This Holy Cow has some holey arguements
It's been a busy week for crazy Melanie Phillips.Her expert analysis of the Parisian riots will come later (for those who don't like surprises, it will not disappoint you to know that she blames the Muslims. Originality is one of the many things that cannot be said to be her strong point), but first I'd just like to take a moment to give her a belated smackdown for her crass and ignorant drivel regarding the address given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at St Paul's Cathedral. Dr Williams, who I have always found to be a rather intelligent man, well-endowed with humanity and tolerance, was giving a sermon in memory of the terrorist atrocities in London in July.
At one point he said:
‘There is one thing that is always common to any sort of terrorist action, wherever it happens and whoever performs it. It aims at death – not the death of anyone in particular, just death. It does not matter to the killers if their victims are Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Humanist; what matters is that they show that they can kill where they please.’
Which regrettably provided her with a pretext to say:
"Anyone spot the omission in the list of victims? Yup – he left out the Jews. OK, let’s not jump to conclusions here. Let’s be charitable. Let’s think of some reasonable reasons why he omitted the people who are specifically targeted for genocide and ethnic cleansing by Islamic fascism and who in Israel are in the front line of attack in the jihadi war on the free world (not to mention the fact that three victims of the London bombings were Jews). Maybe he just selected a few random faiths with a pin. Maybe inserting a monosyllable here would have ruined the poetic symmetry of his sentence. Maybe his washing machine blew up just as he was typing J… and he forgot the rest of what he was going to say.
Or maybe he just doesn’t think of Jews as being victims of Islamic terrorism at all because he thinks of Jewish victims as Israelis. And Israelis, in the eyes of so many in the CofE, are a different category of people altogether. They are not victims but oppressors. In the new moral order that the church represents, Jews may once have been victims – safely in the past -- but Israelis are the new Nazis. So when Israelis are incinerated by the unspeakable atrocity of human bomb terrorism – merely the latest weapon in the fifty-year genocidal war against them -- they become for the Church of England as invisible as those who fell out of favour with Communism and were airbrushed out of the pictures. Shame on him."
Obviously such noble sentiments were not to the taste of narrow minded bigots. Her definition of not jumping to conclusions is particularly indicative of the mind at work here. Without jumping to conclusions she paints him as a racist and a man who sees some victims as not mattering when they are killed by terrorists (or "fascists, just in case today's buzzwords is not as shocking enough). This is her idea of being charitable.
Well, lets not be charitable. Lets do the obvious thing and LOOK AT WHAT HE ACTUALLY SAID. This is a real drag when you are trying to smear somebody. He said "There is one thing that is always common to any sort of terrorist action, wherever it happens and whoever performs it". Now, does this preclude people of the Jewish faith? Is there a hidden code that everybody who didn't pick up their brain in a second-hand charity shop failed to notice? If Dr Williams thinks differently then it is for him to say, and not for her to fabricate.
Her careless brandishing of Anti-semitism can deceive the wingnuts who read her website on a daily basis with ass-licking fidelity (yet are prevented from making comments on her blog, most the most likely reason being that any dissent would show just how out nof her depth she is) but fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. Unlike Christian, Hindu and Muslim, Jew denotes a religion and an ethnicity. Blurring the two meanings can make anybody look more vicious, and of course racist, than they mean to be. While European Anti-semitism really exploded as a racist and sickening force from the 19th century onwards, its original European roots lay in religious differences. The Christians abhorred the Jews for their religion and culture. They wanted them to convert and repent. Needless to say, you cannot convert or repent your ethnicity, and that is why the Jews in Nazi Germany and the Palestinians today (to different degrees, lest I be accused of comparing Hitler to Sharon) suffered so horribly. This distortion needs to be in the reader's mind, otherwise she will get away with this nonsense.
This distinction becomes particularly relevant when discussing Israel, which was created as a state for those of the Jewish ethnicity after the Holocaust. The fact that its official position is to maintain this religious and ethnic character has caused oppression against the Arab population who live in pitiful conditions. Now, its true that there is a huge amount of Arab terrorism being directed against their oppressors, but this is certainly not a direct response to the fact that the population is Jewish. If you're living as a second class citizen in what you believe to be your own land, you wont give a damn who your oppressors are. Because of the racist policies of the Israeli government, and the often horrendous responses by groups like Hamas (who would be marginilised in more civilized conditions) this cannot be said to be religious oppression. Also, just a thought while we're on the subject of terrorism, it might pay if she recognised now and again that Muslims (I'm using her contextual scheme here. I'd call them Arabs) have also been the victim of terrorism and oppression. She refuses to acknowledge events like Deir Yassin, the Irgun bombing of the King David Hotel, the Stern Gang, the bombing of teh PLO headquarters in Tunis in 1985 and the fact that Begin and Shamir were former terrorist leaders. When Kingdom of Heaven dared to show Muslims as the victims of the Crusades she referred to it as "The moral exhaustion of the west" and "cultural suicide". Pointing out that Christians and Jews are capabale of terrorism too seems bleeding obvious, but since she believes in one set of standards for her favourite groups and another for what she sees as outsiders I feel no guilt whatsoever.
Still, lets be charitable to Mrs Phillips and make this a religious issue. In his address Dr Williams referred to Christians (he is one, so were most of the victims), Muslims (a rather obvious and inclusive gesture; the decent thing to do) and Hindus. This is what really pissed her off. Maybe he didn't want to look too monotheistic. Maybe he didn't want to be too western-orientated. Perhaps, in a fit of democratic political correctness he remembered that there are 900 million of them in the world, while there are only 14 million who practice Judaism. Perhaps he even stooped so low as to remember the very recent atrocity in Hindu-dominated India, which took more lives than the London bombings. Had he mentioned Jews, would Sikhs, who are also more numerous in London and across the world, feel cheated? By any sensible criteria they are not a pre-requisite. The fact that he mentioned humanists reminded us that most terrorist goals today are not religious in their aims, even though their perpetators may hail from different cultures.
This address also displeased the British Humanist Association, who were dismayed by the lack of non-religious representation. It seems very few groups were too happy, but they should all bear in mind that for a Chrsitain to acknowledge them, no matter what their faith, is a sign of how far we have come. To fragment this unity into stupid religious squabbling would be the real cultural suicide. And that was the Archbishop's most important point. His sermon stated that any group could be targetted, and that no matter the faith, it would always be a loss. Such intelligence and consideration washes away the bile of hypocritical charlatans like crazy Melanie, and reminds us that talking tough is no match for thinking clearly.
Melanie Phillips: If you were this stupid you'd tear all your hair out too.
"Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere." - George W. Bush (March 24, 2004)