Why this site?

Here at What if they were Muslim we question what would happen if a Jewish, Christian, Hindu, ______(insert religion of choice) were to commit a crime in the name of their faith. Would it be treated the same way if a Muslim committed the exact same crime? Would very little emphasis be put on the perpetrators religion? Would it be stressed that the act is an aberration, a misrepresentation of the religion? Would the religion be mentioned at all?

Another Tid-Bit...

WITWM is not a site that opines on the “what if” scenario of your favorite Hollywood star being a Muslim. It has nothing to do with Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp, etc. It has everything to do with the double standards in both media and pop culture that perpetuate the myth that Islam is inherently more violent than other religions or the root cause of misdeeds by Muslims.

Archive: Jewish

Racist Slurs Scrawled in Arab Jerusalem Area

In a January 'price tag' attack on a West Bank mosque, the Hebrew graffiti read 'Blood for blood, Qusra' [AP]

In a January ‘price tag’ attack on a West Bank mosque, the Hebrew graffiti read ‘Blood for blood, Qusra’ [AP]

Racist slurs scrawled in Arab Jerusalem area

Israeli police have said that vandals have slashed car tyres and sprayed a bus with hate graffiti in a predominantly Arab neighbourhood in Jerusalem, the latest in a series of similar incidents.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said 34 cars were found damaged early on Monday in Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem.

She said one bus had “non-Jews in Israel = enemies” scrawled on it in Hebrew.

Samri said police were investigating the incident and searching for suspects.

Local residents told AFP news agency that security cameras at the site showed a group of men committed the crime, which bore the hallmarks of a “price tag” attack, a euphemism for hate crimes that generally target Palestinians.

Initially carried out against Palestinians in retaliation to state moves to dismantle unauthorised settler outposts, the attacks have since become a much broader phenomenon, with racist and xenophobic overtones.

Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted in the assaults, which have been widely condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.

In June, 21 cars were vandalised in a similar attack in Beit Hanina not far from Monday’s attack. Last month, the tyres of 31 cars were slashed in a Palestinian neighbourhood in the southern sector of East Jerusalem.

Hindu group gloats over Dabholkar’s killing

Members of Rajya Sabha cutting across partylines on Thursday moved for a House resolution condemning the killing of Rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. A file photo.

Hindu group gloats over Dabholkar’s killing

Mumbai/Pune: Right wing Hindu organisation Sanatan Sanstha Wednesday appeared to gloat over the killing of social reformer and anti-superstitions crusader Narendra Dabholkar in Pune.

In a front-page statement in its daily mouthpiece “Sanatan Prabhat”, Sanatan Sanstha leader Jayant Athavale said births and deaths are pre-destined and everybody gets the fruit of their karma.

“Instead of dying bedridden through illness, or after some surgery, such a death for Dabholkar is a blessing of the almighty,” Athavale said in the statement.

Dabholkar was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants on Tuesday at 7.30 a.m. near Omkareshwar Temple in pune while he was on his morning walk.

A day after the Sanatan Sanstha expressed regrets over the killing and distanced itself from the crime, Athavale said “though Dabholkar was an atheist and did not believe in god, the same god would give solace to the departed soul”.

Taking umbrage at the statement, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) demanded that the state government should ban the Sanatan Sanstha.

Maharashtra NCP working president Jitendra Awhad said such statements for a social reformer like Dabholkar were “unacceptable” and the “fanatical organisation should be banned immediately”.

However, a spokesman for the Hindu right-wing organisation denied that it had anything to do with Dabholkar’s killing.

“We are also equally shocked by his killing. We have nothing to do with it,” Sanatan Sanstha member Abhay Vartak said.

“We had differences of ideology with him… nothing on a personal level and he was doing commendable work,” Vartak said.

He also defended Athavale editorial by claiming that “not a single word” in it was offensive in any manner.

Vartak appealed to the media not to make “a scapegoat” of Sanatan Sanstha.

Israeli Woman Sprays Racist Graffiti After Sister Converts to Islam

Suspicion: Sprays racist graffiti after sister converts to Islam

Police arrested 25-year-old woman from Jerusalem Wednesday in suspicion of attacking an Arab man following a dispute that erupted between them.

Police reported that during her investigation, the woman confessed to spraying racist graffiti against Arabs in Jerusalem after her sister decided to convert to Islam. She will be brought to remand hearing in Jerusalem’s Magistrate’s Court Thursday morning. (Noam Dvir)

Yitzhak Pundak: 100 Year Old Israeli General “Proud” of his Role in Nakba, Razing Villages

Yitzhak Pundak: 100 Year Old Israeli General “Proud” of his Role in Nakba, Razing Villages

From the “most moral army in the world”: Mr. Pundak believes it wasn’t “unnecessarily cruel” to raze Palestinian villages but he drew the line with Ariel Sharon on “killing enemy fighters” in exchange for “a glass of champagne.” (h/t: Awda)

War crimes anyone?

100-Year-Old General: We Razed Arab Villages, So What?

Brig. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Pundak is celebrating his hundredth birthday. Pundak was the commander of the 53rd Battalion of the Givati Brigade in the War of Independence and went on to supervise the establishment of the Armored Corps. He was also Ambassador in Tanzania and a founder of Arad.

In an interview on IDF Radio, Pundak confirmed that forces under his command razed Arab villages in 1948. “My conscience is at ease with that, because if we hadn’t done so, then there would be no state by now. There would be a million more Arabs,” he said.

Asked why he still finds it so important to lecture to soldiers, at his advanced age, he explained: “Just like in 1948, the country is in a state of danger – and if the Jews do not fight as we did in the War of Independence, the state is in danger.” He predicted that if a war breaks out again, Jews will be capable of the same kind of self-sacrifice as in 1948.

“When there is a war, people unite,” he explained. “Afterward, they form parties and become divided.”

He spoke with pain of the 145 soldiers who were killed under his command over the years, and said that if they woke up miraculously and saw the divided country of today, “they would run back to their graves.”

And yet, when asked if he feels proud of his country, he said that his pride runs “as high as the rooftop.”

Pundak, who was the governor of Gaza in the early 1970s, said that the credit that is usually given to Ariel Sharon for stopping Arab terror in Gaza in 1971 is mistaken. He said that Sharon was an unnecessarily cruel commander who once said at a meeting with officers that he would offer champagne to whoever killed an enemy fighter – and whoever brings him a wounded enemy “will drink soda.”

He said: “I told him, ‘You are not my commander, I am not coming to your meetings.’”

Settlers burn cars, spray graffiti across West Bank

Settlers burn cars, spray graffiti across West Bank

JENIN (Ma’an) — Settlers torched at least nine Palestinian vehicles and vandalized property in the occupied West Bank overnight Tuesday, locals said.

In the Jericho village of Az-Zubeidat, four cars and a tractor were found burnt by villagers, locals said. Local NGO coordinator Hamza Zbeidat told Ma’an that settlers raided the village at around 3 a.m. and poured gasoline on the vehicles before setting them alight.

Four vehicles were also set on fire in the nearby village of Marj Naja and settlers sprayed ‘price-tag’ graffiti reading “For the anniversary of Evitar” and “Regards from Evitar” in both villages, referring to a settler stabbed to death in Nablus one month ago.

B’Tselem also reported that two cars were set on fire in Rantis, west of Ramallah, and graffiti was found in the area. Israeli police confirmed the reports, according to Israeli news site Ynet.

The tires of three Palestinian vehicles were slashed in Shufat refugee camp in East Jerusalem and four cars were vandalized in Sheikh Jarrah.

Muhammad Abu Taa from Shufat told Ma’an that a security camera in the neighborhood filmed four settlers attacking the vehicles. Graffiti reading “Evitar’s revenge” was also found nearby.

Taa said that residents told Israeli police about the attacks, but they did nothing to help.

Israeli military sources told Ma’an that five burnt vehicles were found in Az-Zubeidat and four in Marj Naja.

An Israeli army spokesman said incidences of “vandalism and graffiti’ were being reviewed.

Settlers routinely attack Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank with impunity. Annual figures compiled by Israeli rights group Yesh Din have repeatedly shown that nine out of 10 police investigations about settler crimes fail to lead to a prosecution.

Right-wing activists try to crash Jewish-Muslim wedding

(h/t: D. F.)

Right-wing activists try to crash Jewish-Muslim wedding

Police on Thursday prevented a bus with some 50 right-wing activists from entering the wedding of a Jewish woman and a Muslim man.

The woman had converted to Islam before the wedding, which was held in the groom’s hometown of Araba in the Galilee.

Former MK Michael Ben Ari posted his sentiments about the marriage on Facebook hours before the incident. “I’m on my way to this ‘celebration,’ ” he wrote. ”What would Golda Meir think of it? In the Diaspora we had intermarriages, and here?”

Residents of the village confronted the bus and demanded that it not enter the village, Ynet reported. Police called to the scene redirected the activists away from the wedding.

PA: Settlers exhume graves, spray racist graffiti

PA: Settlers exhume graves, spray racist graffiti

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Monday exhumed a number of graves and sprayed racist graffiti in the Sawiya village in Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who heads the PA settlement activity file, said settlers from the Alia settlement were responsible for the damage.

He added that a plant nursery and two tractors, belonging to local Abdel Azziz Nasserallah, were also damaged in the attack.

The attack follows clashes on Saturday in the Burin village in Nablus, when dozens of settlers marched into the village.

One villager in Burin was slightly hurt in the hand by a stone and another passed out from tear gas fired by Israeli troops trying to separate the two groups, an AFP journalist said.

The military said that Israeli soldiers also fired rubber-coated bullets, lightly wounding a Palestinian who was given first aid on the spot.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP that about 50 settlers and 20 Palestinians were involved in the confrontation.

The settlers came from Yizhar, a notorious settlement known for being home to Jewish extremists.

Yitzhar settlers also clashed with Palestinians in another neighboring village, Urif, but no injuries were reported, AFP reported at the time.

Tensions have been high in the northern West Bank following a stabbing attack which killed a settler from Yizhar on April 30.

Settlers started over 50 fires across the West Bank following the stabbing, and attacked a mosque and burned tires at junctions in Nablus.

Israeli forces rarely prosecute settlers for violence against Palestinians and their property, which is routine in the occupied West Bank.

Setters uproot 150 trees near Nablus

Settler terrorists strike again in their daily assault against the indigenous Palestinian population.

Setters uproot 150 trees near Nablus

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Tuesday uprooted over 150 trees belonging to Palestinians south of Nablus, a local official said.

Settler monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas told Ma’an that several settlers attacked Sbeih mountain area between Beita and Yatma villages and destroyed over 150 olive and fig trees.

Real News: Israel’s New Generation of Racists

Real News: Israel’s New Generation of Racists

Real News reports on the dramatic rise in racist attacks and discrimination in Israel over the past few years, especially amongst the youth.

You will note that some of the most vitriolic rhetoric comes from fundamentalists and settlers but it is not limited to them, highlighting a systemic and structural problem in Israel. (h/t: Fred A.)

IDF Chief Rabbi Endorses Book that Says Non-Jews Do Not Have Equal Rights in Israel

IDF Rabbinate shows non-Jews the door in mezuzah book ruling

(via. Haaretz)

A book endorsed last year by the Israel Defense Forces Rabbinate says the presence of non-Jews is no reason for an army base not to affix mezuzahs to its buildings.

One ruling on Jewish law in the book, “Laws of the Mezuzah,” states: “The idea that views non-Jews as having equal rights in the state goes against the opinion of the Torah, and no representative of the state is authorized to act against the will of the Torah.”  

The book deals with questions about mezuzahs, which are fixed to doorposts by Jews as a sign of faith, on army bases, and was endorsed by the IDF’s chief rabbi, Brig. Gen. Rabbi Rafi Peretz.

One issue it discusses is whether or not mezuzahs need be installed in army bases, because rulings have been issued over the generations that in buildings where both Jews and Gentiles live, there is no obligation to put up a mezuzah, and in light of the fact that both Jews and non-Jews live on IDF bases.

The issue, according to the authors, is whether state property can be said to be a kind of a cooperative. In the latter case, “Even if we say state property is like a cooperative, since the public in general is Jewish, and in any case, as long as non-Jews have not purchased a part of the assets, they have no right to the state property.”

The authors cite biblical verses whose message is that, if a mezuzah is in a Gentile’s possession, there is the fear that “it will be desecrated.”  The question thus arises: What should be done on military bases? The authors state, “As the owner, the military establishment must see to it that mezuzahs are installed in all dormitory rooms, including those where Gentile soldiers live.

Nevertheless, in places where there is the danger that the mezuzahs might be desecrated, the unit’s rabbi must see to it that the unit’s commanders sign the required form signifying that they are personally responsible for the mezuzahs so that they can be placed on trial should there be a need for doing so and so that the danger of the mezuzahs’ desecration can be prevented.”

The authors also address another issue: What is to be done with the mezuzahs on the buildings in a military base when a battalion of Gentile soldiers arrives to assume operational responsibility for the area?  Their response: “If mezuzahs have been installed on a structure that has been transferred to the jurisdiction of Gentile officers, the rabbi’s unit must brief the soldiers on their arrival in the area regarding the importance of keeping the mezuzahs intact and must see to it that the unit’s commanders sign the required form signifying that they are personally responsible for the mezuzahs so that they can be placed on trial should there be a need for doing so.”

The chief editor of the book, which was published 14 months ago, is Col. Rabbi Eyal Karim, formerly of the Sayeret Matkal ‏(the general staff’s elite special-operations force‏).

The book was written by three other rabbis, Capt. Alexander Rones, Capt. Dov Berkovich and Capt. Hananiah Shafran.  The book also deals with the question of affixing a mezuzah to the door post of a dormitory used for female soldiers.  “Must a mezuzah be installed in a dormitory where female soldiers live and can a senior female officer affix a mezuzah when a new building is officially opened on a military base?” it asks.

The book’s authors rule that is that the commandment regarding mezuzahs applies to females as well as males and that most rabbinical authorities have ruled that a woman is permitted to install a mezuzah. However, the authors point out, since IDF bases constitute a public area, “it would be preferable to be strict on this point” and to prohibit a senior female officer from installing a mezuzah.

The reason, they note, is that, as is it is written in the Book of Psalms, “All glorious is the king’s daughter within the palace” (45:14); thus, they write, “in a public area, it is much more suitable for a male to install the mezuzah.”

In response to a query on the book, the IDF spokesman’s office said: “The book ‘Laws of the Mezuzah’ is a clearly a book on Jewish law dealing with questions that are part of the daily reality in the army. Although the quotes presented are in response to specific questions, the answers cannot be viewed as relating to a specific group; the answer given is true for any unit in which there is concern the mezuzah will be disrespected.


Ex-IDF Chief Rabbi Who Put Together Book Saying It Was OK to Kill Gentiles in War Without Regard to Age Says Recently IDF Publishing of Jewish Discriminatory Law Was Mistake