This year, Nov. 16 was Eid al-Adha (Kurban bayryam) - the Festival of Sacrifice, one of the most imp0rtant Muslim holidays. Celebrations often last for a week. Right now, I had to have a practical with a group of students from Turkey, but we agreed to postpone it, because all of them wanted to be home with Mommy and Daddy. So I have some extra free time, for which I shall of course pay later. I decided to spend it updating my link pages and deleting some of the Islamophobic links, undoubtedly a good way for an infidel to mark Eid.
I wish to state immediately that nobody has pressed me to do this. My anti-Islamic writings and links have not drawn any offline hostile action, which I attribute partly to the (still) very weak position of radical Islam in Bulgaria, and partly to the fact that nobody reads my blog :-). My opinion about Islam and Islamists has not changed, either. Why, then, have I decided to present (slightly) less Islamophobia? It was Esther, author of the Islam in Europe blog, who persuaded me. On Feb. 22, she wrote a post titled Opinion: Why don't the Jews join us. Let me give a part of it:
"An orthodox Jewish reader once asked me why Islam-critics criticize EVERYTHING about Islam. Why do they criticize the religious aspects and don't just focus on violent Islamic ideology?
Keep this question in mind as you read this.
A recent article in The Daily Telegraph brings a story which is repeated in various ways across Europe. Malmö, Sweden, is the city with one of the highest proportion of Muslim residents, and its small Jewish community is fleeing an increase in Muslim antisemitic attacks.Various anti-Islam, Islam-critical, counter-Jihad etc blogs and activists expect Jews to stand with them against the Muslims. But Jews don't always do so, and, sometimes, for good reason.
I do not deny the threat of Muslim antisemitism. But why put the Jews on the spot? When anti-Islam protesters wave Israeli flags, they might want to show that they're not antisemitic. They might want to make the Muslims mad. But what they're actually doing is focusing the hatred at the Jews. The Jews are a tiny minority in Europe, and one which has been through quite a lot. Why put them on the spot more than anybody else, and certainly more than any other endangered minority?"
I have never made it a secret that a great part of my Islamophobia is due to the anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli attitudes and actions of too many Muslims. (I have been occasionally blamed by hostile readers that I have sold myself to "my Jewish masters", and privately asked by friendly readers whether I am a Jew myself.) And now, Esther is asking those who really take the plight of Jews to heart not to be too Islamophobic. I am not sure whether she is right here, but I think she has considered this problem thoroughly and understands it much better than me, and I prefer to trust her.
So I deleted from my blogroll the links to two old posts: My Westerner's demands to Muslims and An opinion poll for Arab readers (the latter was useless anyway, because Arab readers were not giving their opinions).
I also opened from my Control Panel the Favourite Sites pages of my Web site (here in English, here in Bulgarian) and successfully changed them - the first change I am introducing myself to my brand new domain. If you are learning to create and edit Web pages and struggling with HTML the way a pig struggles with a pumpkin, what would you begin with? The easiest thing, of course. And what is the easiest type of change? Correctly, deletion. So I removed the link to FrontPage Magazine (it still remains in my blogroll), plus two links to sites with images of Prophet Mohamed: Zombietime's Mohammed Image Archive and the site muhammadcartoons dot com.
These links, plus the entire "Favourite Sites" page, were created in early 2006, in the midst of Danish cartoon crisis. Back then, it seemed to us that the very pillars of our civilization were collapsing. I am still far from sure that it is safe, but I think time is ripe for more long-term strategy and less impulsive actions. A nice example of impulsive action is the domain muhammadcartoons dot com, registered at the same time. Initially, the 12 cartoons were uploaded there. However, after the hot moment was gone, apparently nobody wished to devote his time and money to the tedious job of keeping a Web site. So the domain name expired and was released back to the ecosystem. Somebody snatched it and turned it into what I hope is a dating site, but may as well be a human trafficking tool. For that reason, I am not linking to it here, just showing enough of it to allow you check yourself. (Here, Muslim readers are allowed to gloat :-).) You see that it is a bad idea to register a domain, draw traffic to it and then leave it orphan - this can only benefit some shadowy and not too pretty figure. People should be more serious about the Web and not create and abandon sites at every whim.
If you want to see the (in)famous cartoons, I recommend the above linked Zombietime page, plus this American Daughter forum where Danish psychologists discuss the images. I was first directed to the former page by Freedom for Egyptians. I am sorry that she has stopped blogging; hopefully everything is OK with her.