Thursday, 17 August 2017
by Hugh Fitzgerald
In discussing, in his own inimitable (and usually incomprehensible) prose, the fate of Muslims in Spain, Bazian laments the end of the glorious convivencia in Islamic Spain that had been so good for the Jews. He attempts to convince us that Jews and Muslims were treated the same by the Spanish monarchs, were expelled for the same reasons, as he claims Europeans intent on “racial and religious purity” wanted to rid themselves of both. He then leaps ahead more than 400 years, to the real point of his confused vaporings, to the Balfour Declaration and what he sees as its intolerable result: the state of Israel.
Just as Europe once upon a time could not “include’” the Jews, so now it cannot include or abide “the Muslim other” — for Bazian, the “Muslims are the new Jews.” To which one would like to ask, by way of response: Where is the diabolical persecution? Where are the concentration camps? How are Muslims suffering in any way in Europe? Who has been attacking whom in Europe and America? Who have been the victims of more than 30,000 acts of Muslim terrorism since 2001? And if Europe, “white” and “Christian” Europe, as Bazian likes to misleadingly describe the continent, is persecuting Muslims as “the other,” then why, Mr. Bazian, have millions of Muslims eagerly moved to that continent, and fight to remain in it? Why are hundreds of thousands of Muslims risking their lives in order to get to Europe now? Why do tens of millions of Muslims dream of living in Europe or America, where they will always be treated, according to Bazian, as “the Muslim other”? If Muslims “are the new Jews,” then why, once they are in Europe, do they receive a cornucopia of benefits, including free or heavily subsidized housing, free education, free medical care, family allowances? Is this persecution? And how have they been repaying their European hosts for all of this generosity? Questions for study and discussion.
Back to Bazian:
How many times will Bazian use both this word, and its cousin “epistemic,” to plump up a sentence? In his writings — just do a little googling — he uses these two words hundreds of times.
Go ahead — just try to make sense of this.
Yes, the Balfour Declaration, by recognizing a Jewish claim to Palestine, defeats “inclusion and equality” which Bazian believes can only be achieved — a strange “inclusion”! — by keeping Jews out of Palestine.
For Hatem Bazian, the Balfour Declaration says that Jews “do not share or have anything in common with the European counterpart.” But the most important part of the Declaration, which was in the form of a public letter from Lord Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, said this:
In other words, it explicitly declares that recognition of the rights of Jews — and not just European Jews — in Palestine does not change their status in Europe or anywhere else. This is the exact opposite of what Hatem Bazian wants you to believe. He wants you to see the Balfour Declaration as intended to mean that Jews “do not share or have anything in common with the European counterpart [sic]” and was intended to “remove” Jews from Europe. He’s very confused.
Israel is a “colonial enterprise” in Bazian’s view, a mere agent of Great Britain and other European imperialists. The Jews are colonists in their historic homeland.
Are these meant to be three groups?
So the Balfour Declaration is connected to European racial purity. And this Declaration is deeply antisemitic. And the Zionists embraced Europe’s antisemitism. And Europe suffers from “endemic racism’” — this is stated with a deep belief in its self-evident obviousness, as if no proof need be offered — and Europe saw the only solution to the “Jewish question” in the “removal” of all Europe’s Jews to Palestine. That is false. Balfour had no intention of suggesting that Jews should leave England. He simply wanted to recognize the claim of the Jews to their historic homeland in Eretz Israel (or “Palestine,” as the Romans renamed the area for political reasons). For Bazian, the Balfour Declaration was a part of a “colonial enterprise,” though exactly what he has in mind is, like practically everything else in his piece, unclear. Does he mean that the Jews were agents of British colonial policy? How? What did the Jews in Palestine do to further British colonialism in the Middle East or, for that matter, anywhere else? Wasn’t it the British who, in taking territory originally assigned to a future Jewish state by the terms of the Mandate for Palestine, and giving it to the Emirate of Transjordan, in order to provide the Hashemite Abdullah with his own kingdom, were acting as a “colonial” power, and damaging the interests of the Jews of Palestine? The Jews of Mandatory Palestine were not “colonists” themselves, as Bazian suggests, appropriating land that belonged to others. They settled only on “state and waste land” (as they were encouraged to do by Article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine), that is, land that the Ottoman Turkish government had possessed for centuries (and which then devolved to the British as Mandatory authority), or on private land that they bought, and for which they paid extravagant sums to their Arab owners, including absentee landlords in Amman and Beirut. Does Hatem Bazian know any of this?
For Bazian, the Balfour Declaration, for which the Zionists had worked so hard, and regarded as their greatest pre-state triumph, was no triumph at all for Jews, but rather, “the total surrender of Jewish moral and ethical agency.” This will certainly come as a surprise not only to Jews, but to historians of Mandatory Palestine and of Israel. The Zionists thought that their own state of Israel, the first Jewish commonwealth in 2000 years, which the Jews had had to fight for, first diplomatically, to obtain the Balfour Declaration, and then had to repeatedly defend through force of arms from Arab aggression, represented the highest form of independent “agency.” How wrong they were. Also sprach Bazian.
Bazian refers to the “historical resistance” of the Jews “in alliance with the Muslim world opposite [sic] European White Supremacy,” which is a strange way of describing what the Jews had to endure, as subjugated dhimmis, under Muslim rule. There was no ”alliance” of Jews with their Muslim overlords, except in Bazian’s perfervid imagination. Does he really not know how the Jews were treated in Muslim lands?
Bazian wants us to understand the evil of Zionism as an agent for European hegemonists:
So Bazian tells us that Zionism (he can’t bring himself to mention, not even once, the toponym “Israel”) was never about Jewish liberation, but had to do with those accursed Europeans crushing the Global South underfoot. Israel was, despite what the Zionists may have mistakenly thought, merely a stalking-horse for European hegemonists, an agent of those oppressing “the Global South.” Bazian never identifies the “Global South,” and one wonders if in his view it includes the fabulously rich Muslim petro-states, including Saudi Arabia, the Gulf sheikdoms, Libya, and Iran. Are they among the “oppressed” of this earth, even as they have pocketed, ever since 1973, tens of trillions of dollars? What constitutes the “Global South” for Bazian? Do all Muslim states, no matter how rich they may be, belong to the “Global South”? Do they get a permanent pass? Why?
That’s really what Bazian wants: to have “Islamophobia,” a word which is used to shut down legitimate criticism of Islam, be likened to antisemitism, which killed six million people within recent memory. Antisemitism in Europe has a 2000-year history, and many victims. “Islamophobia” was invented the day before yesterday, as a way to dismiss justified criticism of Islam by labelling it as a baseless “phobia.”
As to his meaning, your guess is as good as mine.
Bazian offers no examples of “genocidal racist tendencies” in Europe, during the “contemporary period,” not even the obvious one, of the Nazi murders. Possibly he left that out as it might evoke sympathy for Jews, and that would never do.
Hatem Bazian might review the 1400-year history of the Jihad against non-Muslims in Europe, and the history of the Arab slave trade, before he refers blithely to Europe’s “genocidal racist tendencies.” And he should tell us what “genocidal racist tendencies” in Europe he detects nowadays. Bazian clearly harbors a fantasy of inoffensive Muslims who have done nothing to deserve Europe’s suspicion or hostility (factual error #1) and who are the victims of “genocidal racist tendencies” (factual error #2).
I admit defeat: I don’t know what he means. Perhaps you do.
We should note, since Bazian conveniently forgets (he’s the one “struck with amnesia”), that the Crusades began as a response to Muslim aggression, an attempt to take back control of the Holy Land which had been conquered by Muslims. The Crusades were limited in scope, while the Muslim Jihad is meant to cover the whole globe and does not come to an end until the entire world has been conquered for Islam. The Inquisition was primarily directed at the Jews, though Bazian wants you to think Muslims suffered equally. The expulsion of the inoffensive Jews from Spain in 1492 was not based on their being a possible threat, as were the Moors, but was an example of pure racism. The expulsion of the Moors was differently motivated, given the 780 years of Muslim rule in Spain, a rule that threatened to return, and the revolts of the Moors in 1499-1501, and then of the Moriscos, in 1568-1571, showed that they really did remain a threat, so that their final expulsion, in 1609, had nothing to do with “racism,” as Bazian keeps insisting, but was a simple matter of geopolitical prudence.
Since Hatem Bazian mentions “genocide in the Americas” (referring to the Spanish treatment of the Indians), perhaps he would be interested to learn that the ruthless behavior of the Spanish conquistadores toward the native Indians was, some believe, a result of their learning, as they waged the Reconquista, to emulate the ferocity of their Muslim enemies. And Bazian ought to be reminded of more recent genocides, so many of which have been conducted by Arab Muslims. These include: the Anfal campaign of Saddam Hussein, who managed to kill 182,000 Kurds in Iraq; the war by Arab Muslims against black Christians and pagans in the southern Sudan, with more than a million killed; the war by Arab Muslims against Muslim blacks in Darfur, with 480,000 killed. Or are Arab Muslims to be exempt from charges of genocide because they are not white and not European, and therefore, can’t possibly be guilty? When Bazian mentions “slavery’” in his list of European crimes, one must remind him of the Arab slave trade that went on for much longer, claimed many more victims, and was more horrific in every way (with the castrations in the bush, and the 10-20% survival rate for those castrated boys who made it to the Islamic slave markets) than the Atlantic slave trade carried on by the Europeans.
There is one word missing from Bazian’s tendentious, repetitious, meretricious, quasi-literate leftist-jargon-filled, down-market edward-saidish and at times semi-demented screed: Jihad. It never appears. But the endless Jihad, the war against all Infidels, whether Christians, Jews, Hindus, or Buddhists, the Jihad as a duty incumbent on all Muslims, until Islam everywhere dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere, has been a major historical horror for 1400 years. In Bazian’s version of history, it does not exist. For those “struck with amnesia and for whom history is only yesterday,” as Bazian puts it, let’s remind them of a few things that may have escaped their notice, and about which Bazian is silent. There are the estimated 80 million Hindu victims of Jihad over several centuries of Muslim rule. There is the Jihad that nearly caused the extinguishing of Christianity in North Africa, once a center of that faith, where Tertullian, the father of the Latin Church, and St. Augustine both lived. There is Indonesia, once entirely Hindu and Buddhist, now almost completely Muslim save for the Hindu redoubt in Bali. There are the attacks on Christians today, in many Muslim countries, including Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, northern Nigeria, Somalia. There are the jihadist terrorist attacks on “Infidels” in France, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium Spain, Sweden, the United States, by those Muslims who have been allowed to settle in their midst. This all goes unmentioned — for Bazian has his own extreme form of historical “amnesia.”
If Bazian wants to talk about conflicts that “maimed and destroyed the lives of many across the Global South,” he should not be allowed to overlook the many centuries of the gigantic Arab slave trade in black Africa, involving tens of millions of victims. He should be made to discuss the recent enslavement of Christian and pagan blacks by Arabs in the south Sudan, and then the rape, pillage, and murder of Muslim blacks by Arabs in Darfur, and the hundreds of thousands of black slaves held in Mauritania and Mali, even today, in defiance of the laws prohibiting slavery, by Muslim Arabs. Far from “denial” of any responsibility for past crimes, the Europeans — having already delivered a trillion dollars in aid to black Africa — have been falling all over themselves in order to demonstrate “inclusivity and tolerance,” allowing in to their countries tens of millions of migrants, most of them Muslims, at terrific cost, and with enormous societal disruption. For the large-scale presence of Muslims in the West has led to a situation that is much more unpleasant, expensive, and physically insecure for both the indigenous Infidels and for non-Muslim immigrants, too, than it would otherwise be, without that large-scale presence.
To sum up: the Muslims in Spain were not expelled at the same time as the Jews. They were, in fact, by the Treaty of Granada in 1491, treated with staggering generosity. It was only after having responded to that generosity by going to war again that the Moors — and then only some of them — were expelled in 1502. And the Moriscos (Moors who had outwardly converted to Christianity) were not expelled until after a second major uprising by “secret Muslims” in 1568-71 had increased Christian anxiety even more. Since many people in the West assume that the Spanish Christians treated the defeated Moors cruelly, it is worth listing the major provisions of the Treaty of Granada, made between the triumphant Christians and the defeated Moors, which tell a completely different story. Those provisions included the following:
That both great and small should be perfectly secure in their persons, families, and properties.
That they should be allowed to continue in their dwellings and residences, whether in the city, the suburbs, or any other part of the country.
That their laws should be preserved as they were before, and that no-one should judge them except by those same laws.
That their mosques, and the religious endowments appertaining to them, should remain as they were in the times of Islam.
That no Christian should enter the house of a Muslim, or insult him in any way.
That no Christian or Jew holding public offices by the appointment of the late Sultan should be allowed to exercise his functions or rule over them.
That all Muslim captives taken during the siege of Granada, from whatever part of the country they might have come, but especially the nobles and chiefs mentioned in the agreement, should be liberated.
That such Muslim captives as might have escaped from their Christians masters, and taken refuge in Granada, should not be surrendered; but that the Sultan should be bound to pay the price of such captives to their owners.
That all those who might choose to cross over to Africa should be allowed to take their departure within a certain time, and be conveyed thither in the king’s ships, and without any pecuniary tax being imposed on them, beyond the mere charge for passage, and
That after the expiration of that time no Muslim should be hindered from departing, provided he paid, in addition to the price of his passage, the tithe of whatever property he might carry along with him.
That no-one should be prosecuted and punished for the crime of another man.
That the Christians who had embraced Islam should not be compelled to relinquish it and adopt their former creed.
That any Muslim wishing to become a Christian should be allowed some days to consider the step he was about to take; after which he is to be questioned by both a Muslim and a Christian judge concerning his intended change, and if, after this examination, he still refused to return to Islam, he should be permitted to follow his own inclination.
That no Muslim should be prosecuted for the death of a Christian slain during the siege; and that no restitution of property taken during this war should be enforced.
That no Muslim should be subject to have Christian soldiers billeted upon him, or be transported to provinces of this kingdom against his will.
That no increase should be made to the usual imposts, but that, on the contrary, all the oppressive taxes lately imposed should be immediately suppressed.
That no Christian should be allowed to peep over the wall, or into the house of a Muslim or enter a mosque.
That any Muslim choosing to travel or reside among the Christians should be perfectly secure in his person and property.
That no badge or distinctive mark be put upon them, as was done with the Jews and Mudejares.
That no muezzin should be interrupted in the act of calling the people to prayer, and no Muslim molested either in the performance of his daily devotions or in the observance of his fast, or in any other religious ceremony; but that if a Christian should be found laughing at them he should be punished for it.
That the Muslims should be exempted from all taxation for a certain number of years.
The extraordinary magnanimity shown the defeated Muslim enemy that this treaty reveals will no doubt come as a surprise to Hatem Bazian, who I am sure hasn’t looked at it, and likely doesn’t even know it exists. And his historical narrative, focusing on European “racism” and attributing every other manner of evil only to those (white, Christian) Europeans, and their terrible treatment — Inquisition! Expulsion! — of the Moors, disintegrates before such evidence.
Herewith, ten of Bazian’s most egregious errors:
1. Only the Jews were expelled in 1492, not “the Jews and the Muslims,” as Bazian thinks.
2. The expulsion of Jews and Moors were very different affairs. Once expelled, Jews sought refuge as far away as Amsterdam and Salonika. When the Moors were expelled, they could move just across the Straits of Gibraltar, to live among coreligionists in Morocco, and from where they could return to Spain, as tens of thousands managed to do. The 1502 expulsion of the Moors was far less ruthless and less thorough than the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. Tens of thousands of those who did leave managed to return. Bazian leads a reader to believe, wrongly, that Muslims and Jews were treated with equivalent harshness by the Spanish monarchs.
3. The only reason that the Spanish decided, in 1502, to require Muslims (Moors) to convert or to leave the country is because those Moors had risen in revolt in 1499, thereby violating the terms of the Treaty of Granada, which for the Muslims apparently wasn’t generous enough, though given its terms — see above — one wonders what would have satisfied them. Bazian never mentions this treaty.
4. The Inquisition was directed first, and predominantly, at the Jews, though Bazian wants you to believe that Muslims suffered equally from this infamous institution. It began in 1478, and not, pace Bazian, in 1492.
5. Racism is not a purely European phenomenon, as Bazian insists. Anti-black racism was, and is, especially rampant among the Muslim Arabs. See Ibn Khaldun, see Al-Tabari, see the Hadith. See, too, the most recent examples of Arab racism directed not only at blacks, but at many different kinds of non-Arabs who have been on the receiving end of that persistent sense of Arab supremacism.
6. The Qur’an describes the Muslims as the “best of peoples” and non-Muslims as the “most vile of creatures.” This is not exactly racism, but in its blanket condemnation of — as Bazian would have it — ”the other,” it comes close. Furthermore, the Arabs — see Al-Tabari and other writers — claim to be superior to non-Arab Muslims. That is racism. Bazian omits any mention of this.
7. Hatem Bazian makes no mention of the 1400-year history of Jihad, and of the many lands and peoples the Muslims subjugated, nor even the slightest hint of how the Unbelievers were made to suffer.
8. Hatem Bazian leaves out the history of the Arab slave trade, which was far more extensive, murderous, and cruel, than the Atlantic slave trade. Both this, and Jihad, are left out so that Bazian can indict the Zionists and the Europeans, while offering an “angelic” history of Muslim Arabs.
9. Bazian refers to a supposed alliance between Muslims and Jews that was ended when the Balfour Declaration co-opted the Zionists, making them agents of the white, Christian hegemonists of Europe, thereby helping to inflict pain on the “Global South.’” It’s a fantastic tale. It both leaves out many centuries of Jewish dhimmitude and misery endured under Muslim rule, and the fact that the Zionists were at loggerheads with British colonial policy, beginning with the unilateral lopping off of the all the territory originally assigned to Mandatory Palestine that lay east of the Jordan, and transferring it to the Emirate of Transjordan, precisely to further British “colonial” interests.
10. Hatem Bazian claims repeatedly that the Balfour Declaration was antisemitic, an attempt to rid Europe of its Jews, who would, presumably, voluntarily leave, or might be pushed out, to build the Jewish state as a “colonial project.” This ignores the unambiguous statement in the Declaration itself, by Lord Balfour, who insisted that nothing in the document should be taken to infringe “on the rights and political status of Jews enjoyed in any other country.” Bazian is careful not to quote this sentence, nor indeed any part of the Balfour Declaration. He prefers to make up his own version. Why should he let facts get in the way?
So “Whiteness” does not exist, but is merely a “socially constructed category”?
[Hatem’s favorite word, as noted earlier, though what he thinks it means is entirely unclear.
No Jews or Muslims could be considered “white”?
Another appearance, this time in adverbial garb, of Hatem’s favorite word, misused as always.
Go ahead, try to make sense of that — I dare you.
The “foundation of modern racism” has to do with “purity of blood” and is ‘theologically constructed”? The “limpieza di sangre” of the Spanish Christians was a very particular form of racism, based on the desire to make sure that Christians in Spain had no Muslim or Jewish antecedents. It was not a template or model for all other kinds of racism, as Bazian suggests. What does white-on-black racism have to do with “purity of blood”? In what way is modern racism ”theologically constructed”? What about the racist attitudes of, say, the Chinese toward blacks? Of Tutsis toward Hutus? Of Arabs toward blacks? Of Arabs toward Berbers? Toward Kurds? Toward Yazidis? What does it mean to say that the European identity is “infused epistemologically”? Do Europeans today think of themselves as having a “White Christian” identity, as Hatem Bazian claims? Or have they been perfectly willing to welcome those who, neither white nor Christian, are not infused with an ideology that, in inculcating hatred of infidels, prevents them from integrating into European society? Haven’t many Hindus, Chinese, Vietnamese, South Americans, Christian Africans, been successfully integrated into European society? Hatem Bazian has only to compare the performance of those immigrants all across Europe with that of Muslim immigrants, to realize that there is something — not about Europeans but about Islam — that is the source of the failure, or inability, of Muslims to integrate. Hatem Bazian no doubt thinks he can safely ignore such questions. But we mustn’t let him. We want him to tell us exactly what is to be found about non-Muslims in Islam’s texts and teachings.
Let’s see what he manages to come up with.
First published in Jihad Watch.
Posted on 08/17/2017 4:55 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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