Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fatah's 'Wisdom' Not So Wise

Toronto Life lauds Tarek Fatah's The Jew Is Not My Enemy as one of this season's "must reads":
As the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, Fatah is no stranger to extremism--he left the Liberal organization out of concern for his family's safety. Here, he enumerates the root causes of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, from isolated incidents in Islamic history to oft-misrepresented passages in the Koran. He also illustrates the poisonous calumny that rages through contemporary Muslim societies. Key to the book's success is Fatah's fearless approach, and the wisdom in his insistence that Jew hatred is anathema to a sound interpretation of Islam.
I wouldn't call that "wisdom." I'd call it a clear cut case of taqiyya--i.e. sacrilized duplicity on behalf of Islam. One can note Fatah's bravery in standing up to extremists while at the same time observing that his contention that Muslim anti-Semitism does not find its origin in Islam's Ur-text, the Koran, is a load of crapola. Fatah may be a "hardened, secular Muslim" (his self-description), but it's clear that he's trying to shield the Koran from criticism and from complicity in historical Islamic Jew-hate--hate that continues to this day. How much more valuable--and how much more welcome--this book would have been had it acknowledged the Koran's complicity in anti-Semitism. Instead, Fatah appears to have gone out of his way to disguise and deny what is immediately evident to anyone who cares to do the bare minimun of homework--that is, that the Koran is suffused through and through with Judenhass. In the absence of such honesty, Fatah compels us to question both him and his book's motives.

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