HUMINT: Vehicle to Victimhood

Magazine censored in Iran on left - original image on the right.

Vehicle to Victimhood, by HUMINT

Islam is used today as a vehicle to perpetuate the self perception of victimhood across the greater Middle East. Some Mulsims use the spiritual tools of their religion to justify destructive behavior. Fortunately, not all Muslims are willing to be victims. The US War effort in Iraq and Afghanistan has indeed shaken long established Middle Eastern world views of Western colonialism and imperialism. Today, some of the Middle East's best authors are engaging in thoughtful introspection. It is in the West's interest that they succeed in reshaping the views of their countrymen. Often times their countrymen travel abroad and blaspheme liberty as was the case recently in Australia.

Australian Mufti Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali made the following statement during a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers in Sydney last month: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it...whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat," the sheik told the congregation. "The uncovered meat is the problem. "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab (Islamic headdress), no problem would have occurred." Sheik Alhilali also spoke of women who "sway suggestively" and wear immodest dress, appearing to suggest rapists are not entirely to blame.

"Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man ... their leader in court," the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward said in response. "It's time we stopped just saying he should apologize. It is time the Islamic community did more then say they were horrified. I think it is time he left," Ms Goward said.

Goward's point is clear; hold the correct party responsible and insist justice be done. Sheik Alhilahi is asserting that all men are victims of their carnal impulses and if a woman triggers a man to perversion, he is not responsible. The Sheik's logic is designed to relieve himself and his congregation of accountability for their sex crimes. Non-consensual sex is indeed a crime and it's called rape. There is nothing spiritual about Sheik Alhilahi's sermon. This is a clear case of spiritual fraud. Islam in this case is just Alhilahi's vehicle to victimhood. Alhilahi's perceives himself and other men to be victims of their own lack of self control, subverting the core mechanics of responsability. Alhilahi is not a victim and his dysfunctional self perception cannot make him one. According to the website The victim's basic stance is that he or she:
  1. Is not responsible for what happened.
  2. Is always morally right.
  3. Is not accountable.
  4. Is forever entitled to sympathy.
  5. Is justified in feeling moral indignation for being wronged.
These points describe the behavior of Alhilahi and many of his fellow Muslims. These points apply broadly, extending well beyond excusing sex crimes. The self perceived victimhood across the greater Middle East is using religion as a vehicle to perpetuate the perception. Imperialist forces are forever oppressing and colonizing. There is always an invisible hand guiding the destiny of Middle Easterners. That hand however is never God's hand. God forsakes those unwilling to help themselves but the hand that holds men like Alhilahi down is never perceived to be God's hand.

With the US war effort in Iraq, the days of Middle Easterners blaming others for their own failures may be at an end. With all the pain and suffering of the Iraq War, what is happening there does not resemble America expanding an empire. The insurgents there are sabotaging progressive social projects. The insurgents are indeed losing their grip on any chance at establishing a montage of neighboring mini-empires. Saddam was and imperialist. Ayatollah Khomeini was an imperialist... Their world may be coming to an end. The death of their despotic dreams will not come from bullets, rather it will be the rational introspection of the average Middle Easterner that will finally bring the nations of the Middle East into alignment with the free world.

Turki al-Hamad writing for Asharq Alawsat
does a superb job of dissociating himself from the likes of Alhilahi through a thoughtful defense of the Prophet of Islam - (pbuh = peace be upon him):
Although Islam calls for diligent and productive work, for example, we find that Muslims are among the majority of people who do not fulfill their work efficiently even though they read the Quran five times a day. Moreover, Islam encourages seeking knowledge, “even if it is as far as China” and yet we find that Muslims are the most fearful of science and its advancements in today’s world. And although Islam promotes freedom of choice, such as in the verse that reads, “The right path is clearly distinct from the wrong”, we still find many Muslims nowadays are intolerant while rejecting, fearing and mistrusting others. The Prophet (pbuh) endured all kinds of opposition and harm in Mecca but he was patient in the face of adversity and pain and moreover forgave this unfair treatment in the end.
These words of introspection are indeed the light at the end of a long tunnel. This is the birth of a new Middle East[ a Middle East with citizens who take personal responsability for themselves and ask their countrymen to do the same.




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