Monday, March 30, 2009

“Dialogue” with Islam

From ICJS by Raphael Israeli, Saturday March 28, 2009:

On the eve of this Passover, 2009, we are faced with announcements from the British government, to the effect that it has ceased dealing with the major Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), and that the Jewish organizations of France have discontinued their “dialogue” with French Muslims. In both instances, the reason cited is the same. It is the duplicitous game the Muslim groups have been playing: on the one hand seeking “dialogue” with their partners, as a means of coexistence and smoothing over difficulties in communication; but on the other hand supporting Hamas, which wants no dialogue with Israel.

The non-Muslim parties in these “dialogues” have been late to wake up to the reality that Muslim culture understands “dialogue” not as a means to facilitate rapprochement and understanding through negotiation and clarification, but as a means to lend legitimacy to the monologue it wishes its partners to hear and to heed. Now, after years of empty encounters, the non-Muslim participants finally understand and they have withdrawn from that exercise in goodwill , realising that the other party does not respond in kind.

Some naïve minds in the West have believed that dialogue and negotiation with Muslim radicals can and will alter attitudes and lead to coexistence between Muslims and their rivals. ...But while Europeans have regularly entered a “dialogue” with Muslims in good faith, fully intending to find common ground with their often unruly Muslim interlocutors—for the Muslims, “dialogue” means something else entirely. For them, it signifies the submission of a lesser culture and religion to their own superior one, a culture they seek to impose on others.

Muslims hope to inspire in Westerners and Israelis, conversion to an Islamic view of the world. Anything short of that is regarded by them as an abject “failure of dialogue,” and a signal to resort to threats of violence or acts of terrorism. They are well-practiced at both. Apart from the U.S., most Western nations believe nothing is worth fighting for, and they do not have the stomach for a fight of unlimited duration. They would rather capitulate than investigate what tolerance, understanding, dialogue, and peace really means to the Islamists...

...When the President of Iran vows to eliminate the Jewish people and to wipe Israel off the map, none of those dialoguing Muslim organizations raises a voice in protest; none also protested when Christian churches were torched, as a matter of course, throughout the Muslim world, or when the Tomb of Joseph and the Jericho synagogues were burned and destroyed by Palestinians during the Intifadah.

Only hurting the reputation of Muhammed matters, and justifies the use of violence, whilst the very notion of respect for other religions, simply does not exist.

Therefore, the purpose of dialogue is only to instill respect of Islam into western minds, to which the recently adopted resolution of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, plainly attests. As more and more western and Jewish organizations come to understand what the meaning of “dialogue” with their Muslim partners actually means, they may at last, also learn how to make it more egalitarian, reciprocal, and perhaps also effective.

Go to the ICJS web site to read the full article.
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