Friday, October 12, 2012

Muslim culture

No doubt you've heard in the news about the assassination attempt in Pakistan on the 14 year old girl Malala Yousufzai, who was a leader of the movement for the education of women and girls in Pakistan.  She was shot in the head by the Taliban, who consider all education of girls and women to be so morally wrong that they tried to kill her.  Further, when it was found that she was not dead, but badly wounded, the Taliban issued a statement that they will try again to kill her.  What kind of perverted movement is it that kills 14 year old girls, and opposes education of women.  It is an Islamist movement that seeks to prevent all Western influence in their area and to keep it out of their culture.  I heard a discussion on the BBC about this and one speaker said in effect "you Westerners don't understand, in the deeply ingrained Muslim areas, they are afraid that if they allow girls to be educated and then women, they will lose their control of them.  The Islamic men are afraid that their culture, that is based on their "sacred" domination of women, will collapse.
A visiting American asked me, on behalf of his group of friends, about the Palestinians, why doesn't Israel support a two-state solution?  I pointed out that a two-state solution is official Israeli Government policy, but the Palestinians are unwilling to negotiate with Israel, they are afraid of making peace with Israel.  He asked why are they so against making peace with Israel, why doesn't Israel, knowing this, simply make concessions to them to show them that they should accept peace (in other word turn the other cheek - a very Christian solution, but not often practised by Christians).  I pointed out that Westerners don't understand Arab Muslim Palestinian culture.  The Palestinian people did not exist in antiquity, they came into being basically only in 1967, when the other Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Syria) gave up fighting "for" them (after being defeated by the IDF; of course neither Egypt nor Syria would have established a Palestinian State, but that's another story).  Palestinian culture is totally bound up in "the struggle" against the Jews.  They do not accept that Jews have any claims on their land, they believe that Jews are an inferior people ("dhimmi") and they cannot give up the struggle, it would be the end of Palestinian culture as they know it. 
No leader of the Palestinians will accept any deal with Israel, as long as that deal means formally acknowledging the existence of Israel as a Jewish State and giving up "the struggle, it has become a "sacred" or "holy" aim of their culture (he would risk sure assassination).  In fact, when Israel did do what is asked, give up Gaza completely, withdraw all settlers and the IDF from land that was legitimately owned by Jews, what happened?  The Palestinians trashed all Jewish remains, including hothouses and synagogues, and started lobbing shells over the border into Israel and this has continued to the present day (by the way they completely destroyed all Jewish farms and buildings they captured in the 1948 war, for example Kfar Etzion).  This is a sign of blind hatred, that cannot be reasoned with.
Why is Pres. Abbas of the PA (that was set up by Israel under the Oslo Accords) trying to achieve unilateral Palestinian recognition through the UN, because he is trying at all costs to avoid negotiating with Israel on equal terms.  He cannot, as the leader of the Palestinians, like Arafat before him, come to terms with the existence of a Jewish State in what he considers to be Arab land.  Of course, we could discuss seriously the legal basis of the Jewish State at great length, but to the Palestinians this is a fairy story.  They don't recognise any such basis.  If they ever get near being pushed into negotiations their response is to react violently, as Arafat did with the second intifada of 2000.  They see their very culture at stake if Western values infiltrate their lands.


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