. This really goes to show you that politics is the dirtiest game in the world and that if you live long enough you’re bound to see some crazy shit. Many analysts might see this move as consolidation and strengthening of the opposition’s line-up. I wouldn’t completely agree; for one what is the MB gaining in having Khaddam in their ranks? He does have the Saudi/Sunni connections and might be more appealing to the west than the fundamentalist banners the MB waves around BUT what else? In the place that matters most => the Syrian streets, Khaddam is a liability and a washed out loser. That last comment applies to both regime supporters and haters for obvious reasons. So in short, zero points in mass-appeal for poor old Khaddam. To me this alliance highlights the MB’s desperation as well as its newfound pragmatism. It might be the strongest opposition party out there but they still have to compete with many different secular parties that oppose MB dominance. So if the MB held a stronger hand they would not be willing to align themselves with the very image of their oppressors.”I just hope the gloomy picture you paint in the last few paragraph is exaggerated, even though I know it’s very plausibleTarek

  2. hamas, coming to a syria near you…it’s all coming closer, islamist version of pan arabism/nasser’s vision..egypt, palestine, syria, lebanon one nation, one people under “democratic nazis”no jews, no christians allowed, unless they pay a tax and bow…

  3. Ammar, What has always concerned me about all of the Arab states, besides their corruption and tyrannical rule, is the appearance that the public does not appear to be asking or demanding a meaningful change, a real one. I have no doubt in my mind that the Syrian regime will be replaced in the not too distant future because the current Ba’ath is falling under its own weight.If I look into my crystal ball, however, I see that the outcome of the change will create lots of disillusionment and frustration especially among those that have a vision of a radically different architecture. I welcome the change because it will be an improvement on what we have but I believe that we must be ready to be disappointed.Neither the Cleric nor the Charlatan nor any of the other possible players is capable of delivering a modern state. This outcome should not surprise us because inspite of the dissatisfaction by the public with the current coruption and totalitarian rule I don’t see the yearnings for a radical meaningful change .

  4. We seem to be on the same page all of us. Still, breaking the stalemate, even if it brought some measure of Islamization to our midst is a good thing. People will not learn that Islam is NOT the Solution except from their own experiences with it, just as the people in Iran did. Most educated classes in Iran now have been disillusioned with political Islam, and while removing the Islamic regime may not be an easy feat, once it is accomplished, somehow, I doubt there will be so many people calling for its return, the inevitable appeals of lingering diehards notwithstanding. Like it or not, democratization is a process that needs to go through many phases. Wee start with breaking the stalemate, we move through a period of uncertain length with political experimentation involving Islam, factionalization, and continuing corruption, then, at one point I hope, and should there be people already working to this end, the same popular discontent that produced Islamist will produce liberals that can take over the governance of the country. This process took over 70 years in Mexico. Let’s hope it will take less in Syria.

  5. The main problem in Middle-East-Life is the religion of Islam. Here you have to start the revolution, in the minds and souls of believers. Here the lie of life has its begin. Is the image of Islam peaceful or violent? And then think how Arabs feel and live in western democracies. Think about the freedom, muslim women enjoy. Think about how the kids are under pressure, esp. the girls. No hope, sorry.But I like your struggle for freedom and a better life for Syrians.May you be succesfull and God bless your work.SPIEGEL Interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali ‘Everyone Is Afraid to Criticize Islam’Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch politician forced to go into hiding after the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, responds to the Danish cartoon scandal, arguing that if Europe doesn’t stand up to extremists, a culture of self-censorship of criticism of Islam that pervades in Holland will spread in Europe. Auf Wiedersehen, free speech. SPIEGEL: Hirsi Ali, you have called the Prophet Muhammad a tyrant and a pervert. Theo van Gogh, the director of your film “Submission,” which is critical of Islam, was murdered by Islamists. You yourself are under police protection. Can you understand how the Danish cartoonists feel at this point?Hirsi Ali: They probably feel numb. On the one hand, a voice in their heads is encouraging them not to sell out their freedom of speech. At the same time, they’re experiencing the shocking sensation of what it’s like to lose your own personal freedom. One mustn’t forget that they’re part of the postwar generation, and that all they’ve experienced is peace and prosperity. And now they suddenly have to fight for their own human rights once again.SPIEGEL: Why have the protests escalated to such an extent?Hirsi Ali: There is no freedom of speech in those Arab countries where the demonstrations and public outrage are being staged. The reason many people flee to Europe from these places is precisely because they have criticized religion, the political establishment and society. Totalitarian Islamic regimes are in a deep crisis. Globalization means that they’re exposed to considerable change, and they also fear the reformist forces developing among émigrés in the West. They’ll use threatening gestures against the West, and the success they achieve with their threats, to intimidate these people.SPIEGEL: Was apologizing for the cartoons the wrong thing to do?Hirsi Ali: Once again, the West pursued the principle of turning first one cheek, then the other. In fact, it’s already a tradition. In 1980, privately owned British broadcaster ITV aired a documentary about the stoning of a Saudi Arabian princess who had allegedly committed adultery. The government in Riyadh intervened and the British government issued an apology. We saw the same kowtowing response in 1987 when (Dutch comedian) Rudi Carrell derided (Iranian revolutionary leader) Ayatollah Khomeini in a comedy skit (that was aired on German television). In 2000, a play about the youngest wife of the Prophet Mohammed, titled “Aisha,” was cancelled before it ever opened in Rotterdam. Then there was the van Gogh murder and now the cartoons. We are constantly apologizing, and we don’t notice how much abuse we’re taking. Meanwhile, the other side doesn’t give an inch.SPIEGEL: What should the appropriate European response look like?Hirsi Ali: There should be solidarity. The cartoons should be displayed everywhere. After all, the Arabs can’t boycott goods from every country. They’re far too dependent on imports. And Scandinavian companies should be compensated for their losses. Freedom of speech should at least be worth that much to us.SPIEGEL: But Muslims, like any religious community, should also be able to protect themselves against slander and insult.Hirsi Ali: That’s exactly the reflex I was just talking about: offering the other cheek. Not a day passes, in Europe and elsewhere, when radical imams aren’t preaching hatred in their mosques. They call Jews and Christians inferior, and we say they’re just exercising their freedom of speech. When will the Europeans realize that the Islamists don’t allow their critics the same right? After the West prostrates itself, they’ll be more than happy to say that Allah has made the infidels spineless.SPIEGEL: What will be the upshot of the storm of protests against the cartoons?Hirsi Ali: We could see the same thing happening that has happened in the Netherlands, where writers, journalists and artists have felt intimidated ever since the van Gogh murder. Everyone is afraid to criticize Islam. Significantly, “Submission” still isn’t being shown in theaters.SPIEGEL: Many have criticized the film as being too radical and too offensive.Hirsi Ali: The criticism of van Gogh was legitimate. But when someone has to die for his world view, what he may have done wrong is no longer the issue. That’s when we have to stand up for our basic rights. Otherwise we are just reinforcing the killer and conceding that there was a good reason to kill this person.SPIEGEL: You too have been accused for your dogged criticism of Islam.Hirsi Ali: Oddly enough, my critics never specify how far I can go. How can you address problems if you’re not even allowed to clearly define them? Like the fact that Muslim women at home are kept locked up, are raped and are married off against their will — and that in a country in which our far too passive intellectuals are so proud of their freedom!SPIEGEL: The debate over speaking Dutch on the streets and the integration programs for potentially violent Moroccan youth — do these things also represent the fruits of your provocations?Hirsi Ali: The sharp criticism has finally triggered an open debate over our relationship with Muslim immigrants. We have become more conscious of things. For example, we are now classifying honor killings by the victims’ countries of origin. And we’re finally turning our attention to young girls who are sent against their wills from Morocco to Holland as brides, and adopting legislation to make this practice more difficult.SPIEGEL: You’re working on a sequel to “Submission.” Will you stick to your uncompromising approach?Hirsi Ali: Yes, of course. We want to continue the debate over the Koran’s claim to absoluteness, the infallibility of the Prophet and sexual morality. In the first part, we portrayed a woman who speaks to her god, complaining that despite the fact that she has abided by his rules and subjugated herself, she is still being abused by her uncle. The second part deals with the dilemma into which the Muslim faith plunges four different men. One hates Jews, the second one is gay, the third is a bon vivant who wants to be a good Muslim but repeatedly succumbs to life’s temptations, and the fourth is a martyr. They all feel abandoned by their god and decide to stop worshipping him.SPIEGEL: Will recent events make it more difficult to screen the film?Hirsi Ali: The conditions couldn’t be more difficult. We’re forced to produce the film under complete anonymity. Everyone involved in the film, from actors to technicians, will be unrecognizable. But we are determined to complete the project. The director didn’t really like van Gogh, but he believes that, for the sake of free speech, shooting the sequel is critical. I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to premier the film this year.SPIEGEL: Is the Koran’s claim to absoluteness, which you criticize in “Submission,” the central obstacle to reforming Islam?Hirsi Ali: The doctrine stating that the faith is inalterable because the Koran was dictated by God must be replaced. Muslims must realize that it was human beings who wrote the holy scriptures. After all, most Christians don’t believe in hell, in the angels or in the earth having been created in six days. They now see these things as symbolic stories, but they still remain true to their faith.

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