This is a guest post by al-gharquad
I recently read in the Guardian News & Media Sustainability Report for 2010 (from July 6, 2010) that the Guardian is “on the verge of meeting its ambitious aims – becoming “the world’s leading liberal voice”.
This might be very bad news for Mr. Brian Whitaker’s blood-pressure.
My concern for Mr. Whitaker’s health is well-founded. It is based on the following, from his article from June 5, 2006, titled “False Prophets“:
“For a long time now, I have been meaning to take a cool, reflective look at Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji. The ordeal of keeping calm long enough to write about them and avoiding serious damage to my blood pressure at the same time was mainly what prevented me.”
Manji and Hirsi Ali are not the only personalities who might constitute grave danger for Mr. Whitaker’s blood pressure – given the somewhat negative feelings Mr. Whitaker has expressed”
“In the academic world, people like Hirsi Ali and Manji are known as “native informants”, though Issandr el-Amrani of the Arabist blog has another term for them: “courageous reformist Arab personalities (CRAP).”
“And the latest female addition to the CRAP stable is Wafa Sultan, an ex-Syrian who shot to prominence as a result of some shrill remarks on al-Jazeera television that were then brought to an American audience via Memri.
“It is the male native mis-informants, however, whose advice is more often listened to by the Bush administration. Prominent among these are Fuad Ajami (an associate of Bernard Lewis, the neocons’ favourite historian) and Iranian-born Amir Taheri.”
“Israeli lawyers want to sue Lebanon for the damage done to northern Israel. You know that among Israel’s sick society (86% of them support what’s being done in Lebanon, remember) you’re still going to find lawyers that are even sicker.”
Nevertheless, let us focus on more important matters, pertaining to Mr. Whitaker’s blood-pressure.
The list of people so far who could make Mr. Whitaker’s blood-pressure shoot-up as high as the corruption rate in the Middle East is the following:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, Wafa Sultan, Fuad Ajami, and Amir Taheri.
Out of grave concern for Mr. Whitaker’s health, I decided to do a bit of research regarding the exact content of what those nasty individuals wrote. After many sleepless nights in front of my computer, I think I have found exactly what in the writings of these annoying people might cause Mr. Whitaker hypertension. Following are several quotes:
“My main impression was that Israel is a liberal democracy.” (in an interview to the Jerusalem Post about her trip to Israel, August 3, 2006)
Manji says that the Arab’s failure to accept the Jews’ historical bond with Palestine is a mistake. Manji accepts that the Jews’ historical roots stretch back to the land of Israel, and recognizes their right to a Jewish state. She further argues that the allegation of apartheid in Israel is deeply misleading, noting that there are in Israel several Arab political parties; that Arab-Muslim legislators have veto powers; and that Arab parties have overturned disqualifications. She also observes that Israel has a free Arab press; that road signs bear Arabic translations; and that Arabs live and study alongside Jews. (Manji’s opinions on Israel, as summarized in the Wikipedia article on her book, “The Trouble with Islam Today”)
“You must recognize and respect Israel’s right to live.” (Addressing Egyptian Islamist Tal’at Rmeih on Al-Jazeera, March 4, 2008)
“In its short history, Israel has held up a mirror for the Arabs, who have not liked what they have seen. In the first Arab-Israeli war, in 1948, the paramilitary and volunteers of the new state turned back Arab armies. Although outgunned and outnumbered, the Jews prevailed.” (“A Reality Check as Israel Turns 60”, US News, May 7, 2008)
“For a war to be won it is not enough for one side to claim victory, although that is essential. It is also necessary for one side to admit defeat. The problem in the case of the Arab-Israeli wars, however, was that the side that had won every time was not allowed to claim victory while the side that had lost was prevented from admitting defeat. (“Israel Must Claim Victory Over Palestine”, The Australian, January 9, 2006)
Be this as it may, since it is fair to assume that Mr. Whitaker has some say as to what is published in the World’s Leading Liberal Voice and what isn’t, we can rest assured that the above-mentioned agents of global Zionism won’t poison the Guardian (or of course affect Mr. Whitaker’s health) with their cheap propaganda. We can count upon the World’s Leading Liberal Voice to continue to spread the best writings of the most liberal Muslims, such as Tariq “One-state” Ramadan, ‘Azzam “I support suicide-bombings” Tamimi, and the well-known champion of peace, Khaled Mash’al.
In order to keep Mr. Whitaker’s blood-pressure at a normal level, I would advise him to avoid exposure to the writings of the following (in addition to the above mentioned):
Iraqi politician Iyad Jamal Al-Din, who said:
“How come this country (Israel) has developed a democratic regime, although it too has been at war and is surrounded by enemies, whereas the Arabs have not developed democratic regimes, using the existence of Israel as a pretext? How come Israel is not using the Arabs as a pretext for delaying its democratic development, its free economy, and its free press? Are they better, smarter, or stronger than us? We have oil, we have water, we have land, we have great minds – we have it all. Nevertheless, we have backward, tyrannical, and dictatorial regimes – and the peoples readily accept this. There is no real demand for democracy in Arab countries.” – Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia), October 10, 2005
I would think that drinking 10 cups of strong Turkish coffee in an hour would not be as harmful to Mr. Whitaker’s blood-pressure as this single paragraph.
With regard to Mr. Whitaker’s health, one sentence by the Egyptian playwright Ali Salem is worse than chain-smoking for 50 years:
“The state of Israel exists. I think our treaty with it is one of the most noble agreements any Egyptian leader has ever signed.” (Dream 2 TV, May 29, 2005)
In order to be of maximum service to Mr. Whitaker, and out of grave concern for his blood-pressure, here is a partial list of people whose opinions might make his blood-pressure meter go berserk:
Raid Qusti, Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, Shaker Al-Nabulsi, Lafif Lakhdar, Tarek Heggy, Mamoun Fandy, Omran Salman, Mithal Al-Alusi, Nidhal Naisa, Ahmed Al-Jarallah, Fuad Subhi, Wajeha Al-Huwaider, Ahmad Al-Rubai, Ahmad Al-Baghdadi.
Nevertheless, I think we can all relax. Judging by its record, the World’s Leading Liberal Voice will print anything by these people only after Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi sings the HaTikva with a bottle of whiskey in his hand, dressed in pink tights at the Annual Meccan Gay Pride March.