The paintings and art of the Orientalists, including photography, fostered tourism and a fascination with the Orient that shaped and reinforced the Western image of the Orient that is subjectively under the sway of still existing colonial motivations, religious intolerance and racism. And to think Europe was a hillbilly backwoods of primitivism when Moorish Spain was at its peak. There was a fundamental break that has never been healed.
Part of the reflection is a dream world, one of idealized fantasy and sensual pleasures, ambiguous morals from the Tales of 1,001 Nights, which see their manifestation an avalanche of representation of drug and harem fantasies. All these possibly reinforced by multicultural policies based on enlightenment principles of scientific rationality which entrenches the racism as the ghosts of H.G. Wells, Galton and Bernard Shaw roam over the cultural landscape. Still, others are fascinated by the emotionality of a forbidding culture, writers like Jean Genet, that had been considered ‘barbaric’ until then.In the globalised economy, the various moral concepts of east and west are still colliding, Christianity vs. Islam, and the West’s original fascination with Arab culture is sadly lacking, and is monolithic in the dialog on burkas and terrorism.There is a history of conflict and projections going back to the Templars and Saladin that is rarely brought to the fore.
…11.03 French Interior Minister Claude Gueant has just given a remarkable description of the gun battle which ended in Mohammed Merah’s death less than half an hour ago. He said the police decided to storm the building after the gunman had threatened to kill police and refused to surrender late last night. Describing the raid itself, he said:
…We sent in special cameras to be able to see where he was but we could not locate him. It was when we were able to locate him in the bathroom that he came out shooting madly at everybody….
The police had never seen anything like this kind of violence and the RAID police had to protect themselves.
Merah jumped out of tthe window and continued to shoot. He was found dead on the ground.Read More:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9157126/Toulouse-siege-live.html
“He regrets nothing. He wishes he had a chance to kill more people – bring France down to its knees” – that is how French Prosecutor Francois Molins described Mohammed Merah, a Muslim Frenchman, who is the prime suspect in several terror attacks in the country.
Merah, a 23-year-old man of Algerian origin, is believed to be the gunman who perpetrated Monday’s terror attack on Ozar Hatorah Jewish School in Toulouse, as well as in the killing of three French paratroopers last week.
efuses to surrender to authorities and his home has been the scene of a dramatic standoff with police since 2 am Wednesday
“He claims to be a jihadist and says he belongs to al-Qaeda,” French Interior Minister Claude Gueant told reporters in Toulouse. “He wanted to avenge the Palestinian children and take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions.”…
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said that Merah’s radical views were known to authorities, and that “he has been under surveillance by French intelligence for a couple of years.”
Merah’s psychological profiling suggested that he has a history of violence and that he has been suffering from mental illness since his youth, Molins added.
Authorities had intelligence suggesting that Merah planned to kill another soldier imminently.
Security forces sieging his Toulouse residence have so far refrained from storming the premises, because they do not have accurate information as to the type and amount of munitions he may have, he said.
The French prosecutor added that Merah had been to Afghanistan twice, and had trained in the Pakistani militant stronghold of Waziristan.
Gueant added: “The main concern is to arrest him, and to arrest him in conditions by which we can present him to judicial officials… We want to “take him alive … It is imperative for us.”
Still, Merah’s friends paint a different portrait of his than Molins. French newspaper Le Figaro quoted several of his friends as saying that Merah was “a gentle person. Everyone loves him.”
“This man, who always strived for a better future, was never perceived as a Jihadist, as someone capable of murdering a child… He was never a violent person,” one friend, who spoke anonymously, told the newspaper.Read More:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4206161,00.html
this is a very contentious quote, but is posted here in juxtaposition to Zizek, to show the variety of position:
Sam Huntington ( see link at end ):It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future….”Somewhere in the Middle East, a half-doszen young men could well be dressed in jeans, listening to rap, and, between their bows to Mecca, putting together a bomb to blow up an American airliner.” Read More:http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/The_Clash_of_Civilizations_and_the_Remaking_of_World_Order
Zizek ( see link at end):The perplexing fact about the “terrorist” attacks is that they do not fit our standard opposition of Evil as egotism, as disregard for the common Good, and Good as the spirit of (and actual readiness for) the sacrifice for some higher Cause: terrorists cannot but appear as something akin to Milton’s Satan with his “Evil, be thou my Good”: while they pursue (what appears to us) evil goals with evil means, the very FORM of their activity meets the highest standard of the Good. The resolution of this enigma is easy, known already to Rousseau: egotism (the concern for one’s well-being) is NOT opposed to common good, since altruistic norms can easily be deduced from egotist concerns.
…As to the “terrorist” fundamentalists’ attacks, the first thing that strikes the eye 1 is the inadequacy of the idea, developed most systematically by Donald Davidson, that human acts are rationally-intentional, accountable in the terms of beliefs and desires of the agent. This approach exemplifies the racist bias of the theories of “rationality”: although their aim is to understand the Other from within, they end up attributing to the Other the most ridiculous beliefs (up to the infamous 400 virgins awaiting the believer in Paradise as the “rational” explanation of why he is ready to blow himself up), i.e., they makes the other ridiculously weird in the very effort of trying to make him “like us.” Read More:http://www.lacan.com/zizfrance1.htm
…Because so many people in France and around the world have been asking what they can do on her behalf, however, Sandler said she has felt compelled to respond.
“My husband’s life was dedicated to teaching Torah,” the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary wrote. “We moved back to the country of his birth to help young people learn about the beauty of Torah.
“He was truly a good man, living, giving and selfless. He was sensitive to all of G-d’s creatures, always searching for ways to reveal the goodness in others. He and I raised Aryeh and Gavriel to live the ways of Torah. Who would have known how short would be their time on this Earth, how short would be the time I would be with them as their mother?”
Sandler went on to express her faith that regardless of the horrific manner in which her husband and the three little children died, she still knows that “the ways of G-d are good, and He will reveal the path and give us the strength to continue.”
To all those who have asked how to bring consolation to the family and contentment to the souls of the departed, therefore, Sandler said, “Let’s continue their lives on this Earth.
“Parents, please kiss your children,” she entreated. “Tell them how much you love them, and how dear it is to your heart that they be living examples of our Torah, imbued with the fear of Heaven and with love of their fellow man.Read More:http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/154075#.T2yJmNVb76M