How am I an extremist? Let me count the ways!
(Half of this post my response to Tomanbay’s criticisms, the other half is the answer to the above question. If you want the second part, just skip to bolded part that starts with “Which brings us to the part..”)
Time to give my 2 cents…
I had very conflicted feelings towards Tomanbay’s post about me to tell you the truth. One part of me (the reactionary part) immediately saw it as an unprovoked and largely unexpected attack on me and wanted to respond in kind, one part was immediately flattered by the time and effort he took to convey a point he wanted me to realize, and another part was kind of mad because with his post he ruined what I hoped to achieve by writing my post on Paradise Now, or at least shifted the debate to a direction I didn’t want it to take, as I will explain. But I would like to thank him for writing it anyway because it also brought my attention to something I wasn’t aware of: a lot of people who read me don’t really get or understand what I stand for and hope to achieve by writing this blog, so I am going to address his points and my critics in a way that hopefully will help shed more light on my reasoning and motivations- since a lot of people seem to be confused about that. If there is one thing that I agreed with Tomanbay on though, it’s that I am an extremist myself, and as extreme as some of the Wahabbi extremists, and you will see why I am this way, and why you should thank me for it, by the end of this post.
All right, but first things first, and my post on that movie will come first, or actually what I hoped to achieve with it, will come first. Here we go:
Ok Tomanbay, here is a question I wanted to ask you: How stupid do you think I am? Really? Have you not seen me present arguments before? Don’t you think that I am smart enough to present such an argument as the one I presented here with such a huge chink on my argument armor, as repeating twice that I didn’t see that movie, but will criticize it anyway? Didn’t that strike you as weird at all? Just a little strange? Didn’t you think for a second that it was presented that way, because it was supposed to push people’s buttons?
Man, I wrote this post with 2 goals in mind: 1) To mock all the people in our media who keep praising the movie and talking about “how the Jews are fighting it because it shows who they really are” without actually seeing the damn movie. I mean, you would think from the amount of support this movie was getting from all of those people who didn’t see it but were excited about it anyway that it would just make the rest of the world suddenly be ok with palestinains blowing themselves up, or understand how evil the Joooz really are. They were defending and praising a movie they didn’t see, just on the principle of “if the Jews are opposing it it must be good” mind you, and nobody had a problem with that at all. That, my friend, pissed the shit out of me and I was just trying to give people a taste of what that’s like when it’s reversed. Just being an asshole as usual. But that’s not the main reason why I wrote it.
The second reason- or goal- was to provoke a reaction out of my readers, especially the Palestinians amongst them. I fully expected the Palestinians who read this blog to take an issue with me on this post, since- as we all know- the movie doesn’t really support suicide-bombing. You see, part of the sandmonkey experiences is provoking people; to put them on the defensive and to get them to explain themselves and what they stand for. Writing this post in such a way will force every Palestinian out there that reads it to mention the positive message of the movie, decry suicide-bombing and the stereotyping of arabs. I did it fully realizing that not everyone will think this way, and some might even cuss me for it, but that’s ok, because it wasn’t really about me this time. Not really. Think about it Tomanbay, who reads my comments section? Don’t people always call my commenters “right-wing nutjobs”? Well, what will those “right-wing nutjobs” read in such a comments section then, other than Palestinians decrying suicide-bombing and violence, and criticizing stereotyping and ignorance? Can you imagine the effect of that? Do you think that’s the view they usually get of palestinains, thanks to the asshole elements of the likes of Hamas? Of Course not. And it was working too. It was starting a dialogue until you wrote your piece and changed the debate from the movie and the image of palestinains to the "Sandmonkey is a bad extremist” love-fest you had on there, which of course ruined the whole thing. Oh well. Such is life.
But besides what I intended to do, let me make something clear: I do have an issue with that movie, especially after what I heard of it, for the reason everyone states in its defense: It doesn’t condemn or condone suicide-bombing and that it leaves the viewer free to make their own conclusions. For me, in the times we are living in, and with the debates being the way they are, and with the deadly trifecta elements of ignorance, poverty and oppression feeding the fire of extremism in Islamic youth, I am not sure leaving them to make their own conclusion, after what I am assuming to be an emotionally charged movie, to be a very wise thing. I mean, doesn’t it disturb you that every movie we have on the topic glorifies the act of suicide bombing as a heroic form of self sacrifice and never the opposite? I mean, most of our people will go to such a movie with their schooling and their films telling them that blowing themselves up in order to kill your enemy is ok, so, like, what kind of a conclusion do you think they will come out with? I mean, would it be bad for once to show a movie that says, that maybe, just maybe, that suicide-bombing is wrong and that it kills innocent people? Would it have killed the director to make that the message of the movie instead of being neutral on the subject? Is that really too much to ask?
I mean, I get it that it shows that innocent people will die (the scene with the little girl on the bus in the end and all) and therefore the suicide-bombing is bad, but that’s for people who will think about the movie and its message later on, and I don’t know if a lot of people-from our side of the fence at least- will do that. I mean, after all that’s been happening lately, I am starting to doubt that our people think at all with their brains, and instead just follow their emotions. I don’t think I need to explain to you how dangerous that is; I mean, anyone who has been watching the news lately can see that for themselves.
And then you have the idiots, like this lady that left this comment on your blog:
Thank you for this post. It was right on! I can't believe SM had the audacity to attack Pradise Now without watching it and REFUSING the simple idea of humanizing the suicide bomber. Suicide bombers are not animals they are, surprise, surprise, humans! Yes! You have no idea what it takes to be willing to end your life like that.
Ok, I will say it slowly and hopefully you will get it: I don’t think suicde-bombers are animals Sonia, because I respect animals. I think suicde-bombers are monsters. I think they are mass-murdering idiots and don’t deserve an ounce of sympathy from me. I don’t know why that is: Maybe it’s because I was at the Hotel in Ras Shaitan in october of 2004 when one of them blew himself up not 400 meters away from where I was, and I saw the dead bodies, blood and carnage he committed in his efforts to kill - get this-tourists. Not Israeli army officers, not the evil American occupiers of Iraq, but rather your simple innocent by-standing tourists, who I am sure had it coming because, ehh, why is that again? Can you tell me? I would like to know.
You see my friend, that’s why I think they are monsters. It’s because I know they don't give a damn or care or differentiate between their victims. Those are the kinds of people who blow up school children buses, slaughtering 32 children, to kill one
Hope I made myself clear on that front, and now back to you Tomanbay, and your criticisms of me. The first one, the port deals one, is stupid, because if you read the IMAO parody, you would understand that it was making fun of the people who were against the deal. It was logically refuting every argument people were raising against the UAE taking over the ports, while making fun of the critics misconceptions of arabs as being “all terrorists who want to kill them all”. In my opinion it did it brilliantly, which is why I was surpised to know that this is when you started “questioning my motives”. I was like, come on Tomanbay, you are smarter than that. You are the guy who would get this.
And then the second point you raise is about my praising of Deeyah and my ridicule of Samy Yusef. First of all, I don’t think the comparison is valid, mainly because I don’t think Deeyah is exploiting Islam as some people claimed she was to gain fame and success. That argument is so stupid that I can't believe some of the people who I know to be smart spouted it. Yes, I am sure she did that, because the teen pop-music listening anti-islamic crowd is so huge and her albums would reach platinum easy, right? Not to mention, she would have the most sold-out concerts, cause I am sure her fans wouldn’t be afraid of some nutbag trying to blow himself up and kill her. And I am sure she just doesn’t care about the death threats she gets, or the fact that she has to surround herself with bodyguards all the time, because she must be making a ton of money from the anti-Islamic feminist pop-music crowd. Yeah. Sure. Are you kidding me? No one, unless a true believer in the cause she is championing, would do what she is doing, because, let’s face it, they don’t want to die, not even for the supposed money she would get out of this (How will she get this money again? Can you tell me?). Exploiting Islam to sell pop-music albums. Yeah, that’s the ticket. That's the untaped market. The Islamic Defamation Foundation (IDF, hehe) must be supporting her as well, and it’s all bankrolled by the Jews who want to destroy Islam. And women in muslim countries aren’t oppressed at all. Yeah, ok!
As for Samy Yusef, hey, I reserve the right to make fun of whomever I want, and let’s face it, anything Islamic these days in our countries is commercially successful and people are noticing it (Check the new Islamic songs of WAMA and Mostafa Kamar if you want an example). So am I saying he is doing it for the money? Who knows? Maybe. I am sure the money doesn’t hurt. And good for him for finding his niche. I ain’t hating on him for that. I just didn’t like that song he made, especially with its hidden messages, and I chose to make fun of that one. I mean, come on, him singing a song for veiled girls explaining to them what they should say about how the veil most of them are pressured and forced to wear makes them feel like? How can I not make fun of that?
And let me be honest with you, I might respect him the day he starts singing against Islamic terrorism or even the subjugation of women, or any of the other real issues and problems we have in our culture. He isn’t. He doesn’t even talk about it and brushes them off, like all of them do, and pretends that the real problem lies in the west not understanding Islamic culture. No man, they do understand it, and they are starting to see the festering problems that we are ignoring. The cracks in our wall. That’s our real problem. Deeyah is addressing that problem, and therefore is not commercially successful and has death threats up the ass, while Samy isn’t at all, and that’s why he is making money. To me the dude is like the singer version of Amr Khaled : He talks about the positives and ignores the problems that need addressing. Fine, it’s his right to do that. It’s my right not to like it.
This brings us to the part where we talk about my extremism. And if you are still reading then you are a champ, so I am not going to disappoint you. I will admit it. I am as extremist in my beliefs as “the radical, extremist, fanatical jihadiys”. In that you are right, but you also got to understand, it’s not by my choice, I am forced to be this way, and I am doing it for YOUR own good. Let me elaborate.
There is an ideological war going on in regards to Islam and in our societies I believe, and the Jihadis are winning. There are 3 reasons why they are winning: 1) The reluctance of the moderates amongst us to admit there are problems that need addressing, thanks to our stupid belief that “we shouldn’t air our dirty laundry”; 2) Because in any debate between the moderates and the extremists, if there is to be a compromise, it will always be in the extremists favor; and 3) Because the extremists, if they face defeat, they will just threaten their ideological enemies, if not issue a takfir Fatwa on them, which will lead to a moron attempting to- if not succeeding in- killing them. And because of those 3 reasons I am the extremist that I am today.
You see, we can’t fix our problems without addressing them, so I therefore make sure to point out the negatives all the time, because I believe that it is our duty to fix them, and that if we do fix them, then no one will be able to criticize or attack us. And that, in the eyes of many, makes me an extremist and a self-hater. Fine, whatever. But someone has to do it, and since very few are stepping up to the plate, I guess it has to be me. And that’s the first reason why I am an extremist.
The second reason I am an extremist is the reaction to reason 2 of why they are winning: The scales aren’t balanced. You see, any consensus achieved between the moderates and the extremists will only mean one thing: they reached a compromise. This would naturally mean that the extremists agreed to move closer to the moderates, but it also means that the moderates have to also move closer to the side of the extremists, and that’s what’s happening now in our societies. And this is not what we want, or what we should strive for. We want the society to remain moderate, but without extremists on the other side to balance the Islamic extremists, the society will always tilt in their favor. What we need are secular extremists who will not give an inch to counter the Islamic extremists in order to balance the society and move everyone more towards the middle. To make it a place where we all can live and co-exist. But we don’t have any Tomanbay, and that’s why the moderates are losing ground. Knowing the stakes, I stepped up, because as always, no one else is willing to do it. I am not enough by a long shot, but I am a start, and hopefully more will join me and will help balancing the scales of our society. That’s why I am an extremist, and why I will not budge on certain issues.
The third and final reason lies in the nature of this ideological war, and how it unfairly favors the islamists, simply because they will not allow themselves to be defeated. You see, they view themselves to be absolutely in the right; the agents of God on earth so to speak. So any dialogue with them will not be fair, because in their minds they are the right muslims and their oppositions are the ones who are misguided and who have to prove themselves. Not to mention, if you manage to beat them in a debate- which is easy- they will not just concede defeat and accept your points. They will view you as a threat to “God’s will” and subsequently they will view it as their duty to get rid of your infidel Kafir Islam-hating ass. This is why people are afraid of debating them or attacking them; they fear for their lives and they don’t want to get killed. I say screw that. I say fuck them. I say if they have no problems killing those who oppose them or their ideology (i.e. Us), then we have every right in the world to kill them back. Hell, it would be self-defense. And that’s why I am an extremist; because I would rather kill those who have no problem killing or threatening people (i.e. YOU) who don’t conform to their views. I value my and your life over those who preach death, and since I want to live and want you to live, I have no problem with the death preachers dying. I say let’s see how this debate will go when their Death Fatwa heads start getting killed back. I say until they stop and abandon the method of killing those who oppose them, we shouldn’t have any moral qualms at all about killing them as well. It’s self-evident, yet hard to swallow, and probably too Manichean to the average person, but someone has to do it for all of our sake. I get that, and that’s why I am an extremist.
Now, do you think I like it? Do you think I like being this extremist? Do you think any of the people, who suddenly found themselves part of this war and reacted the same way I did, like this stupid "Clash of Civilizations" either? Man, I am 25. I come from a well-off family, I have a sweet job with a big pay and lots of friends. I could be enjoying life like the rest of the useless idiots in my social class, talking about who got engaged to who, whose driving what car and who got photographed in what socialite magazine. But the world is going to shit Tomanbay, and very few people are doing something about it, and I can’t just stand still and watch it slide to oblivion. I can’t do that. I do what I do because it needs to be done. I am what I am because someone has to be. This is not fun, man. But I can’t just not do something. I have to do what I do, because I am compelled to do it, and no one else will take the job.
This is why I will talk about the rights of Christians in
I am not going to be bitter about it Tomanbay, or even get angry over it, because, honestly, I am so used to this reaction that I have come to expect it by now. Not to mention, I made that choice to fight this battle, and as weary as I am, I won’t quit before I am 100% sure that it’s a lost battle, regardless of criticisms and attacks. For the simple reason that someone has to do it, and nobody else will. Because I value my life and yours, and the freedoms that we are all entitled to. That’s why I am called an extremist. And if that’s what an extremist is, then I am proud to be one.Sandmonkey out! PS: If you managed to read the whole thing, then you rock, and you should leave a comment so I can know who you are!