Monday, February 20, 2012

The manufacture of an "expert"

First, a little background. The man who composed the score for Slumdog Millionaire also composed a piece of Islamic devotional music, called Zikr, or "Remembrance" in Urdu, which due to being (unlike much of the genre) actually sing-able, and moreover, actually appealing to people who don't spend most of their time in the mosque. The piece was picked up by a choir director in a school in Somewhere State, USA and . . . action!

Naturally, my favourite hatemonger picked up the story.

Now, who is this "Expert," Steve Hagerman?

Well, googling "World Turkish Organization" didn't help much. That's because Mr. Hagerman (and "Steve Hagerman" is a curiously un-Turkish sounding name) is not actually associated with any such organization.

He is, however, the president of "Turkish World Outreach." Outreach for what? The beautiful Turkish culture that he wants to share with the world?

Let's check the website, shall we? Oh, here's Mr. Hagerman himself:

So there you have it. The "expert" on Islam is a Christian missionary, whose conception of Muslims is that they are ignorant little children, who sit around the wise white man as he tries to sell them on the idea that the Almighty God needed an innocent upon whom to unleash unspeakable cruelty in order to avoid having to do it to everybody else for a sin committed by Adam.

The kid who quit the choir, is, incidentally, indulging in a little self-righteous attention-seeking. I have been in choirs (baritone/bass, thank you very much) and even sung Christmas carols. I just close my mouth during the bits about divine progeny. This kid could have done the same, but he wanted to be the poster boy for oppressed Christians, and so he got his wish.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

A small victory

An acquaintance of mine who is active in the struggle for justice in Palestine was recently called, in a widely circulated document, a "one of Canada's worst anti-semites, and an idiotic spammer."

He launched a libel suit, and produced reams of letters from Jewish academics attesting to the fact that he was neither of those.

Today, the plaintiff announced that he has secured a retraction from the defendant.

I met Ed Corrigan for the first time at what is deemed as a Settlement Conference in Small Claims Court. Ed and I chatted, and among other things he assured me that he was in no way anti semitic,often took part in Jewish holidays, and was very respectful of Jewish traditions. Ed explained his work for Palestinians seeking refugee status in Canada, and certainly gives it 100% in fighting for his clients in this regard. In doing so, he has no problem in his criticism of the Israeli government. Ed often uses references to what other Jews think when they agree with his view, and I suggested to Ed that Jews, like everyone else, do not think alike. All in all, while I do not agree with Ed's assessment of life in Israel, and his constant attack on its majority, Ed pointed out that he has in fact written more than once on the better points of Israeli society. It is important to keep open the debate on human rights issues in Canada, Israel, and all countries in the Middle East. So, I am prepared to, and do retract my comment that Ed is one of Canada's worst anti semites, and an idiotic spammer. I was wrong to have alleged that. Ed has agreed to end his libel action, and we have agreed to disagree whenever we choose to do so, but in a respectful way.

Will Hechter
Clear Lake Historical Productions

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