Tuesday, February 28, 2006

We are all Jews now

Thousands of Parisians marched in the streets of their city yesterday to protest the rise of anti-Semitism in France. The march was occasioned by the kidnapping, torture and murder of a young French Jewish man by the name of Ilan Halimi. His torture apparently went on for three weeks and extended to the poor man's family who were forced to listen to his screams over the telephone as his tormentors read out verses of the Koran. If you're squeamish you may not want to know the details. It's difficult, but necessary reading. According to an article by Tom Gross in today's National Post (from my print copy).

On February 13 Halimi was found tied naked to a tree, handcuffed, gagged, hooded and starved, with severe burns and torture marks and cuts all over his body.

The French police officer leading the investigation said the gang "Kept him naked and tied up for weeks. They cut bits off his flesh, fingers and ears, and in the end poured flammable liquid on him and set him alight. It was one of the cruelest killings I have ever seen."

One of the cruelest killings? I wonder what this police officer has witnessed in his career that could surpass this ugly murder for its sheer, base brutality.

It seems that Mr. Halimi was kidnapped not because of any special qualities he possessed, other than his Jewishness. It could have been any Jew, really - an old Jew, a young Jew, a sick Jew, a healthy Jew, a male Jew, a female Jew, a Jewish infant - it's all the same. It is only necessary that the victim be one of that ancient tribe that God chose as His people so long ago.

A rich Jew would have been a preferred victim, of course. Who knew there were Jews of modest means? Those grotesque murderers apparently didn't. As they say in the army, time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted. Still, even an impoverished Jew can scream adequately over the phone as you read out verses from the Koran, while cutting off his fingers.

In a glaring instance of hypocrisy the very same people who claim to be marching in the streets over the publication of a dozen Danish political cartoons are utterly silent about this bestial torture and murder. Most Muslims in western countries would not likely support this murder, but neither are they prepared to demonstrate against this bloody blot on their religion.

They are not writing letters to the editor, they are not burning buildings, or rioting, or otherwise opposing what happened to Mr. Halimi. That, by the way, is why they have no credibility with the general population and why Islam itself is increasingly viewed with a jaundiced eye. In the deafening silence, the hard men do their work.

It is said that silence denotes consent. What is being consented to here? Is it the idea that is alright for fellow Muslims to treat people in such a sub-human manner - long as the victims are Jews? I pray that is not the case, but the evidence continues to mount.

Behold the face of evil incarnate. It has shown its face to us before - at Auschwitz and Treblinka - and it lurks in our cities today. Don't delude yourself into thinking this kidnapping and terrible murder is peculiar to Paris, or is confined to Jews. It's hatred is demonstrating its global presence every day now - in the murder of innocent Christian school girls in Indonesia, in the burning of churches in Pakistan and Nigeria, in the enslavement and genocide of tens of thousands of black Christian and Animist Sudanese, in the destruction of a Shiite mosque in Iraq, in the nuclear threats of mad Iranian mullahs, in the suicide bombing of buses and trains and nightclubs in Israel, Britain, Spain and Indonesia, in the destruction of Buddhist temples in Afghanistan and of office towers in New York City.

Radical resurgent Islam's stated purpose is to cow us, convert us, or kill us. This is a vicious and merciless enemy which, by its own cruel actions, pares down the choices before us. We must defeat them, submit to them, or perish. Ignoring them is not an option. I know where I stand on this continuum of terror. Do you?


At 10:30 am, March 01, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very poweful piece of writing ....and an evocative tittle..

Well done

At 7:45 pm, March 04, 2006 , Blogger Stella said...

I agree with Kathleen. How about getting this published in a periodical somewhere, or an online journal? You put a spin on this issue that I haven't thought about before. . .

Also, don't you think Islam should have more affiliation (or tolerance might be a better word) with the Jews because of their early traditions? Their religion is a mix of Judaism and Christianity and I've read that they were the only other tolerated religion during the 8th and 9th centuries.


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