Daniel Pipes: The Voice of America, Silenced on Radical Islam

Roundup: Historians' Take

[Mr. Pipes is the director of the Middle East Forum. His website address is http://www.danielpipes.org. Click here for his blog.]

For the past year, there's been a concerted push within the U.S. government to ban frank talk about the nature of the Islamist enemy. It began with the Department of Homeland Security, then moved to the National Counter Terrorism Center and the departments of State and Defense. Already in May 2008, I heard an excellent analysis of the enemy by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Thomas Mahnken in which he bizarrely never once mentioned Islam or jihad.

I've been wondering how this change in vocabulary actually occurs: is it a spontaneous mood shift, a group decision, or a directive from on high?

Jennifer Janin, head of the Urdu service at the Voice of America.

The answer just arrived, in the shape of a leaked memo dated March 2 from Jennifer Janin, head of the Urdu service at the Voice of America. The directive can be found in its entirety at"Urdu Language Style & Guidelines #3." Addressed to the Urdu radio, television, and web teams, as well as to the director and program manager of VOA's South Asia Division, her diktat insists on no connection being drawn from Islam to politics. In gist:

Islamic terrorists: DO NOT USE. Instead use simply: terrorist.
Islamic Fundamentalism/ Muslim Fundamentalists: AVOID.
Muslim Extremists
: NOT NECESSARY. Extremist serves well.

Urdu is a dialect of Hindustani written in Arabic script found mainly in Pakistan and India and spoken almost exclusively by Muslims; it is mother tongue to about 70 million people. One can understand why euphemisms appeal in so far as VOA competes for market share with other news outlets and wishes not to insult or alienate Muslims. But VOA is not a commercial station with a bottom line and shareholders.

Voice of America logo.

Founded in 1942 as part of the Office of War Information, it is funded by the American taxpayer and speaks on behalf of the U.S. government. It must not pander to increase its ratings at the expense of its integrity. Urdu-speakers need to know the real American discourse on Islam, not Janin's bowdlerized version.

In her defense, Janin might argue that she is merely picking up on Barack Obama's emphasis on "respect" for Muslims, but there is no public indication that"respect" means pretending that Islam is not a central public issue facing Americans. Indeed, on occasion, Obama has been very clear that it is. A pungent example came one year ago in Philadelphia, on March 18, 2008 when, in the course of a major speech, Obama repudiated as"profoundly distorted" the"view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

"Perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam"? It does not get much stronger than that. One wonders how might Janin's new regimen translate this – probably as the"perverse and hateful ideologies of radical extremism," which is both inaccurate and unworthy of a credible news service.


Spozhmai Maiwandi, director of VOA's South Asia Division.

(1) Janin, sadly, is hardly alone at VOA in coddling radical Islam. For another case, look no further than Spozhmai Maiwandi, copied by name on Janin's memo. Nicknamed"Kandahar Rose," Maiwandi is the director of VOA's South Asia Division and acquired some notoriety for filing pro-Taliban reports and conducting an interview sympathetic to Mullah Omar, the Taliban chief, ten days after 9/11.

(2) This latest directive from VOA fits a pattern of U.S. government-funded programming to the Middle East posing problems. Two earlier cases that come to mind: a 1991 scandal concerning the pro-Saddam tilt of VOA's reports from Baghdad and the 2007 resignation of Larry Register from Al-Hurra television for promoting anti-American and anti-Israeli views. Could someone instruct the Voice of America staff, once and for all, that its mission is not to flatter its audience nor to pursue ratings for their own sake but honestly to convey American mainstream views to the outside world?

(3) And while we're at it, could someone remind VOA employees that there's a lively debate in the United States about radical Islam; for a change, how about VOA covering this rather than smothering it under the Islamist line? In 2006, Meredith Buel of VOA robotically took a Council on American-Islamic Relations press release and rewrote it as a VOA news item; for the gory details, see my weblog entry,"Voice of America – CAIR's Shill." And the DHS document that started the whole euphemizing campaign,"Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims," relied on an unidentified"broad range of Muslim American community leaders and scholars" that has the hallmarks of CAIR & Co. Hey, VOA, repeat after me:"We work for the American people, we are not a subsidiary of CAIR."

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Lorraine Paul - 3/27/2009

There you go again, Edmond. Putting words in my 'mouth'! Where did I 'claim' to speak for anyone other than myself?

A rather strange statement for you to bring to our correspondence, 'the means do not justify the ends'! What are you referring too? However, it is strange that someone of your stamp, Edmond would make such an observation. It has long been known that the 'means' used by the US during the Cold War, and since, seem to bear out that statement. The US was willing to climb into bed with the likes of Ferdinand Marcos, and every other tin-pot dictator this side of the black stump!

The justification seems to be 'communism had to be contained'.

Well, we all know now what an empty threat the USSR presented LOL.

God would weep for everyone, Edmond. That is if she existed, something which I very strongly doubt.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/22/2009

I am really glad, ms lp, that you disclosed your loyalty to the working class. Before I make my point, you should know that I am not now a member of the Christian faith and I never have been. I live in Jerusalem, a holy city to the Jews/Israelites/Israelis/ for three thousand years. I do not and cannot speak for Christians.

Now, to the working class. Do you know who the victims are here in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and elsewhere in Israel when Arab terrorists set off bombs or even utilize themselves as bombs? Why, my dear, most victims belong to the working class. You didn't know that, did you? You couldn't figure out for yourself that the people who ride buses are likely to be working class, that they are more likely to be WOMEN than men, that they are more likely to be poor than rich, that they are more likely to be school kids than men of working age. Therefore, when a bomb goes off in a bus it is likely that the large majority of victims will belong to the working class. You couldn't figure out any of that, could you? Well, LP, I will tell you. You are in sympathy with mass murderers, mass murderers who go after the poor and the workers, the women and the elderly and the school kids. You should look at yourself in the mirror and feel deep shame.

Maybe you don't believe me. In that case, you are well indoctrinated. The Nazi Hitlermadchen were like you. They too were well indoctrinated. They believed the lies about the Jews. They believed that Jews sucked blood and all that. Now, there are new lies about Jews, like the blood libel concerning Muhammad al-Durah, who actually did not die at the time and place claimed by the France2 TV broadcast at the end of September 2000 [he may still be alive].

The Judeophobes of every generation need their own lies about Jews. One of the lies today is that the British Empire set up Israel. In fact, that Empire fought against the Jews, incited Arab states to make war on Israel in 1948, and earlier prevented Jews from finding refuge in the internationally designated Jewish National Home. British officers commanded the Transjordanian Arab Legion, the Arab army that was most successful against Israel [commanded by John Bagot Glubb Pasha].

Further, does Hamas in any way resemble the Nazis? Yes, they resemble the Nazis in their evil libellng of Jews and their desire to murder Jews [see Hamas charter, Article 7]. On the other hand, they are very frank about their intentions to mass murder the Jews [Hamas charter, Article 7]. The Nazis, including Hitler, were never that frank. However, when the chief leader of the Palestinian Arabs came to Berlin during WW2, and after he had urged Hitler to "solve the Jewish problem" of the Jews in the Arab countries, that is, by murdering them, the Germans allowed this leader, Haj Amin el-Husseini, British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, to broadcast to the Arab world in Arabic calling on the Arabs to "kill Jews wherever you find them." The Germans themselves were never so frank. That's a significant moral difference, isn't it, Lorraine? But of course Arabs can get away with.

Lastly, are you aware that the Arab-Muslims oppressed Jews [and Christians] in Arab lands for more than a thousand years? There is abundant documentation about that, Ms LP. I suggest that you could start your research on this issue by reading my article here on hnn entitled "The Myth of Arab Inncocence."

art eckstein - 3/22/2009

If the "moderate" Muslims are so on knife-edge towards Islamicist totalitarianism and violence that the employment of the term "radical Islam" by critics of radical Islam's outrages turns them in that direction--then how "moderate" are they really?

This line of reasoning reminds me of the public threat to the British people given by Dr. Mohammed Bari, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, in 2006: if "demonization" (i.e., criticism) of Islam continues, "then Britain will have to deal with two million Muslim terrorists, 700,000 of them in London."

Think about what is being said here by Dr. Bari about the nature of his community if this is the truth.

Edmond Dantes - 3/20/2009

Your zealotry, Ms. Paul, is no different from those you condemn. You claim to speak for the working class and disadvantaged by supporting violence against others. The means do not always justify the ends. Who did God weep for?

Lorraine Paul - 3/20/2009

Well, Edmond, Islam has certainly given you enough ammunition. Unfortunately, you mis-fire most of it!~

No, Edmond, I am saying that George Bush was convinced that God was on 'his' side!

Of course, if there is such an entity as "God", she was off somewhere crying her eyes out at the stupidity of her creation!

Edmond Dantes - 3/20/2009

You are all over the place Ms. Paul. Are you saying George Bush was trying to Christianize Iraq? Are Western governments seeking mass conversions throughout the globe? I guess this Christian problem was more serious than I thought.

Spreading Christianity was only one component of the British empire. They also sought territory, larger trading networks, commerce, and slaves. Did not a number of Islamic empires spread with the Quran in one hand and the sword in the other? They too sought many of the same things as the British. Christian peoples do not hold a monopoly on bloodshed, Ms. Paul. Trying to vilify one group by ignoring the atrocities of another does not fit that multicultural model you hypocritically propose. As I said before, for someone who hates organized religion, it seems like Islam should give you just as much ammunition as Christianity or Judaism.

Lorraine Paul - 3/19/2009

See my response to Elliot, please, Edmond.

Lorraine Paul - 3/19/2009

Elliot, although your comment was not 'exactly' addressed to me, in fact, it made me almost feel like an eavesdropper, and it is true that they never hear 'good' of themselves, I will still demand the right to a reply!

So you say that the IRA, ETA do not 'justify their acts in the name of Christianity...' or any other religion. True, however, there are other terrorists who do!

George Bush, said that God was on his side when he invaded Iraq!

You, Elliott, are quoting the Quran to me and using a few verses to justify to terrorism put on the Palestinians during the 'clearances' and today in Gaza! God gave the 'Sons of Israel' the 'Holy Land'! Hmmmm! now where is your title deed?

The British Empire saw its duty as bringing Christianity to the 'heathen', of course in one hand they had The Bible, in the other a gun!

Elliott Aron Green - 3/19/2009

Edmund, Ms LP doesn't want to admit that Muslim terrorists commit their horrendous deeds specifically in the name of Islam and refer to Muslim scripture [Qur'an, Hadith, Sirra, Sunna] for justification.

I know that the IRA and the Basque ETA are Catholics [all or almost all] but as far as I know they do not justify their acts in the name of Christianity or the New Testament or the writings of the Church Fathers or the saints. However, if Ms LP can prove to my and Edmund Dantes' satisfaction that they do in fact refer to Catholic teachings and scripture, then --once I have examined the evidence-- I will be glad to correct my views. Meanwhile, I suggest that Ms LP start reading the Qur'an. She ought to start with Sura 9 verse 29 [in the usual numbering; Arberry's numbering is different in his translation], which advocates war against and humiliation of non-believers. While reading the Quran, Ms LP ought to also consult 5:12 and 5:20-22. These verses tell that the Sons of Israel made a covenant with Allah and that Allah granted the Holy Land to the Jews. Start reading now, why don't you?

Edmond Dantes - 3/18/2009

Ms. Paul, I will refer you to my previous statement: "As for Muslim terrorists, as I said before, if fundamentalist Christians start hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings (9-11), gunning down hundreds of school children (Beslan), selectively targeting schools as part of a military strategy (rockets launched into Israel), and detonating bombs attached to mentally disabled women in busy marketplaces (Baghdad, Feb.2008), then I will gladly denounce them with equal fervor."

I do not see the Catholics or the Basques blowing up trains in Madrid, subway tunnels in London, nightclubs in Bali, and schools in Beslan. In fact, look up all the terrorist attacks over the last 10 to 20 years and see how many were committed in the name of Allah. How many were committed in the name of the Christian God? Or Buddha? Or Shiva? How many of the loony Phelps clan have detonated themselves in busy marketplaces?

Lorraine Paul - 3/18/2009

Edmond, there are 'violent factions' all over the world. Some of them practice a form of the Islamic religion.

As an example of labelling, the IRA were not characterised as 'Catholic Terrorists', the Basques are also merely 'terrorist' (being in a Catholic region some of them, or all of them, may be Catholics).

Should all Catholics be lumped with the IRA and Basques?

Accept your prejudices and biased outlook, Edmond.

Edmond Dantes - 3/18/2009

This routine of "everyone's against me" is getting old, Ms. Paul. So, you believe that your opponents perceptions are "clouded" by "their conservatism," while yours are colored by "principle." Can you possibly get any more narcissistic?

My "narrow and shallow interpretation" can at least accept the fact that there are active, radical, violent groups in the world of Islam that care not for freedom or liberty, but seek a worldwide theocracy. Your expressed views on perpetual victimhood do not even allow you to acknowledge the existence of a violent faction in Islam.

Lorraine Paul - 3/17/2009

p.s. Edmond that voodoo doll is still working. I doubt I will be truly back on deck for at least another week!

Well done!

Lorraine Paul - 3/17/2009

Never have so many made so much of so few!

Now Hamilton is getting in on the act; not only trying to silence me, but discredit my views because I represent, in his/her view, a political and social point of view he/she does not agree with, in fact, could even be said to fear! Although why that is so escapes me!

Show me one single comment in the 'history' of the History News Network that is free from a subjective viewpoint whether political, financial, social, or whatever! Why do conservatives loudly proclaim, in defence of their own argument, this person is leftist, marxist, Unitarian? Do they think that by doing so it strengthens and, in fact, validates their own utterances so, therefore, there is nothing of worth or virtue in the 'other'? They appear to fail to understand that their own perspective/perception is clouded by their conservatism.

I have principles by which I stand, those principles colour my perception. I don't apologise for that because over the less than 'three score and ten years' that I have been on this earth they have rarely let me down.

I proudly proclaim that I am a woman of and for, the working class, the exploited, the disadvantaged and the disabled.

As for my English bloodline: as an individual I can appreciate Australia inheriting the English judicial system and the Westminster system of government. As an Australian I have very little for which to thank the ruling elite of England. Decimation of the indigenous population, land degradation due to the importation of hoofed livestock, European farming methods used which are not suited to Australian conditions, (along with global warming we are now feeling the effects of this with prolonged drought and horrific bushfires.)
The list is long - Samuel Clements, when he visited Australia was appalled at how the English were greedily dragging their profits from our land without giving a penny back which wasn't heavily loaded with interest. As an example, Lord Vesty, he of the rotten meat supplied to the English military in The Great War, had vast, perhaps the size of Texas, holdings in the north of Australia and did not pay a penny for its use. Aboriginals were 'employed' on his sheep and cattle stations to do the hardest work for a meagre ration of tea and sugar. This state of affairs came to a halt as late as the 1970's.

As for how the English treated my Scottish forebears, you are historians, you should know!

Gentleman, you are so tied up in your shibboleths, icons, mottoes, certainties, symbols, insularities and narrow and shallow interpretations that one's mind can only boggle!

We have our rightwing ratbags in Australia but there are some commenting on here who make them seem like rational, thinking humanitarians!

Edmond Dantes - 3/17/2009

So once again you are offended by my lack of nuance. You calling anyone who disagrees with your view a racist, sexist, imperialist, neocon, or freebooter allows you to see all the subtle shades of gray, eh? Should I call fundamentalists (of any religion) who specifically target women, children, doctors, relief workers, and other civilians as part of a military strategy anything other than terrorists? Maybe you would prefer Muslim freedom fighter. Do groups, such as Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Fatah, and JEM, actively fight for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, women's rights, gay rights, or the separation of church and state?

R.R. Hamilton - 3/17/2009

Mr. Dantes,

You challenged LP to condemn some of the day-to-day atrocities committed by Muslims, and perhaps you were surprised when she refused. LP is a self-confessed Marxist, and you need to understand the Muslim-Marxist nexus and co-dependency.

The commiseration of Marxists and Muslims is obvious. The Muslim looks at the world and says, “We used to rule everything from the Bay of Bengal to the Bay of Biscay!” Similarly, the Marxist moans, “We once had everything from the Mekong to the Elbe!” Now the Muslim world is the most intellectually, politically, economically, and culturally backward area on Earth. All the Marxists have left are Pyong-yang, Havana, and western university faculty lounges. Imagine the stricken Marxist who must now contemplate the loss of Leningrad, Karl-Marx-Stadt, and (soon) Ho Chi Minh City.

Besides their revanchist claims, the Marxists and Muslims are also united against the Anglo-American ideology of human freedom. This is the source of LP’s hatred of her “English blood”. English blood represents a law based freedom society – the absolute antithesis of the Marxist ideal. For a Marxist, the English-speaking world is the rock upon which it was dashed. Marx himself foresaw that certain races who would be opposed to Marxism must be exterminated. (He named the Serbs, the Bretons, the Basques, and the Scottish Highlanders.) Yes, Marx predicted that his idiotic ideology would be adopted by the most advanced workers – namely the English. The fact that he was spectacularly wrong in this as in everything else only served to shift his followers’ genocidal aim: The English-speaking world must be destroyed.

So when a Marxist like LP hears that Muslims buried alive three girls who wanted to choose their own husbands, they sympathize – not with the girls, of course! The Marxists know that if women are allowed such freedom as to, say, choose their own husbands, the next thing you know the women will think they should have the freedom to open businesses and negotiate prices and wages!

Lorraine Paul - 3/16/2009

Mr Baker,

I admire your eloquence and, indeed, your passion used in the cause for a just solution.

Lorraine Paul - 3/16/2009

Edmond, everything for you is black and white and, oddly, for a history website, grew in a vacuum.

You are still qualifying the word 'terrorist' I see.

Edmond Dantes - 3/15/2009

One writer, Ms. Paul? Have you ever heard of Robert Redeker, Kathleen McCaul, Akbar Ganji, Ehsan Mansouri, Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Ghassaban, Mohammad al-Harbi, Ulil Abshar Abdulla, and Naguib Mahfouz. Maybe if you would take a break from your dreams of dancing on the ashes of Israel you would know these things. If anything makes you an anti-Semite, it is the fact that you don't recognize their (Israeli Jews) right to exist.

As for Muslim terrorists, as I said before, if fundamentalist Christians start hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings (9-11), gunning down hundreds of school children (Beslan), selectively targeting schools as part of a military strategy (rockets launched into Israel), and detonating bombs attached to mentally disabled women in busy marketplaces (Baghdad, Feb.2008), then I will gladly denounce them with equal fervor. Do you honestly think that a radical fringe does not exist in Islam? Do you not see the damage they are doing to the majority of peace-loving Muslims? Maybe you do not think much of Muslims either.

Lorraine Paul - 3/15/2009

I have been ill the last few days and am not quite fully recovered as yet. As you can see, that voodoo doll has worked!

Why keep referring to terrorists as Islamofacists, Islamic terrorists, or to use your term, Radlical Islam?

You see nothing wrong in that? You don't view it as a construct?

I don't take you seriously, Edmond therefore I don't often give you a serious answer.

There was one writer who needed to go into 'hiding', and you have turned it into 'writers'! You flaunt your prejudices as though they were virtues. I defend the women and children murdered in Gaza and am accused of being anti-semitic. I condemn the actions of the IDF and am again accused of being anti-semitic. I do not support the invasion and subsequent devastation of Iraq. I refuse to see a whole group of people lumped under the one racist model.

It is not I who 'spews' hatred and vileness, Edmond.

james joseph butler - 3/15/2009

"a pattern of U.S. government funding programming to the Middle East posing problems." Yahweh forbid that Uncle Sam's Yankee dollar is misused.

Billions for apartheid, thousands for the dizzy VOA. Problems, we got problems. More cluster bombs, more phosporous candles. They're evil, we're the only Democracy in the Middle East.

Pipes' censorship is inside his head.

N. Friedman - 3/15/2009

I do not think most people think Israel is an embarrassment. Some do. Most think it is a country that is embroiled in a bitter conflict that has also aroused all sorts of bigotry.

Edmond Dantes - 3/15/2009

I must admit, Mr. Huff, you make an excellent point.

Stephen Henry Huff - 3/14/2009

I do not see the issue of using Extremist as opposed to Islamic Extremist as being an issue. When your entire audience is Islamic, mentioning that someone is also Islamic as well as being an extremist is like mentioning that someone wears clothes. Everyone wears clothes. Everyone who speaks Urdu is a Muslim.

There is no value in saying Islamic Extremist as opposed to simply Extremist. There is a negative.

Muslims are living in a fantasy world. They are completely out of contact with the realities of the modern world. They see non-Islamic society as being monumental headed by the US. They see the US as the mover behind everything which happens to Muslims around the world. From the Genocide in Kosovo to the struggle in Chechnya.

The idea that Russia and China are not mere puppets or that Israel is an embarrasment not an asset to US foreign policy never crosses their minds.

Identifying the radicals in Islam who attack the US as Muslims only reinforces this sense of solidarity among Muslims who perceive a similar uniformity in the Non-Muslim world.

To them Us and Them means a united Us against a united and monumental Them.

This world view is highly inaccurate and in fact delusional. Still, aggravating it by reinforcing their identity with Radical as fellow Muslims serves no purpose. It is wise policy to avoid doing this when possible.

Edmond Dantes - 3/13/2009

I am surprised you are capable of a grin, Ms. Paul. You seem to have a very grim outlook on life.

"...to many..."

The "many" I refer to are the historians (and other readers) on this site who use historic and contemporary documents, news sources, interviews, statements by individuals involved in the events discussed, websites, and scholarly publications to weigh all the evidence and come to their own conclusions. You believe all these sources have been manipulated for the masses. You try to discredit any source that does not fit your narrow perception. It is too bad your professors taught you the “truth” rather than how to think for yourself.

Interestingly, I noticed on this thread and others that when the subject of radical Islam is broached, you counter with, “what about fundamentalist Christians?” Do you deny the existence of radical groups in the world of Islam? Is radical Islam a construct of Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the MSM? Should we consider the following as fabrications of world power-players: Munich Olympics massacre, Beslan School hostage crisis, Bali nightclub bombing, and, of course, 9-11? For someone who hates organized religion, it seems like Islam should give you just as much ammunition as Christianity or Judaism. Artists and writers who castigate Islam must secure bodyguards and go into hiding. How many people have been recently gunned down in the streets or beheaded for expressing their views against Christianity? These are questions you will not answer.

omar ibrahim baker - 3/13/2009

The deep urge to hate, vilify and demonize is often associated with a deep sense of guilt for the "conscientious" on the look out for a "moral" excuse to alleviate his guilt.
Or, more probably as in this politically motivated case, with the gnawing fear that the crime it is meant to hide and relegate to invisibility be unearthed and questions be asked and comparisons made.

Here we have the case of the supporters of a usurping racist nation/state almost unanimously supporting an ultra savage high tech onslaught on a civilian population and asking for more of the same and the need to rationalize and legitimize, thus justify, both the crime itself and the "morality" of those who supported it and asked for more!

The only answer they could come up with, for this crime and for the far greater crime of that nation/state’s birth and very existence was to demonize its enemies to the point of legitimizing any thing done to them.
Reading the herd's message of "Islam is evil incarnate and Moslems are the devout messengers of that evil" one is bound to ask:
-Had Islam been what they depict it, and would like it, to be would not that be , primarily, cause of concern to Moslems themselves??
-Should that NOT be the case, and that concern be absent, is that NOT proof enough of the their sub status that invites and JUSTIFIES anything done to them?
The existential conflict with Zionism has unveiled , inter alia, its intrinsic slaughter justifying racism that leads its proponents to, unwittingly for some but wittingly for most, dehumanize its victims and its rejecters and resistants and wish them to disappear all together to further hide the crime committed against them OR if that fails, as is bound to fail, justify all crimes committed against them.
That is exactly what is being done and aimed at in the incessant attempt by the herd in general and most recently by Mr Wolberg here, and in most US media lately: to dehumanize Moslems depicting them as being the willing disciples of “evil incarnate” by stressing the aberrations in the practices of a small minority among them and presenting them as the normal every day practices of a majority of them.

BUT the era in which “ a land with no people for a people with no land” was accepted and warmly embraced by the West to the point of supporting the mega crime of dislocating, dispossessing , subjugating an indigenous people in his homeland then supplanting them with aliens to establish a colony is no longer with us and people tend to ask more questions and know more of the truth!

Lorraine Paul - 3/12/2009

"I do not expect you to read anything I post, Ms. Paul. In fact, it would be a great surprise to many on this site to see you read anything outside your narrow worldview."

"....to many..."!!!!

Good heavens, Edmond have you now taken it on yourself to speak for others or have you actually been appointed? Too bad about the short straw.

Well, discuss me however you will, in the meantime my small efforts to point out the error of your ways will continue.

By the way, Edmond, I would leave out the hyperbole in the future - I do not 'spew' anything let alone hateful drivel. Most of the time, as now, when I reply to you, Edmond, I am grinning.

Edmond Dantes - 3/11/2009

I do not expect you to read anything I post, Ms. Paul. In fact, it would be a great surprise to many on this site to see you read anything outside your narrow worldview. You can initiate your book-burning parties and re-education camps after the revolution is complete. Until then, I will continue to post to show others that there are other points of view that contradict the hateful drivel you spew on this site. You may project your fears and prejudices on whomever you like. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a sexist, bigot.

"Oh! by the way, Edmond. How do you deal with the 'perverse and hateful ideologies' preached by Fundamental Christians?" What? Like the Phelps and their ilk? Do you think that anyone takes them seriously? All the world news sources you so deride treat them as the joke they are. In my opinion, fundamentalist Christians are just as deranged and hateful as radical Islamists. However, they have yet to strap bombs to mentally disabled women and detonate them in crowded marketplaces. Besides, President Obama was not talking about Christians. Perhaps the evil Zionists are forcing President Obama to make such statements.

Lorraine Paul - 3/11/2009

Oh! by the way, Edmond. How do you deal with the "perverse and hateful ideologies" preached by Fundamental Christians?

Lorraine Paul - 3/11/2009

Ah! I see that Mr Baker has also suggested further education for you. Well, advice may be freely given but is not always well received <g>.

Lorraine Paul - 3/11/2009

Mr Wolberg, the degradation of women does not end in Islamic societies. Although, I can't remember the last time I heard of a woman being stoned to death or beheaded. Although I live in Australia, thanks to modern methods of communication, we don't have to rely on smoke signals any more for our news!

The other night on TV one of our most respected film critics was bemoaning the treatment of women, especially young women, in mainstream Hollywood. "Where is the wit of a Rosalind Russell?" she asked.

She further stated, "These young women are portrayed as empty-headed shoppers or they are looking for their next man to bed."

Her male counterpart wholeheartedly agreed with her.

It seems to be glaringly obvious that the status of women in Hollywood has sadly dropped. This isn't just in the US, unfortunately, because of cultural imperialism Hollywood and American TV is pervasive throughout the world.

Unless this is a true depiction of young American women I would think you would be concerned at the way they are used to make money.

Body image sends young girls to starve themselves, which oddly mirrors the involuntary starvation of third world countries.

I can't speak for Islamic countries, but in western societies, and it may be a long leap for you to comprehend, but women are also last hired and first fired, as the saying goes. What do you think this current economic situation will do to the status of women? One can only hope it will NOT be great harm.

May I suggest you pull your head out of your rear and do a course in Sociology or Communications (not the Sarah Palin kind, please!), it could be enlightening if you also approach the text with an open mind.

Lorraine Paul - 3/11/2009

None of your recommendations would attract my interest, Edmond. In the future please don't bother yourself with sending me website addresses.

You may not realise it but most of the web is not moderated. Anyone can say anything...and usually does!

Donald Wolberg - 3/11/2009

Of course, most human beings will do what they have always done: try to get by with the least harm to themselves and others, and the best intentions for themselves and others. Unfortunately, a subset of 9th century minds and ideologies remain to create a wave of amazingly retrograde behavior, intolerance for knowledge, equal rights for women, and tolerance for other notions of religion or non-religion for that matter. I have no objections to absurd religious beliefs of any form, as long as those beliefs do not end in stonings, beheadings, suicide bombings, efforts at destabilizing any and all who believe otherwise, or destruction of icons of other belief sets. The record in fact is very clear, and the inability of that "overwhelming majority" to alter that record, or institute reforms regarded by most rational people as democratic and inclusive, is equally clear. Where there is not freedom of belief, expression or tolerance for dissent, there is only stagnation and continued lack of personal security in home and body, or intellectual progress.

Edmond Dantes - 3/11/2009

Ms. Paul, you brought up the subject of avoiding divisive language, which I thought was ironic looking at your previous posts. I hardly believe any of your statements on this blog promote a "culture of tolerance." The fact that we will never find common ground is uncontestable.

Daniel Pipes ponders how VOA will translate President Obama's statement concerning actions in the Middle East "emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam." How will apologists for radical Islam translate his speech?

Some of these apologists remind of Dr. Malcom Caldwell (of Scotland) during the 1970s - http://www.democratiya.com/review.asp?reviews_id=249. His inability to understand the world cost him his life.

Lorraine Paul - 3/11/2009

Edmond we have been dancing around this site for, hmmmm!, how long now? I doubt that you will and I will ever find common ground. In truth, your comments so far tend to turn my stomach. Would it be too much to expect that you would at least keep your comments to the argument rather than personal attacks?

omar ibrahim baker - 3/11/2009

Mr Wolberg
"but I am certain you (Ms Paul) do not support stoning, abuse of women, the inability of women to be educated, silly superstitutions, beheadings, suicide terrorists, or a 9th century world view."

NOR does the overwhelming majority of Moslems and knowledgeable non Moslems.

" Of course, if I am not correct in this assumption, I apologize "

If you still have doubts about that an apology will NOT do!
A drastic bias free, genuine and objective reeducation is the only remedy!
It will be good for you but, of course, will hardly affect Islam or Moslems.

omar ibrahim baker - 3/11/2009

Mr Wolberg ;
your opening salvo :
“in the guise of the Islamic faith: beheadings, stonings, demeaning of the capability of women, a lunacy more at home in the 9th century than the 21st. That record is clear and simply not easily debated with rationality.”
Says it all: what was and still is wrong with US media in general and in your attitude in particular!
The intrinsic, deliberately cultured and nurtured, fallacy in considering what you enumerate as either a generally prevailing disposition in Islamdom and /or as an “honest” reflections of Islam.

I did note your “in the guise” but that can not in honesty and objectivity sanction, legitimize(?), allow neither the tone nor for the message of the body of your post.

Your concluding statement:
“The perceptions from both ends lead to images of a world different from that available to the senses that matter. Of course, we may all have different perspectives on senses that matter. “ confirms that fallacy that you seem to share.

Here I may add some points that I deem pertinent:
A-Malpractices, some verging on atrocities, are NOT a general condoned practice in Islamdom as some insinuate and some would like them to be.
They are rare exceptions, distortive aberrations which are recognized and abhorred as such by the bulk of Muslims.
The effort to make of them anything but that abhorred exception would amount to a conscious and deliberate effort to distort Islam and Moslem culture and character
They are also, generally and in the main, of the kind associated with all dogmas by the fanatic blind
“doctrinaire” or the ignorant.
The acts and words of both the ignorant and the fanatic are the mainstay of those embarking on a deliberate vilification campaign to achieve undeclared ulterior political objectives as most US media did particularly post 9/11.

(Is it NOT too plainly visible for all to see that the net gainer, profiteer, from the so called war on (Islamic/Islamist) terror was Israel ??)

B- To make of these few and exceptional malpractices the basis of a general attitude and the foundation of certain prevalent perceptions is wrong, if undertaken innocently because of ignorance, and is deliberate misguidance verging on falsification and dis/misinformation, if undertaken deliberately.

C-The VOA, being the official voice of the USA, could not by any stretch of imagination be deemed to suffer from the “innocence” of ignorance.

(Your ostrich analogy is definitely misplaced; I can assure you that I see and know of many if not all malpractices and recognize them as aberrations.)

Donald Wolberg - 3/10/2009

Ah Ms Paul; excellent--I wish I had thought of that as well. An opening is an opening, no matter which end.

However, the palpable evil of looney beliefs and the justification of the corrupt and bizarre, not to forget the murderous, leaves another calculation to be considered. It is certainly appropriate to defend the insane, but does the equation of that defense idicate some shortcoming on the part of the defender? If on trial, Hitler would have been entitled to a defender. However, it is very unlikely that that defender would have carried the notions of Hitler. I am certain you are defending Mr. Baker's right to hold any views he chooses (as do I), but I am certain you do not support stoning, abuse of women, the inability of women to be educated, silly superstitutions, beheadings, suicide terrorists, or a 9th century world view. Of course, if I am not correct in this assumption, I apologize.

Edmond Dantes - 3/10/2009

Clearly criticizing Ms. Paul's stance marks me as a sexist. I have been conveniently pigeonholed. Thank you for illustrating my point, Ms. Paul.

Lorraine Paul - 3/10/2009

'...angry rant'. How revealing of your own attitude towards women, Edmond.

Lorraine Paul - 3/10/2009

Mr Wolberg I am never one to miss an opportunity when it is so obligingly laid out before me....

To accuse Mr Baker of having his head in the sand and his rear in the air seems to me to be a 'glass-house' moment.

As for yourself I would say your head and your rear are in very close contact...yea! nothing coming betwixt or between!

Donald Wolberg - 3/10/2009

The need to confront the bizarre increases exponetially when the bizarre is a murderous as record of the perversions in the guise of the Islamic faith: beheadings, stonings,demeaning of the capability of women, a lunacy more at home in the 9th century than the 21st. That record is clear and simply not easily debated with rationality. That a nation should speak out bodly and without the need for a discredited "correctness" is as clear. It strikes me that the stubborn glibness of Mr. Churchill is a better model than the absurd spinlessness of an administration without a sense of courage. Unfortunately, Mr. Baker seems like the ostrich with his head in the sand and his rear in the air. Neither anatomical locality provides an avenue to reality. The perceptions from both ends lead to images of a world different from that available to the senses that matter. Of course, we may all have different perspectives on senses that matter.

omar ibrahim baker - 3/10/2009

Despite what you consider as "rants" Ms Paul has a very good point worthy of "cool", objective consideration.

Edmond Dantes - 3/10/2009

"Obviously Mr Pipes is not interested in promoting a multi-cultural society. If he was he would understand that the use of words which divide us is to be avoided."

Clearly Ms. Paul doesn't use any such words when she compartmentalizes those who disagree with her angry rants.

Lorraine Paul - 3/9/2009

Obviously Mr Pipes is not interested in promoting a multi-cultural society. If he was he would understand that the use of words which divide us is to be avoided.

He has been to Australia, albeit to lecture us NOT to vote for a certain candidate, and has seen multi-culturalism in action. How does he think that came about?

It came about through active involvement by government in promoting, through various conduits, a culture of tolerance! Also by ethnic communities having their core cultures respected. Assimilation is a dirty word in our family.

I have a wonderfully diversified extended family. I am proud to say that it would probably reflect Australia's immigration policy over the last 100 years.

My Scottish and English forbears firstly, then Lithuanian uncle, Polish and German paternal grandparents; Maori cousin, New Zealand maternal grandmother, Scottish maternal grandfather. And my latest Vietnamese cousin-in-law. I am the product of immigration...German, Polish, Scottish and Welsh...there is some English blood in there but I don't often advertise it! LOL

There is no place for the likes of Pipes in our family!

Unfortunately, due to ill-thought out Government policies, we don't have any Aboriginal relations, merely friends...for now!

omar ibrahim baker - 3/9/2009

Pipe's anger is not only exaggerated but is rather totally unwarranted.
The VOA was never an influential force in neither the Arab nor Moslem worlds.
Nor will the cosmetic changes proposed by Ms Janin be perceived as having any value or meaning at all by those it is aimed at.
The VOA will go on being neglected, and quite often ridiculed as during the recent American conquest of Iraq or the more recent Israeli savage onslaught on Gaza, for the simple reason that nobody believes in , cares about or trusts neither its message nor its mission ; nor gives the slightest interest in or attention to what it had had to say for the last 50 years.

The USA, not to mention its VOA, has lost all credibility and trust long ago where it really matters...with Arab and Moslem general publics.
If that, as Mr. Pipes seems to dread, is an indicator of things to come from President Obama then, to my dismay, I hasten to alleviate his fears.
The schism between the USA and both the Arab and Moslem worlds, in no small measure the fruit of Mr. Pipes &Co efforts, has gone far beyond both cosmetics and even plastic surgery.

Only a radical AIPAC free new USA reappraisal of its policies and its perception of both worlds can start the bound to be long lasting confidence rebuilding process that could conceivably bridge it.

That is a real pity, and a mutual loss of no small measure, for the USA was held in real respect and trust until it become, in words and deeds, the alter ego of Israel .

John Nicholas - 3/9/2009

I think Daniel is too close to his issue. Try reading some of the history about war reporting, BBC and other organs, from 1939 - 1943 while the UK was losing the war.

The BBC acquired and kept an audience in Germany through the end of the war.