Honest Genocide


Khodadad Rezakhani
by Khodadad Rezakhani

Three years ago, I was sitting at the Starbucks in Westwood, Los Angeles, having a cup of tea and doing my readings. Next to me was sitting a small, elderly lady who was obviously waiting for someone. I guessed she might be Iranian, and then turned my attention to ancient economy.

A few minutes later, an elderly gentleman arrived and sat at the lady’s table. They started talking, and surely enough, they were Iranian. The gentleman was angry, he was talking fast and with an angry tone, so I missed the first part of what he was saying. The lady was just saying “yes, yes…” and leaving him to his anger. After less than a minute, I could not avoid eavesdropping. He was talking about the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. He was angry. He was angry that Israel had decided to leave Gaza and give Palestinian statehood a chance. He said many things that clearly showed his unhappiness with the decision and his lack of compassion for Palestinians. But one particular sentence practically petrified me. He said: “well, we should just round all of them up and kill them. That is something Israel has failed to do. Before this, we had no power and so something like that happened to us, but now that we have the power, I don’t understand why we don’t do this. How many of them are there anyway? Three, four million? It should take the Israeli Army about a week to finish them off. Can you tell me why they don’t do it?” to which the lady just answered “yes, yes…”

I have wondered ever since about the sort of conscience which is both aware of the terrible crime that was the holocaust and at the same time advocates doing the exact thing to another population. I am not sure how he thought or felt, other than the fact that it is obvious that the elderly man was thinking of his kind as certainly being exceptional and special.

Now, these days when I am reading, thanks to the internet, about the Israeli attack on Gaza and killing of over 250 people, and the fact that it is going almost completely unnoticed in the CNN, MSNBC, and FOX, it makes me wonder even more. The same thing happened when Israelis attacked Lebanon. Experts came to the TV and said that the Lebanese people are responsible for their own death since they have “harboured” Hezbollah (the members of the Hezbollah are Lebanese, a fact that seems to escape people). The same total silence of the news was noticed by many when Israel attacked a Syrian military base. At the time, the silence was even appreciated by the experts and was clearly assigned to Israel’s successful control of the media (something that would get you an “anti-Semite” label any day of the week, but was flaunted and taken pride in at the time by the Israelis themselves).

Experts that are brought in to the PBS news (the only place where the issue was actually given some attention) are the Israeli ambassador who looks at the camera and says that Israel is only interested in peace (funny sort of it, evidently) and a Washington Post writer who says that Israel needs to disband Iran backed groups like Hezbollah (who is not even involved in this, it just sounds scary) and Hamas, and the next stage should be Iran who is working on “this bomb, this nuclear bomb they are developing”. Interesting, so, Washington Post has already proven the existence of a nuclear bomb in Iran, something that IAEA has not managed to do yet.

A doctor in NPR is saying that Israelis are not allowing medicine to get into Gaza. The biggest hit area is the Rafah refugee camp. Notice, it is a refugee camp, the “home” of the people who have no homes anymore. Food is scarce in the region and the UN food aid is not allowed to cross over to feed the people who live in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, which means they cannot cultivate and grow their own food.

I am a historian. Throughout history, many people have disappeared from history. No one has met an Elamite or a Babylonian or an Etruscan. It is not that amazing, although it is sad, that we don’t have any of the Britons who were killed off by the English immigrants, or any of the original Gauls who were largely killed off by the ancestors of the French. So, it is not a big surprise. This fate is what Israel has designed for Palestinians, and a supporter of Israel three years ago was honest and candid enough to verbalize it. Would the great state of Israel do us all a favour, turn honest for one second, and just tell us that they are planning to do exactly that?


more from Khodadad Rezakhani
DW Duke

Reply to Zion

by DW Duke on

This is actually interesting discussion I recently had about what one must do to be a noahide.  A noahide only needs to accept the 7 laws and believe that they came from G-d.  They are not required to accept that the Torah is true.  In fact, according to Rambam they aren't even permitted to study the Torah.  So it is really irrelevant that they have a different version of accounts than in the Torah.  As I said, one is not condemned for making a mistake in theology.  But yes, I have met some Muslims who believe the Torah over the Koran.  There are many many Muslims who do not fit the mold of extreme Islam.

As for rabbinic tradition it is not a matter of picking and choosing (which is what extreme orthodox always say when someone disagrees with the point of a rabbi.)  It is a matter of analyzing the issues and making an informed assessment and a meaningful application.  And not everyone is going to agree.  Some have described me as modern orthodox.  What I am saying is that the rabbis are human.  We draw halacha from an agreement of mind of oral and written Torah.  However, it is our best assessment of law.  (Incidentally, you mistated my positon again.  I said I consider the rabbinic commentary authoritative but not infallible. I didn't say I consider the Torah and Tanach as only authoritative.)  I have trouble with extreme orthodoxy because many believe it requires them to check their brains at the door.  Even when I see errors in the writings of someone like Rambam the attitude is often "he is not to be questioned."  Incidentally, that is not something I hear so much among rabbis but rather students.  The Torah and the Tanach are not rabbinic commentary.  It isn't a matter of picking and choosing, it is a matter of studying the issues and making an informed decision.  The reason I am not chassidic or ultra orthodox is because I do not believe religion should be spoon fed to anyone.  That is what misapplication of halacha tries to do.  That is the reason we have so many branches of Judaism today.   No one can tell people what they can and cannot believe.  That is the error of extreme orthodoxy just as it is the error of extreme Islam or extreme Xtianity.  The Catholic Church once claimed its popes were infallible.  It is the oldest trick in the book and is a form of mind control.  And nearly every religion has segments that try to do this including Judaism. 

It is ironic that the beginning of the Mishneh Torah Rambam explains how to correct an erroneous halachic decision.  Yet, many claim that halacha is infallible and Rambam made no errors. 

And then we have the issue of relevancy.  Do we need to read the Shulcan Aruch to learn how to use a stone to clean an anal orifice now that toilet paper has been invented?  :)  Are we in violation of halacha if we use TP instead of a dry rock? 

By the way, you said you are not religious why would you say someone should have to accept rabbinic commentary as infallible or he is being arbitary?

Some are probably wondering what we are talking about with respect to the noahide laws.  Here they are.  They were the seven laws given to man before the Torah was given to the Jews.  The 613 laws given to Jews do not apply to non-Jews. 

  1. Do not murder.
  2. Do not steal.
  3. Do not worship idols.
  4. Do not be sexually immoral.
  5. Do not eat a limb removed from a live animal.
  6. Do not curse God.
  7. Set up courts and bring offenders to justice.



Zion, your extreme bias is showing

by Q on

There is nothing contradictory in my analysis. The reform movement is a long term project but it was essentially halted due to external pressure for which US and Israel are responsible. It's not dead by any means which is why it will pick back up soon, obviously, but it was damaged, and set back for perhaps a decade or more thanks to mindless Western militarism and 19th century colonialist mentality. Exactly as the on-going struggle for civil liberties in America was profoundly damaged during the Bush administration, which given the number of ideologically biased judges and government appointees would take probably even longer to undo.

This is the truth, but it's not what you want to hear. You have always had a problem considering Iranians in the same terms as Israelis and Westerners, but I hate to break it to you, we are all the same.

Your words reveal a single-minded psychological need to find fault in the religion of Islam itself regardless of what is done with it. (I'm glad at least this bit is cleared up for all to see.)

As a Muslim, I have no idea what the hell you are talking about. What part of the Koran trashes or disrespects the Torah? All prophets are considered messengers of God and are spoken about with extreme respect and dignity. This is why, as I have repeated, I have no problem admitting that my religion is in no way superior to those others, a statement that you could not make by the way. (Did I make this up as well?)

The whole point of Islam is that it is the exact will of Allah, unchanging, "resent" down to humanity because of such practices.

Please don't embarrass yourself by describing the "whole point of Islam". What a disgraceful thing to say! What you claim here as "the whole point of Islam" is probably closest to the the Wahabbi interpretation which is rejected by most Muslims. In practice and in theory you are simply ignorant of what Islam is, sorry that there is no polite way of saying this.

Either way you look at it, you are lying to cut some slack for the regime in Iran. Your own logic exposes you my dear.

These kinds of accusations have now become too pathetic to take seriously. I will leave this matter for others to judge. Have a good year.

AI: I don't use "ZioNazi" or any Nazi references thoughtlessly. I don't think criticism of Zionism is on par with cirticism of Judaism however. That would be the right parallel with terms like "Islamism" or "Islamofascism".

And Q, "reform" under the Khatami administration is a pigment of your imagination.

My imagination is rather white and monocolor in this case! That is to say, you are simply wrong and are repeating (perhaps unknowingly) US propaganda designed to show that Iranians are helpless and need external force to solve their problems. The facts and history show otherwise. But we can agree to disagree.


funniest comment of 2008! (to Anonym Irani)

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Anonymous Irani says: "hey DW: give Zion 20 minutes with your ayatollah Boroujerdi and she will turn him into Eichmann! Have a happy new year by the way; we need more of you and less of Zion and Q."

A bit unfair to Q, but I would say this was the funniest comment of 2008 ... despite occasional intimidation, Zion also illuminates us sometimes .... it doesn't make much sense, but I like her a lot, even though I am in her s**t list!


Dear HamshAhri AI (art. int.)

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

AI says: "...the same as the Christian Right tries to do here in the US or the same as the kookoo religious Zionist try to do in Israel- I am Anti all of these movements with religious fundamentalism."

HamshAhri-e azeez, I bet if the revolution had resulted in creation of a more democratic and less oppressive system, you and I in Esfahan would have been in the same party or at least would have voted for the same candidates!
Anyhow, it is good to see that despite some rough edges you have such a good heart (as we say in Persian)...., and let me know more about the book you mentioned ... Esfahan would NOT be Esfahan nesfe_jahAn without its/our Jewish heritage.
--best wishes


No Q, it is you who have no clue

by Zion on

It is not just that particular clamp down that is tantamount to a collapse of the reformist attempts, as I said clearly, it started irreversibly from that time since the mullahs realized things can get out of their hands and the benefits of the cosmetic reforms they had in mind does not compensate the possible danger of it becoming real reforms. It has gone down since that time, and Bush or America had little to do with it. You yourself asserted it Q, that the reform movement is clamped down and America is to blame. Now you are saying it takes years and it's back and forth. OK, then why shouldn't we regard what is going on now as one of the instances of such back and forth, rather than an irreversible loss specifically due to US policies? Either way you look at it, you are lying to cut some slack for the regime in Iran. Your own logic exposes you my dear.



by Zion on

I am not talking about the writings of Muhammad, I am talking of the Koran which according to fundaments of the Islamic belief is the direct words of Allah. I m very puzzled by the claim that 'many muslims maintain that the written Torah is not corrupt'. That would be wonderful to know, so maybe you can explain how this could be when the accounts of the Koran contradict Torah explicitly in many occasions. One example is the Koranic version of Akeda where Ishmael is the one about to be sacrificed not Isaac. Now this goes against the entire view of the Torah about the Akeda, its meaning, the covenant, the late birth of the miracle child Isaac, the role of Hagar and the relationship of Ishmael to the covenant. There are many more examples, such as Koran's claim that Jews worship Ezra as the son of God(!) and so on.

[Regarding the US constitution, that is also not a good analogy. After all, those who work with the US constitution do not see their greatest virtue in submission to its will. That however is exactly what Islam means and demands. That is actually the main beef of Islam with Judaism. Jews interpret their tradition and the so called word of God as times goes by, that is the rabbinic tradition, and Islam sees that as worst wrong ever. The whole point of Islam is that it is the exact will of Allah, unchanging, "resent" down to humanity because of such practices. I'm afraid such analogies won't apply to the Koran and to Islam. ]

More importantly however is your methods. So you do not accept the rabbinic tradition as necessarily binding. You only consider Torah (or the Tanach?) as authoritative. Fine. As you know all the bans about resettling the Holy Land before Moshiach's time comes from the rabbis, in an attempt to clamp down the revolutionary fervor of Jews of their generations against the Roman power culminating in Bar Kochba's revolt and Akiva's endorsement of him which resulted in expulsion of Jews from all the land of Israel. That is also why the book of Maccabees didn't make it into the canon and the rabbis have done all they could from that time onwards to dim the memory of the macabbees revolt, including in the way Channuka is being celebrated. Since the success of the Maccabees against the Seleucids was the inspiration of all the uprisings against the Romans and attempts to regain control over the land of Israel and rededicate the Temple. There is no such ban in the Torah itself, if anything the Torah is very clearly in favor of ruling over the land. So my question is, how come you insist on such rabbinic tradition when it comes to Israel and Zionism and refuse Rabbinic tradition when it does not support your views and biases about say Islam. Don't you think you are quite arbitrary in what you pick and choose?

DW Duke


by DW Duke on

That is the nature of constitutional law.  You are correct that at times it can be inconsistent.  The better the constitution is written the better we can interpret it going forward.  The interpretations have to be reasonable and consistent with the document or the document must be amended if necessary but the amending process should be very difficult such as with the US constitution.

Artificial Intelligence

Re: pretend it is a consitution

by Artificial Intelligence on

I don't know if this works DW.

So in one generation we find a woman's right to abortion as a fundamental right and in another generation we take that right away?

In one generation, religion is used to make Jews the friends of Islam and in the next generation the enemies of Islam?

Khomeini did just what you are saying by changing long held Shia doctrine by interpreting that Islam and the clergy can be involved in the affairs of the state. This never existed before any any Islamic School of thought as far as I know.   


DW Duke

Reply to AI

by DW Duke on

I think you are right that any label that is derogatory about another group of human beings is wrong if it can be interpreted to stereotype indiscriminately or cause injury to innocent bystanders.   

Personally, I try not to use any term that might cause people to misunderstand and believe I am condeming a religion or a group of people.  If I am referring to religious extremists of any religion I make sure that I distinguish between the extremists and the moderates. 

Here is an example of how someone can address a problem (the revolution in Iran) without ever accusing Muslims in general.  Nazanin is very careful not to call Muslims evil or to say anything that could be construed as a blanket accusation against Islam but it is clear that she is referring to the evil of the regime that took control of Iran in 1979.  She makes it clear that they justified their actions with religion but she does not condemn the religion itself. 



DW Duke

Reply to Q re: pretend it is a consitution

by DW Duke on

That is the best example that one can give and I have heard a number of rabbis say exactly that.   The Koran like the Torah are guidelines like a constitution that must be interpreted by those of each generation.  :)  

Artificial Intelligence

As a gesture of respect to Q & to prove to DW that I'm no Imani

by Artificial Intelligence on

And since everyone was referring to me as AI anyway, I will change my name to Artificial Intelligence. I explained my intent on why I had chosen "Anti Islamist" and I made my thoughts about Islam and Muslims extremely clear. 

Now Q, what about terms such as "ZioNazi," comparison of Israelis to "Nazis", "Chosen people" "zionist control of media and financial institutions" (language used by Ahmadi himself).... Don't you think they are insulting to Jews?

Please see Mola Nasardeens just released blog below.  Will you tell him that his entry is insulting to jews? Don't you think it is? Will you have the balls to condemn these statements or will you stay silent because at the end they support your ideological views?

What about you DW? Would you condemn them? 

And Q, "reform" under the Khatami administration is a pigment of your imagination. "reform" is impossible under the current Iranian constitution no matter who you have in charge as the President. As much as there are reformist clerics in Iran, they are only a tiny minority unfortunately. Reform will be impossible in our life time unless oil goes down to $10 a barrel.    

10 Similarities between Israel and Al-Qaeda

by Mola Nasredeen

What do Al Qaeda and Israel have in common:

1. They both seek world domination.

2. They are fanatic followers of their Ideologies.

3. They both kill civilians indiscriminately.

4. They enter other countries illegally and blow up the people.

5. They both believe they are "The Chosen People".

6. They terrorize people by their actions.

7. They wouldn't survive without other countries' financial backing.

8. They don't care about public opinion or the United Nations.

9. They both use religion as an excuse for committing crimes against humanity.

10.  They are both hated universally.


DW Duke


by DW Duke on

No, Islam did not always believe that the writings of Mohammad were infallible.  Indeed, once Muslims were taught to question him.

 Regardless, it is not necessarily one's belief that makes one evil, it is the manner in which one acts upon his beliefs.  Judaism is not a religion that maintains that one spends eternity in hell for making a mistake in theology.

By the way, are you aware that many Muslims maintain that the written Torah is not corrupt?  The oral Torah has been corrupted.  With that I would agree.   Rabbi worship (believing that rabbis are infallible) is a perfect example of the evil in Judaism.  That does not make Judaism evil. 

For a noahide one must believe that the 7 noahide laws came from G-d.  Muslims believe this (with the exception of course of the fringe lunatics.) 


Oh no Zion, you really have no clue

by Q on

If your understanding of a democracy movement is that a few studnet protests should have succeeded in 1998 and since they didn't that means the movement "failed" there's not much I can teach you.

Your warped logic says because there was a backlash by the power structure, that means it did not succeed. What horseshit! By that standard no movement has ever done anything.

It takes years. It's a back and forth dialectic within the system. It's always like that, read your history.
In fact that reformists did change the elections, instituting local and regional ones for the first time since the early part of revolution.

I'm really tired your Michael Ledeen parroting, the cheap shots and the absolute lack of understanding let alone respect for Iranian people. You're almost not worthy of talking about them.

Yes, whatever, I'm the one in the habit of making things up. I made it all up just like the Iranian reform movement!

I guess, we can't do anything other than bomb Iran....



by Zion on

Then your position would be that Islam contains evil in it. It is the Koran that claims Torah is corrupted, that Jews are Muslims worst enemies, and the direct words of Koran are direct words of Allah himself and can't be changed or misinterpreted. That is a principle of Islamic faith. You can interpret stuff, but direct statements such as these can't alter by any interpretations. So to make sure I understand your position, do you consider Islam, as it is understood by the teachings of the Koran and its tradition, contains evil?


It is still a lie, Q

by Zion on

No my dear, I know what I am talking about. Student protests were clamped down, many many imprisoned and tortured, reformist newspapers closed en mass. Yes Khatami was elected, but he failed to do anything. I hear he even cried on TV before his reelection begging people to give him a second chance. If all was jolly and good, why did he have to do that Q? The reformist parliament was not even allowed to change the electoral process a bit for the better or protect media rights for journalists, and thee are all before Bush or 9/11. The "dialogue between Civilizations" was never anything but a pathetic show of formalities, in which Clinton did all he could to have a hand shake which your reformist president refused by hiding in the toilet, so the saying goes....
You are a liar Q. Proven for I don't know how many times already.

'A while back she claimed Koran says that non-Muslims should be killed. When I pointed out to her that Koran has no such statement, but in fact the old testiment does, she almost lost it.'

This is such bullocks, I wonder how even you can bring yourself to make up such crap? Have you no shame? No self worth to lie so openly? Amazing. You are but a pathetic compulsive liar Q. It's just sad.


DW, you're a lawyer, pretend it's the constitution

by Q on

People interpret and re-intrepret the constitution of the US. There are schools of thought, strict constructionist or "living document" take your pick. There are so many different readings of the Torah that confirm this view anyway.

As with the constitution, the question of "intent" is paramount. You must ask yourself what was the intention of a passage that would ban shelfish or condone stoning.

I have talked at length to Muslim scientists about evolution for example. It's just not as big a controversy in Iran, as it is in the West and I was puzzled by that. Many people told me that Adam and Eve need not be literal. That these were elements of a story put into the language best suited for the time and our task is to decipher how it would suit us at this time. On the other hand Mohammad's well known pronouncements in favor of cleanliness and education are taken literally. (He would for example release prisoners of war who could teach Muslims how to read and write.)

to me religious texts are about meanings and lessons of the stories, not their vocabulary or grammar. And there is also the issue of the degree of seperation from the source. Sheikh Wahhab also believed in the Koran in the 1700s, but THAT version is less meaningful to me, even if I did consider him a religous authority.

DW Duke

Old texts are very important

by DW Duke on

Old texts are very important to help us understand the wisdom of those who went before and in some instances to allow us to avoid making the same mistakes.  How do I reconcile my beliefs with those whose religion places Mohammad in a higher position than Moshe and which believes the Torah was corrupted and that Jews are Muslims' worst enemies?  In the same way I would reconcile my beliefs with Jews who say that Muslims are pagans who should be exterminated as in the comments that are the subject of this thread.  I do not need to reconcile my faith with those who are evil.  I need to reconcile my faith with those who are good.  The faith of G-d is not reconciled with the evil, so why should mine be so reconciled? 


Zion, please stick to what you at least CLAIM to know

by Q on

"That's a lie"
don't make me laugh.

"I would say" you don't know what you're talking about. I would say, once again the supremacist side in you can't stand the comparisons I made with US and Israel and this is your attempt to find a way to say that Iranains are different. I have heard almost the exact same thing from Michael Ledeen.

Your analysis is a well-known distortion, the essential narrative that Neoconservatives and hatemongers like Michael Ledeen and Daniel Pipes have constructed to make regime change by force the only option, not unlike the lies that were told about Iraq as well.

The first thing you need to be reminded of is that the reformist Mohammad Khatami was overwhelmingly reelected in June 2001. And I didn't say it was immediately after Bush that it went down hill, but the noise started very soon after 9/11. Yes, there was some cooperation with the US after the invasion but it all died by January of 2002. "Axis of Evil" killed not just any cooperation but it set back democracy in Iran.

The second reformist administration had all kinds of new strategies and new legal frameworks painstakingly constructed in the prevoius 4 years with which to achieve it's goals. On the foreign policy front there was the "Dialogue Amongs Civilizations" initiative for which UN created a special commission. None of it lasted in the atmosphere of Cowboy Bush and preemptive strikes. Worst yet, his peaceful overtures were rejected which all but created the conservative backlash in Iran.

"many months" ? Do you enjoy being called out for pure BS? The invasion of Afghanistan was in October. By January Iran was in the "Axis of Evil", the neocons successfully argued that Iranian cooperation will not be necessary as Pakistan can be the main ally.

What I'm describing is a historical fact. It always happens that in times of war and crisis the focus is shifted from social and personal freedoms. Neoconservatives were famous for denying plain reality in favor of ideological conjecture and that's what you're doing.

DW : I don't know if there is too much material about some of these clerics in English. You can start here: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayatollah_Yousef_Sane...

Regarding what "Islam claims", please don't take Zion's word for this. It's almost always a distortion. A while back she claimed Koran says that non-Muslims should be killed. When I pointed out to her that Koran has no such statement, but in fact the old testiment does, she almost lost it.

Zion has decided that Jews and Israelis are free to intrepret their holy texts and decide in a rational way what is literal, what is figurative and what works in modern society. But that Muslims have not such right and must be condemned based solely on ancient texts or the distortions of "What Islam claims".

How rediculous is that statement? What "Islam" claims? Islam is a religion of 1 Billion people, practiced wildly differently in different places. Koran is a book that has much metaphorical meaning. But Zion, has decided only the worst possible views are "what Islam claims"

Again, I don't appreciate the Orwellian term "Islamo-fascist".


Fair enough DW

by Zion on

As you say, the orthodoxy considers all the rabbinic tradition up to and including Shulchan Aruch as authoritative and an expansion of the Oral Torah handed down to Moses on Sinai and revealed to the first Sanhedrin. I am no Orthodox either, and I am not a Torah observant Jew either, but at the same token I do not look into such old text to figure out how I should react to these Islamo-fascists who want to murder my people and oppress their own people either. So I ask you again, as a Torah observant Jew how do you reconcile your beliefs to a religion like Islam which claims that Muhmmad has a higher position than Moses, that the Torah was corrupted and that Jews are Muslim worst enemies? I am curious, and I hope I can get to understand your point of view.


hey DW: give Zion 20 minutes with your ayatollah Boroujerdi and

by Anonymous Irani (not verified) on

she will turn him into Eichmann!
Have a happy new year by the way; we need more of you and less of Zion and Q.


That is a lie, Q

by Zion on

'Just look what happened in Iran in the late 90s after ONLY a few short years of peace and lack of external threat, even though Clinton tightened sanctions, there was no real military threat against Iran for a few years. That window closed after Bush came to power.'

The "window" closed much earlier, I would say after 1998 student uprising, when the mullahs realized this thing can get out of their hands. Bush had nothing to do with it, actually for the first year the Bush administration was much more reluctant to oppose Iran than Clinton's time and even after 9/11 the focus was turned towards Afghanistan for many months afterwards. This is a worn out excuse of the Tehran lobbyists. The system in Iran cannot tolerate freedom and will try to suffocate it whether they find themselves floating in an ocean of peace or under international threat of force.

DW Duke

Reply to Zion

by DW Duke on

I consider my self a Torah observant Jew.  I do not meet all of the qualifications of what some would call chassidic or even orthodox.  I do not believe that the Torah was corrupted but it is clear that too much emphasis was placed upon the writings of certain rabbis despite the fact that even their contemporaries considered them heretics and thought their books should be destroyed.  (Here I am referring to Rambam.)  Rambam was a brilliant scholar and one of my favorite writers with respect to certain publications such as "The Guide for the Perplexed."  However, I believe that the Mishne Torah contains a number of errors which I can show you if you like.  This is where I believe Judaism jumped ship with respect to orthodoxy.  Rambam was under tremendous persecution by Muslims under the new Islamic regime.  In response he attacked the Muslims full force.  The net effect in my opinion was to cause tremendous devastation and strife between two of the major religions of the world.  I also believe that his assessment of Xtianity is extreme. 

The rabbis have authority but they are not infallible.  In my opinion anyone who says a rabbi is infallible (which I hear all the time in orthodox Judaism) is a heretic because he has taken away the accountability of the rabbi. 


Zion: the deeper you dig into any given organized religion

by Anonymous Irani (not verified) on

the more crap you will find. Yes, the source of most crap is history and there is non more 'historic' than judaism.

So take a pause for the cause; go back to yr lair and wish for the new year to have less of your kind and more of DW's.

DW Duke

Reply to Q

by DW Duke on

Religion is man's attempt to reach G-d.  G-d/All-h/HaShem is the one who is not bound by our religions.  This is the one who sees beyond our religions and is universal and eternal. 

Please introduce me to some of the clerics to whom you are referring.  They need to be heard. 


The Meshugah reference

by Zion on

I know that in Rambam's view islam qualifies as monotheistic and Jews are permitted to worship in mosques, in clear distinction to Christianity and churches. However that is only one side of the coin. In his "The Epistle to the Jews of Yemen", which was written for Jews only, Maimonides is much more open and honest about his views on Islam. He has called Muhammad the meshugah prophet for one, and has complained about the unjust afflictions of Jews by the hand of the Ishmaelites. In particular, he has other interesting things to say about Islam and muslims too. Here is a short excerpt:

'it is permitted to teach the commandments and the explanations according to [rabbinic] law to the Christians, but it is prohibited to do likewise for the Muslims. You know, in effect, that according to their belief this Torah is not from heaven and if you teach them something, they will find it contrary to their tradition, because their practices are confused and their opinions bizarre mippnei she-ba’uu la-hem debariim be-ma`asiim [because a mish-mash of various practices and strange, inapplicable statements were received by them.] What [one teaches them] will not convince them of the falseness of their opinions, but they will interpret it according to their erroneous principles and they will oppress us. [F]or this reason…they hate all [non-Muslims] who live among them. It would then just be a stumbling block for the Israelites who, because of their sins, are in captivity among them. On the contrary, the uncircumcised [Christians] admit that the text of the Torah, such as we have it, is intact. They interpret it only in an erroneous way and use it for purposes of the allegorical exegesis that is proper to them Ve-yirmezuu bah ha-remaziim hay-yedu`iim la-hem [They would exchange secret signs known only to them.] If one informs them about the correct interpretation, there is hope that they will return from their error, and even if they do not, there is not stumbling block for Israel, for they do not find in their religious law any contradiction with ours.'

I am also curious to know if you consider yourself an orthodox Jew, how do you view islamic claims that the Torah is corrupted and that the rabbis have no authority, that they are like donkeys carrying a book, that they await the worst punishment for altering the words of Allah, that Jews and Polytheists are the worst enemies of Mulsims, and that Muslims should not befriend Jews and Christians lest they become like them. It would be interesting to see how you reconcile the two for yourself.



by Q on

I'm just sick of the fascist post-911 Orwellian sloganeering and escapegoating.

I don't know Imani personally, but his pronouncements on this site are deeply offensive and bigoted. People of means with high intellectual capability have a higher obligation to not to propagate hate through language, so I can't say I feel any sympathy for him.

I do know about Borujerdi actually. I'm impressed by your activism and advocacy for this cause. It's unusual to say the least.

There are many many cool Ayatollahs. If you travel to Iran, you can meet them. I visited Iran earlier this year myself. Borujerdi not alone, there are many more silenced voices to various degrees. Yusuf Sanei, for example or Ayatollah Montazeri. If circumstances allow, we will soon experience a second revivalism of Islam with much more progressive tendencies in Iran.

The biggest crime and the biggest single threat against pluralism in Iran in my opinion, is the external military threat. Just like Israel and post-911 US, there is little room for liberal discourse when the very existence of a nation is at stake. This is doubly an issue with colonial-conscious Iranians who highly value their sovereignty. In these circumstances only extremists can flourish.

Just look what happened in Iran in the late 90s after ONLY a few short years of peace and lack of external threat, even though Clinton tightened sanctions, there was no real military threat against Iran for a few years. That window closed after Bush came to power. It's not even that the state uses this as an "excuse" to crack down further. This happens to some extent, but it's only a superficial explanation.

If you look closely, it's more than obvious that the people themselves choose not to be as engaged and as active when facing hostile external threat. It's natural. They, after all, don't want to be invaded either. And the threat is deadly serious, even if underplayed by official IRI sources.

Iran is much much less defensively capable compared to either US or Israel, and it faces much greater threat. But those countries routinely get away with murder citing much much smaller threats by comparison. These things are not lost on Iranians.

Happy new year to you.

DW Duke

Reply to Zion

by DW Duke on

I believe that the astute rabbis of today are contemporary and can address the issues of modern life.  Unfortunately, I have to admit this is a weakness of orthodox Judaism which has caused many to "fall away."  Forward thinking rabbis face a great deal of confrontation from the more conservative group within orthodoxy.  But these things pass in time.  :)

Of which references by Rambam are you thinking?  Incidentally, one of the biggest confrontations I have with orthodox rabbis is that I see Rambam as authoritative commentary and not halacha.  I believe there are many errors in his writings.  :)




by Zion on

DW, I agree with AI, Rabbinic sources alone can be no basis for modern life. Anyways, since you quote Mishne Torah I'm sure you know what Rambam has said about the way Ishmaelites have been treating Jews, and what the label he used to refer to Muhammad. What do you think of that?

Funny thing is, I also asked Q about the Start Trek TNG character back during the first times I came to this website. That's why when I saw your remark I mistook you for him trying to make fun of me, throwing me back my question with a smiley. Sorry for that mistake, by the way.

DW Duke

Reply to Q re: Anti-Islamist

by DW Duke on

I agree Q.  I once had a conversation with Amil Imani (I think he might be the fellow who appears here by proxy as Amil Amini though I don't know for sure)  concerning the issue of Islam.  He is a man with a big and beautiful heart but he suffers from abuses of certain persons within Islam and has formed a blanket dislike for Islam in general.  I understand his repulsion for those who may have persecuted him, but the most important thing to remember is that bullies don't represent the totality of a particular people.  Listen to these incredible words by a very beautiful Muslim cleric who today sits in a prison in Iran.  He is serving his second year of an 11 year prison sentence in a prison in Iran.  I pray that in my life I may meet only a dozen men with his honor and integrity.  To me he is the "Cool Ayatollah."


If this man's words don't bring tears to one's eyes then that one must be a cold hearted fish indeed. :)  After hearing AI's explanation I believe that he is much like Amil.  My concern though is that he could be interpreted as one who hates people of the Muslim faith though I don't believe that is what he intends to convey.

Hey AI :)


Speaking of religous tolerance: "Islamist" is offensive

by Q on

DW, you are right to be confused by the term. How can anyone have a different reaction than to think "Anti Islamist" really means anti Islam. I'm glad that's not AI is, as per his clarification. But the term "Islamist" is wrong and offensive nontheless.

I have talked about this before and I'm sure anyone familiar with my writings has seen it as well.

If the intention is to say a religious government, the term for that is "Theocracy". If it is to say a radical form of Islam, you can say "Islamic extremists" or "Islamic radicals". These terms are clear because they don't implicate the whole religion.

But "Islamist" itself is established negative. Always being used as a pajoritive put down, yet, there is nothing negative in the word itself. As such the connotation is that Islam itself must be negative why else would "Islamism" be a bad thing?

It's like one day trying to use "Jewism", "Judaism" or "Bahaism" as a curse word. It would be rightfully objected to as both inaccurate and offensive.

"Islamism" is one of many right wing terms that were popularized in the Islamaphobic atmosphere of post-9/11. "Islamofascist" is another one.

But people have rightly moved on now that the insanity has somewhat lessened. Islamic scholars don't use the term. Not even the Bush white house uses "Islamism" now. Pro secular activists have even moved on to opposing "political Islam" rather than Islamism.

So, if that means anything, I want everyone to know that this term is inaccurate, politicized and offensive to Muslims.