In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 27, 2012/ 3 Shevat, 5772

Villainy of islam is blurred and obscured

By Diana West

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | No doubt Deborah Scroggins believes she just published a dual biography of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, former Dutch parliamentarian, and Aafia Siddiqui, jailed al-Qaida terrorist, and so she did. What may surprise the biographer, however, is that she also provided a third study: post-9/11 moral equivalence.

This begins with Scroggins' outre decision to pair a peaceable writer and politician with a violent al-Qaida scientist who married Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's nephew and co-plotter after 9/11 as the "Wanted Women" of the book's title ("Wanted Women: Faith, Lies and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui").

Wanted by whom? Hirsi Ali is wanted for violating Islamic law against apostasy (leaving Islam is a capital offense) and criticizing Mohammad, Islam's prophet (ditto). Siddiqui was wanted by the FBI as an accomplice of al-Qaida, an operational arm of Islamic law. How to knit the two together? Scroggins writes: "Like the bikini and the burka or the virgin and the whore, you couldn't understand one without understanding the other."

It's difficult not to read this as a smear of Hirsi Ali, no less visceral for its flippancy. But it's more than a noxious personal barb. Scroggins' binary vision offers a new look at an old kink: moral equivalence among the intellectuals via perverse yin-yang fantasy.

A little housekeeping: No, I don't know Ayaan Hirsi Ali. And yes, I read where Scroggins writes, "That is not to say they (Hirsi Ali and Siddiqui) are equivalent figures, morally or otherwise." But this line appears on the last page of the book, after Scroggins has made the case that Hirsi Ali's past political fight against Islam in Europe (highlighted as her fight for Muslim women's rights) was somehow a self-aggrandizing version of jihad, of "tribal principle" -- even, most reprehensively, of terror-triggering extremism. Meanwhile, Siddiqui's life of jihad-obsession unspools in alternating chapters.

The cumulative effect is an effort to even the score with Hirsi Ali. As the debate over Islam and Islamic terror erupted in Holland, Scroggins writes: "Some Dutch spoke of 'the Ayaan effect,' a spirit of fear and rancor that seemed to have bewitched the country." Get it? It's not the jihad, stupid, it's "the Ayaan effect."

By bizarre contrast, Scroggins regards Siddiqui's jihad with empathy-nurturing neutrality. The result isn't so much "Islam, the West, what's the difference?" -- the trope of moral equivalence during the U.S.-USSR Cold War. It's more: Islam, the West, who is responsible for the violence? Who is reacting to whom? Who is putting on the burka to fend off the bikini? What virgin wouldn't hate a whore? One more time, it's all our fault.

Or, in this case, Hirsi Ali's fault.

Her offense? Hirsi Ali failed to submit to the never-never cant that "moderation" is a hallmark of Islam (no sacred Islamic texts support it), while she publicly flayed its teachings of conquest and supremacism. Scroggins invokes supposed Islamic reformers -- including Mahmoud Mohammed Taha and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan (one of three heads of state to recognize the Taliban), whose rhetoric reflects anything but moderation -- to try to portray Hirsi Ali as "simplistic."

But it was Hirsi Ali's failure to kneel in appeasement of Islam, even in her early days of quasi-media-darlinghood, that bothers Scroggins to no end -- far more, it seems, than anything Siddiqui ever did, up to and including WMD-tinkering on al-Qaida's behalf.

Scroggins reports disinterest -- outrage, too -- from Islamic women in the Netherlands regarding Hirsi Ali's erstwhile efforts to emancipate them from Islam's law. Such attitudes reveal unplumbed depths in the chasm between Islamic and Western cultures. In this signal example, Islamic women in a Western country see themselves as Shariah-compliant Muslims, not repressed women yearning for Western liberty. To Scroggins, long interested in "the treatment of women in Islam," this almost seems personally liberating. She used to think "the control of women was as fundamental to radical Islam as racism was to the old American South or anti-Semitism was to Nazi Germany," she writes. She still does. "But" -- and here's where we perhaps approach an evolving mainstream consensus on Shariah and other Islamiana -- "I also learned that Westerners who want to keep the Muslim world under Western rule also have used Islamic attitudes toward women not so much to help free Muslim women as to justify the West's continued domination of Muslim men."

Huh? Women-centric worldview aside, I think what Scroggins is saying is that honesty about Islam is the New Western Imperialism. No wonder Ayaan Hirsi Ali became Public Enemy No. 1.

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© 2009, Diana West