Wednesday, June 06, 2007


anyway nearer to home is the case of a professor Dr. Shiraz Dossa from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish Nova Scotia ( CANADA ) who has been accused of being a Holocaust denier because he took part in an academic conference in the middle East on Israel & the Holocaust - he was invited because he has done extensive research on the Holocaust which he does not question & accepts its historical validity but he has also studied the holocaust as a tool of Propaganda as it he believes it is misused by Israel & the West in general to silence any who dare to critique the policies of Israel - again he does not question the legitimacy of the existence of the state of Israel but rather its policies & its use of the Holocaust as a justification for policies which violates the rights of some Israeli citizens esp Arab & Muslim & Israel's attitude towards Palestine & the occupied territories & other Arab & Islamic countries -

Unfortunately most of the Media in Canada is not interested in this sort of distinction & so prefers inflammatory headlines like " Muslim professor attends controversial Conference where Holocaust Deniers were given a platform from which to speak "

for example see CBC television item at its website - Note it begins by characterizing professor Dr. Shiraz Dossa as " A Muslim professor " which of course creates the impression that just by being Muslim he is suspect & cannot be believed in his explanation - do they refer to other professors as Christian or Jewish or Catholic or Protestant - I would argue that the term " Muslim " has become a pejorative term with negative conotations -

Prof defends participation at controversial Tehran conference

Monday, May 28, 2007 CBC News

A Muslim professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia has denounced the university and the media that earlier denounced him for attending a conference in Iran allegedly about Holocaust denial.

Prof. Shiraz Dossa delivered a paper at the conference in Tehran last December that was widely criticized for being a forum for Holocaust denial.

But in a rebuttal published in the Literary Review of Canada on Monday, Dossa rejected the accusation that the meeting was about Holocaust denial, and that it was organized by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He criticized St. FX president Sean Riley, who said at the time that Dossa's attendance at the conference caused "shock and regret" at the university.

He also criticized university colleagues and officials, and some media reports.

Dossa said the university engaged in "a small Spanish Inquisition of its own" in attacking him, and comments by university officials raise issues about academic freedom.

He said the attacks were based on two false premises:

* That Iranian President Ahmadinejad had dismissed the Holocaust as a "myth" and threatened to "wipe Israel off the map."
* That the conference was about Holocaust denial.

Dossa said Ahmadinejad was mistranslated when speeches in Farsi were rendered as denying the Holocaust and calling for an attack on Israel.

Ahmadinejad actually said "the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time," Dossa said. That is "a spiritual wish," not a call for an attack on Israel, as the erroneous translation is.

"There is a huge chasm between the correct and the incorrect translations," he said.

He also said the conference was called "to devise an intellectual/political response to western-Israeli intervention in Muslim affairs," and was not about Holocaust denial.

There were six Holocaust deniers who gave papers at the meeting, out of a total of 33 reports, but "none of us knew that a few deniers/skeptics would be in attendance," he said.

As for his personal position, "I have never denied the Holocaust, only noted its propaganda power," Dossa said. He described himself as "an outspoken critic of Israel’s brutality in occupied Palestine."

In an introduction to Dossa's report, Literary Review editor Bronwyn Drainie said the magazine had undertaken "rigorous fact-checking that went on for a number of weeks" before publishing the report.

Dossa's report "seemed to us a serious exploration of the right of academic freedom in Canada and who gets to exercise that right," she said.

and from the Literary Review of Canada " The Explanation We Never Heard "
(Volume 15, Number 5, June 2007) by Shiraz Dossa

It would be a shocking event in any university. It was doubly so in a university that takes pride in its “Catholic character.” Last December, St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, authorized a small Spanish Inquisition of its own to denounce a St. FX Muslim professor. It was launched by two Jewish professors and the Christian chair of the political science department (Michael Steinitz, Samuel Kalman and Yvon Grenier). My sin: I attended a conference in a Muslim nation on the Holocaust entitled The Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision. It took place in Tehran, Iran, in December 2006, and it was widely—and erroneously—described in the western media as a “Holocaust-denial conference.”

I have never denied the Holocaust, only noted its propaganda power. Yet my university tolerated this assault on me. I was stunned by the university’s illiteracy and bias. I was appalled by President Sean Riley’s attack on my reputation and his spurious comments on the conference. In his December 13, 2006, statement he insinuated that the “conference” was bogus and that it revealed a “deplorable anti-Semitism” that the “St. FX community” found “deeply abhorrent” and contrary to its “traditions.” Riley left little doubt that I was guilty of sullying my school’s reputation. St. FX in effect sanctioned a crusade against a Muslim Holocaust scholar, who also happens to be an outspoken critic of Israel’s brutality in occupied Palestine.

And he goes on to make several crucial points :

Ahmadinejad was quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini in the specific speech under discussion: what he said was that “the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time.”2 No state action is envisaged in this lament; it denotes a spiritual wish, whereas the erroneous translation—“wipe Israel off the map”—suggests a military threat. There is a huge chasm between the correct and the incorrect translations. The notion that Iran can “wipe out” U.S.-backed, nuclear-armed Israel is ludicrous.

What Ahmadinejad has questioned is the mythologizing, the sacralization, of the Holocaust and the “Zionist regime’s” continued killing of Palestinians and Muslims. He has even raised doubts about the scale of the Holocaust. His rhetoric has been excessive and provocative. And he does not really care what we in the West think about Iran or Muslims; he does not kowtow to western or Israeli diktat. Such questioning and criticism are not new: Jewish scholars such as Adi Ophir, Ilan Pappe, Boas Evron, Tom Segev and Uri Davis have been doing it for two decades. None of this is Holocaust denial.

The second western fallacy is that the event was a Holocaust-denial conference because of the presence of a few notorious western Christian deniers/skeptics, a couple of a neo-Nazi stripe. It was nothing of the sort. It was a Global South conference convened to devise an intellectual/political response to western-Israeli intervention in Muslim affairs. Holocaust deniers/skeptics were a fringe, a marginal few at the conference. The majority of the papers focused on the use and abuse of the Holocaust in Arab, Muslim, Israeli and western politics, a serious and worthy subject for international academic discussion.

But can Dr. Shiraz Dossa be exonerated if what he claims is true- very difficult to say in these troubling times controlled by the Fear Mongers who see all of Islam characterized as " Islamo-Fascism " - the prejudice against Islam now permeates our society - and once someone is accused of being Anti-Semitic it becomes nearly impossible to be cleared of the accusation & all attempts to disprove the charge is seen as just more proof in this topsy-turvy paranoid climate - like those charged with Heresy in the middle ages or those accused of being Communists or Communists sympathizers in the McCarthy & House on UnAmerican Activities Committee ( HUAC) era from 1938-1968 -

Besides if he is exonerated at a later date it may not be National news worthy & so would go unnoticed -It is much more thrilling & exciting to believe the Enemy is Among Us lying in wait with their myriad of non-existent Sleeper Cells - & our government with its clique of Neocon Fear-Mongers is going to play on the peoples fears, paranoia, prejudices , racism & nativism and so it goes...

Also of interest to show how discussions about Islam & Muslims has deteriorated into just plain " Hate Speech" for example the blog Islamic Evil which divides its subject into these categories which are rather inflammatory :

# Islamic Terrorism
# Muslim "Honor" Killings
# Muslim Intolerance
# Muslim Oppression of Women
# Muslim Persecution of Hindus
# Muslim Rape
# Muslim Sexual Perversion
# Muslim Slavery
# Muslims Versus Christians
# Planet of the Arabs
# Prophet of Evil

Note for instance " planet of the Arabs" as in the movie " Planet of the Apes " so are we to equate apes to Arabs what sort of vile racism is this?
or Prophet of Evil so the Prophet Muhammad wasn't just possibly mistaken but was Evil & therefore could be characterized as Demonic & possibly The Anti-Christ Himself - which brings us to Christian Apocalyptic view of History -

In " Muslims versus Christians " the writer begins with a statement about Jesus giving away his real agenda to promote Christianity & defeat Islam as this for him is a continuation of The Crusades :

Hmmm! No criminal record. Murdered for exercising his right of free speech. More interested in saving sinners than in killing them. Never owned or raped a slave girl. Never assassinated a critic. Preached love instead of hate. My kind of prophet!

All of what is now the Westernmost part of the Muslim world was once Christian. That includes modern day Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey. Christianity was adopted as the generally accepted religion in Assyria in 23 A.D. more than 500 years before Muslim conquest. Arabic was the native language of none of these countries. In spite of more than 1,000 years of Muslim oppression Christian communities still exist in these lands. They include the Coptic Christians of Egypt, the Maronite Christians of Lebanon and the Chaldean and Assyrian Christians of Iraq. Their story for the last millennium has been one of suffering and abuse at the hands of Muslims.

The writer is claiming that all of these lands by right belong to Christendom & were stolen by Islamic expansionism- so these upstart Muslims & Arabs should be kicked out of these lands - I'm sure the Radical Religious Right would agree & it seems their once radical views are becoming those of the mainstream media & more & more so-called liberals are becoming themselves bit by bit influenced & radicalized by these hate-filled unfounded diatribes against Islam & the Prophet Muhammad -

And from CAGE: Canada: Anti-Semitic prof defends participation at Holocaust denial conference

one of the writers dolphin says:

After being condemned by both the media and his university colleagues (now, that's surprising!), a jew-hating Muslim professor at Nova Scotia's St. Francis Xavier University, Shiraz Dossa has the audacity to lash out against both, invoking the trademark Islamofascist self-victimization and comparing them to the Spanish Inquisition (he himself, we are led to conclude, is a martyr). Now he desperately tries to wrangle his way out of this apparently unexpected backlash, recycling the old lie about Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitic remarks being 'mistranslated' and even managing to both claim he's not a Holocaust denier and show himself an anti-Semite in one sentence.

and Dolpin goes on to deconstruct Dr. Shiraz Dossa's arguments as in this questionable anaysis of one of Dossa statements:

He ( Shiraz Dossa) also said the conference was called "to devise an intellectual/political response to western-Israeli intervention in Muslim affairs," and was not about Holocaust denial. (translation: to devise new ways of throwing the Jews into the sea -dolph.)---

----I wonder how he gets throwing Jews into the sea from the above statement - don't Arabs & Muslims have the right to question the role of the West & Israel in their affairs- but the assumption is that the West has the right to interfere & conquer all of the Middle East since we are superiour to them & we have God on our side I guess & they Muslims & Arabs by their very nature are barbaric & evil - & their reactions have nothing to do with Western Imperialism in the Mideast during the last century or more by the British , the French , the Germans etc. -GORD

All of this is rather contentious & there are a number of Arabic scholars who would argue that this was in fact a mistranslation of what Ahmadinejad's statement about Israel but again for anyone including Dr. Shiraz Dossa to defend Arabs or Palestinians & criticize Israel is just not to be tolerated as we move into this " New Dark Age " & as for referring to himself as a martyr he was merely drawing attention to the notion of an Inquisiton in which all ideas which do not conform to the prevalent dogma of our time is therefore Heresy ...

The writers at CAGE claim or infer that the Clash of Civilizations between Islam & the West ( read Judeo-Christian / European ) has never really ended & that the Crusades must be re-started to defeat these " barbaric forces" which of course negates all that we in the west benefited from the Islamic Civilization in the various disciplines of philosophy, science astronomy , biology , medicine, mathematics, algebra, architecture , the arts, our alphabet etc. But even to make such claims about the benefits of Islamic Civilization these day is considered Heretical & revisionist- or just not fashionable

It also appears that both of these sites like Neocon Evangelical Fundamentalists spokespersons make the startling claim that Christianity was never involved in oppressing other religious groups or even other Non-Europeans or that Christians were involve in a number of bloody sectarian conflicts such as the killing of Heretics in the early church up to the inquisition along mass murdering Jews , Pagans & Muslims , Hindus & Buddhist besides all those peoples who inhabited Africa & the Americas but no that didn't really happen - it was all made up by those evil Atheistic Secular Humanists -


We are a group of students that have decided to organize against rapidly growing global extremism, primarily in Islam. While extremism is mostly seen as affiliated with Islam, it is not limited to this group, and it does not represent the entire Muslim world. Our ultimate goal is to promote awareness about abuses in radical Islam, and the intolerance that it irradiates all over the world, while at the same time asking that other people be tolerant.
02 For the last 500 years many people have died in their struggle for freedom and justice. The struggles against fascism and racism have culminated in some of the most horrific wars humanity has seen. After the end of the WWII, a sense of peace and prosperity lay over the developed countries. But this was a false sense.
03 Blinded by blasé, prosperity and liberal utopia, free nations have let the snake come too close. Although radical Islam is already established in the free world and has many supporters, mostly immigrants from Muslim countries, we believe that it is not yet too late to organize against it. We believe radical Islam to be equivalent to fascism and racism. Ironically, radical Islam has found allies among the liberal societies of the free world. The liberal governments have called for tolerance and understanding but this has led to the alienation of their Muslim communities, by emphasizing their differences from the general populations. The assumption that they will be able to integrate turned out to be absolutely wrong. There isn't even such word as "secular" in radical Islam's dictionary. Writers such as Irshad Manji - who is herself a Muslim--have been heavily criticized by radical Muslims for speaking out against such things as intolerance, terrorism, and treatment of women in Islam.

Here are some recent articles to consider:

Defending Israel from Democracy
By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
The second Palestinian intifada has been crushed. The 700km wall is sealing the occupied population of the West Bank into a series of prisons. The "demographic timebomb" -- the fear that Palestinians, through higher birth rates, will soon outnumber Jews in the Holy Land and that Israel's continuing rule over them risks being compared to apartheid -- has been safely defused through the disengagment from Gaza and its 1.4 million inhabitants.
Defending Israel From Democracy

Palestinians protest occupation on 67 war anniversary:
Palestinians and peace activists rallied on Tuesday against four decades of Israeli occupation on the anniversary of the 1967 war that reshaped the Middle East in just six days.
Palestinians Protest

John Pilger: "Palestine is Still the Issue" :
Why Has This Documentary, Never Been Broadcast On U.S. Media ?:
Palestinians - forced off their land and later subjected to a military occupation by Israel. An occupation condemned by the United Nations and almost every country in the world, including Britain.
Palestine is Still the Issue

also check out these books for in-depth discussions of Israeli-Palestinian relations:

Palestine : peace not apartheid
Carter, Jimmy, pub.2006

Beyond chutzpah : on the misuse of anti-semitism and the abuse of history
Finkelstein, Norman G. pub. 2005

How Israel lost : the four questions
Cramer, Richard Ben. pub. 2004

War without end : Israelis, Palestinians, and the struggle for a promised land
La Guardia, Anton. pub. 2002

Take care,

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