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13 January 2015


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Babak Makkinejad

The AKP government was in compliance with NATO alliance's Syria policy.

I wonder if the Turkish Generals, had they been in power, would have done anything else.

The AKP cannot be faulted for being the hand-maiden of NATO; where it can be faulted is in being complicit in ruining the lives and livelihoods of millions of Muslims in a neighboring country.

Babak Makkinejad

I cannot take these argument seriously.

As far as I can see, there is a generalized state of mental ferment and emotional anguish across Sunni world - Arab and non-Arab manifesting itself in attacks against Christians, Shia Muslims, as well as other Muslims; in Pakistan, in Iraq, in Nigeria, in Europe, and in the United States.

One can point out that the African-Americans have had analogous experiences but they have not reacted the same way.

And if the high-rises around central Paris are so bad indeed and if the French are so hostile why do their inhabitants not back to North and Central Africa?

This same issue afflicts England, with the Muslim immigrants.

And France has been the most accommodating country to Muslims in the entire Europe.


Great article Marc, thanks for sending the link.

I once met a female arsonist shortly before she left a forensic clinic. She wouldn't even have been discovered as perpetrator of a much more serious crime hadn't she reported it herself while being in jail for much lesser incidents, as she claimed, to be able to see her mother, who was seriously ill...

But not necessarily based on this encounter I was much more interested in the 'intellectual arsonists' than their 'foot-soldiers'. The only thing that connects these this encounters, is that the it happened shortly before 911.

Let's compare the surely correct standard interest in money sources that may support terrorism.

Here it gets very, very complex. And some incitement may not even depend on money flows, but on ideological connections or shared larger interests.

Let me give you an example. One of the people I considered such an intellectual arsonists, is Daniel Pipes. There were rumors around his connection to the Danish cartoon event. ...

At one point in his intellectual incitement or advocacy endeavors, he cooperated with a German prof, their cooperation resulted in a curious little statistical enterprise that was meant to show that Israel in fact killed much less people than Arabs over the centuries had killed. It included in its statics the numbers of Arabs that had killed themselves.

On the German side it was printed by the Prof, who had no expertise in the subjects, in one of the leading right/conservative papers over here.

Right by the way is no value judgment. As far as journalism goes I have serious complaints about the reporting on both sides - liberal and conservative - but the article you link to is a good example of what I consider a reflected left approach.

Now let me admit something. I guess without 911 I would never have paid attention to the situation of Palestinians or for that matter for Israel's treatment of Palestinians not only in the occupied territories but also inside Israel earlier.


Babak, that may be why I occasionally have problems with you. In spite of a basic respect.


why don't they go back. Another highly conform statement dealing with complex matters. In Germany it was the variation: If you don't like the West, why don't you go over there.

As the article shows, they are neither accepted in their countries of origin or that of their ancestors. This is certainly true of Turkish kids, only a few manage to embrace and live in both countries. That's usually the creative kind, which I am more familiar with than the more economical ones.

I was close to comment one of your statements on Adam's recent article. A long time ago, I read an article about the French emigrant banlieue youth. Creativity: they seem to have at one point developed a secret language in which they could communicate without their own parents or the hostile forces, from their perspective, of the state they found themselves in, understanding.

Babak Makkinejad

Look, if 2000 Germans moved to Tehran and decided to live the way they have lived in Heidelberg, they would get into trouble; without a doubt.


which could lead us straight into a much more difficult terrain, that parts of Jewish wisdom was abandoned conserved in their Rabbinic tradition about "the enemy" was picked up as more helpful then earlier takes at the time they embraced 19th century nationalism.

In other words straight into a larger context of knowledge about the many centuries of Jewish prosecution and the way it is used today.

I am a secular Roman Catholic, ironically enough my rare prayers occasionally resulted in help, but strictly it is hard to separate it from the use of reason. In the most serious circumstances I ever got myself in and ultimately got out of, I didn't pray but only used my reason. For the very simple reason, it felt, maybe I better don't trust God alone.

Babak Makkinejad

People have a right to go about doing their daily activities without fear of death - in Nigeria, in Iraq, in Pakistan, and elsewhere.

Maladjustment does not explain anything - you think Armenians in Iran, almost all of them refugees from the Ottoman massacres of 1915 - are very well and fully adjusted in Iran?

I do not deny that Germany is particularly hostile to Islam - and indeed given the sorry case of Swabia there may never be a full adjustment of Muslims in that country.

But good-enough should not be discarded in favor of some Utopian and unreachable goal.

 Ishmael Zechariah

Babak Makkinejad,

My question dealt with appearances vs. reality with respect to the kleptocrats running Turkey and their masters.
What the Turkish generals might or might not have done, had they been in power, is a non sequitur.

Over the past twenty years or so "secular-like' regimes in the ME have been under attack and quite a few have fallen to regimes you have originally supported. I have not been able to observe any improvement in the lot of "muslims". Have you?

In previous discussions the Syrian rebel operation was attributed, partially or in whole, to the Saudis. Guardian writes: "Saudi Arabia called it a “cowardly terrorist attack that was rejected by the true Islamic religion”. ( http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/07/charlie-hebdo-killings-arab-states-jihadi-extremist-sympathisers-isis) Seems like there are quite a few muslim hypocrites as well.

Ishmael Zechariah


Equating the African-American experience with Muslims in France is problematic on many levels. I imagine you'd be surprised to learn that African-Americans are, on the whole, quite patriotic.

Babak Makkinejad

They are all hypocrites; after all they are politicians.

My view, that I have not changed, has been that Muslims states could not be secular - secularism is enforced by bayonets.

My disappointment with Ikhwan, in Turkey as well as in Egypt, does not alter my view above.

Mursi travelled to Iran for passing the baton of the non-aligned movement.

He did not even stay for lunch. The first Muslim Brother President of Egypt was not going to sully himself politically and ritualistically with the Shia.

That much of a follower of Prophet he was (irony alert).


I basically accept that. And I met a series of 'Arabs' over here, that left me seriously puzzled due to the occasional 'Arab' admiration of Hitler I encountered, e.g. in the person of the later Egyptian husband of the school mate of a much younger sister, who ages ago, I once gave the address of nearby friends, since I was worried by her idea of simply taking the road to a further specified local aim in the heat of the moment. Having troubles with her parents. I can assure you, when I tried to inform the mother that their daughter was not in danger, the mother considered me an incarnation of the devil and responded accordingly.

The only, no doubt, superficial take you will get out of me on this: what difference does the distance to events in historical Palestine make between "the Arab" responses and "the Persian" one make in our contemporary context, or for that matter historically? Also: It might be helpful in the larger context to reduce the Iranians collectively in whatever limited way as the good versus the evil Arabs, especially the Sunnies?

Or in other words, how do you deal with your countryman Ahmadinedschad's, and with my absolute disgust about his approach on contemporary matters in his speech at the UN a couple of years back? Would you love anyone to judge to based on this speech as typically Iranian?

I don't like any collective approach, and may occasionally miss information based on that. But personally I met Iranians on both sides. Highly interesting people and people who in a seriously limited way, from my perspective, try to sell me the tale, that all was perfect under the Shah. And that is why, Iran is part of the West mentally, while the whole Arab world isn't.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been the best government that the people of Iranian plateau have experienced, ever.

And Ahmadinejad - with his deep piety and humility - the most effective executive in the history of Iran - going back to the times of the Medes and Persians.

I am not ashamed of him.

The sin of Ahmadinejad, as far as the Europeans and Americans are concerned, was that he insulated and threw doubt one the semi-religion of Shoah.

When it comes to Shoah, Europeans and Americans have demonstrated little tolerance for rhetorical attacks.

Iran and Iranian people are not Western and will never be Western - even if they wanted.

You only need to visit Iran during Ashura to see and experience it for yourself.

I am not against anyone, Sunnis or Arabs or anyone else. But like this member of US Special Forces told me: "It is difficult to maintain such a perspective when people are shooting at you."

There is a common disease among human beings - called "Middle Class Respetability". Blood has been shed to get to such a state of grace (irong alert).

In the international arena, I suppose, there is an analogous disease - "Western Respectability" - seeking and recei43veing the approval of the Western states for this or that Third-World country's actions and policies.

A very good and dear German friend of mine once told me that he understood Khomeini and agreed with him.

In that Khomeini was saying: "We are different then you, we have our own tradition and culture, accept us the way we are or leave us alone.".

My friend was subsequently murdered in bombing of PAN AM Flight 103 in 1988.

Babak Makkinejad

No doubt, and many of those French Muslims are also patriotic.

More broadly, no analogy is perfect.



There is no comparison between the situation of the Muslims of France and that of the Muslims of Germany. The differences in historical, socio-economic, legal status of both communities would make an excellent essay.

Contrary to your assertion:

Social rejection of Arabs has increased rather than decreased over time in France, Christian colleagues and friends in some of the highest learning institutions have had to modify or change their Arabic names in order to "pass". there is nothing comparable in Germany.

There is nothing in Germany that resembles the segregated housing projects -Banlieues.

There is no party in Germany of the size, consistent history and growing influence as the Front national in France whose open project is ultra-national and xenophobic.

The Muslims in Germany are for the majority Turks, and some of other nationalities ( afghan, morroccan, iranian) , however there is a strong presence for the German converts in the highest representation of the Muslim organizations.

The history of the presence of Muslims in Germany is not related to a post-colonial debacle .


on this issue, it would be reasonable also not to highlight the divide between Shia (specifically Iranians) and Sunnis, since Iranians have not had a hx of colonialism and the anti-colonial struggle that has complicated the relationship between North Africans and France.

the same holds true for Africans of the former French colonies, thus :Amady Coulibaly, family name is a common name in Mali, and certainly not a convert to Islam as some articles have reported. Frances' continuous military and political involvement in the former African Colonies is not earning it great support in Africa which is an additional factor to be reckoned with.

as for the comment -" love it or leave it" -let's just say as the kids nowadays say : "it's complicated" and not only because of issues of not being accepted in either worlds as stated by the article.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your very interesting and informative comments; one hopes that one is never too old to learn and re-learn.

So, those who come from the old Seljuk Empire's lands - Iranians, Azeris, Afghans, Turks are in a very different situation than those who are coming from areas outside of former Seljuk lands.

I read this as another confirmation of the essential veracity of the Makkinejad Theses.

Patrick Bahzad

For the record: Amedy Coulibaly was born in France, into a family originating in Northern Mali, which had traditionally been an area of Sufi Islam, meaning it has not much in common with the Salafi - or rather Takfiri - Islam that Amedy Coulibaly "converted" to.
One could say he got "radicalized", if you don't like the term "conversion". But from a purely religious point of view, it's pretty much a conversion, such are the differences.
Suffice to say that when the radicals of "Ansar Eddine" took over Timbuktu, they proceeded to destroy many of the local mosques, cemeteries and mausoleums dedicated to local Muslim clerics, some dating back to the 15th century.


the first paragraph is terribly jumbled, I wasn't paying enough attention. But basically it is about religion as shaped or fitted into the respective contexts over time:

"which could lead us straight into a much more difficult terrain, that parts of Jewish rabbinic non-national wisdom about 'the other' was abandoned, while earlier images of 'the enemy' were stressed since more helpful then non-national takes at the time Israel embraced 19th century nationalism and power."

Since there is never any end to arguments, one no doubt could put it another way, one could claim that the Israeli orthodox rabbis responded to the Holocaust in which God seemed absent. Or in religious terms, a time when God seemed to have abandoned the people of the Covenant.

Abu Sinan

At the same time poverty and unemployment are rampant and before the recent attack having a foreign name made it very hard to get hired. Unlike the American Muslim community, the French Muslim community is not highly educated or skilled. As I read one Algeria saying recently, in France they are made to feel they are not French, but in Algeria they are made to feel they are not Algeria. They are stuck in the middle. Things might be bad in France, but if they are going to be in a bad position socially in either country, better to be in the one with the better standard of living, France.

If one looks at Germany's Muslims, mostly Turks, until recently it was almost impossible for someone with Turkish background to get a German citizenship. So you had third and fourth generation Turks, who have never been to Turkey and dont speak Turkish, who were required to get their documents from the Turkish embassy/consulate.

There is an issue in the Sunni world right now, and I think a lot of it goes back to ultra Salafi/takfiriyeen teachings out of Saudi. Everyone and everything is out to get the Sunnis and they see jinn underneath every bed and conspiracy theories everywhere.


The basic point of Abu Musab al-Suri's theory is that traditional underground secret organizations no longer work under modern surveillance and international counter-terrorism cooperation and can easily be rolled up by security services once a single member is compromised. His solution is small self organized cells that have no organizational connection to a larger organization, that form for the purpose of a single attack and then dissipate:

"The resistance call is founded on the decentralized cells. Its jihadi units base themselves on individual action, action by small cells completely separated from each other and completely decentralized, in the sense that nothing connects them apart from a common aim, the common name, a program of beliefs and a method of education."

This doesn't mean that this attack was the work of AQ as such, just the act of people who have studied his work, which is very popular with the online jihadi world. This is a very dangerous mutation because it can neutralize most of the methods we have used to suppress terrorism. Looking for a direct organizational link back to AQ or IS may be a waste of time.


Your response brings up the issue of religious affiliation/identity, in general and in specific cases. Is there one Muslim identity or are there many ? ( c.f. Aziz Azmeh one of the proponents of the latter idea)

In this case which could serve as an illustration of a not uncommon trend nowadays:

Amady is a Muslim name and means Ahmed - one of the names of the Prophet, mentioned in the Qur'an. Amady Coulibaly may have been named specifically or may have inherited the first name from an ancestor, still he was not named Francois once his family moved to France.

In Islam, anybody who is born to a Muslim father is Muslim whether he practices or does not. It is his natural state( Prophetic statement),unless he formally converts.

When second or third generation young people born outside of traditionally Muslim lands decide nowadays to practice Islam, they think of it as reclaiming their identity ( and that is a very strong element) and not converting.

Some would argue that there are "different" Islams, Sufi, Takfiri, Sunni, Shia- . Others see Islam as an umbrella which has covered a great variety of beliefs some contrary to each other with alternating periods of acceptance and friction which is the historical reality.

Sufis may become non-Sufis, and Non-Sufis can become Sufis, I suppose now that we are seeing more of the Takfiri trend, we will be seeing those kind of transitions more often. Sufis in many communities have historically had to deal with periods of acceptance and others of rejection and death threats, even when the Takfiri trend was not as prominent as it is nowadays.


Sorry, Babak, sometimes I wander off too far and don't pay attention on what I write.

I wouldn't like to live in Iran, not necessarily mainly because of the shador. ... The Germans with an Iranian background, I know, not only now but earlier too were occasionally much less free in their decision, than I would be if I went there.

You know Shirin Neshat?

My friend Bahman Nirumand listed under Politics here, did not really return to Germany since he wanted, he had to, after religious forces took over the revolution:


"Bahman Nirumand, many years of association with the German Green Party, and in 2009 signed an open letter of apology posted to Iranian.com along with 266 other Iranian academics, writers, artists, journalists about the Persecution of Bahá'ís.[4]"


Babak, concerning Swabia, I am not sure what you allude to. Yes we have bigots too, and among them some seriously dangerous ones.

I went to my first demonstration ever in the late 80's, when a Turkish home was set on fire by right wing arsonists killing almost the whole family. ... The most glaring example different from the things that happened in the late 80s / early 90s arsons, is what surfaced as a series of 'terrorist attacks' by the National Socialist Underground in 2011:

One of the attacks happened here in Cologne. And I seem to have glimpsed recently that confusedponderer lives in that section of the city, if he did not mean a city with the same name sightly up North. If I am not completely mixing up matters, that is.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, I agree with much of what you have written.

But I think there is an issue among Sunnis living outside of the old Seljuk domains.

This is a distinction, in terms of historical, cultural, economic, political, and intellectual continuity and differences that correspondents, approximately, to the distinction between Eastern and Western Europe, which, in turn, was rooted in the partition of the Roman Empire back in the 5-th century.


Babak, "Middle Class Respectability"

When you see me use a coinage like 'polite circles' I may in fact refer to something similar. People with a limited sense of responsibility besides the perception of their own advantage. Servants of power. ...

Iran, no doubt is a country that has been deeply misused by exploitative Western interest forces. That the Shah was a Western puppet is obvious. But would you put Mohammad Mosaddegh into the 'nationalist box' too, as Wikipedia suggests? Would he have had a chance to succeed with a less confrontational approach?

Concerning Ahmadinejad's UN speech, I wasn't put off by the legitimate criticism of the West it contained, I was put off by the conspiracy type of narrative he wove into it. Now, yes, there surely is a 'conspiracy' against Iran in which influential forces both in Israel and the US, just as e.g. in Germany are deeply involved, but I wished that one of the brighter Iranians had polished up his speech, so it had been less easy to ignore and attack.

Concerning the Holocaust religion. His
International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust:


suffered from a similarly bad judgment, by inviting people like Duke and Faurisson. Were there some less well known other members of the historical revision 'historians' of the Journal of Historical Review invited incidentally?

A critical position to the misuse of the Holocaust for political reasons would have been much less easy to target. At one point I had the impression, the Mossad could not have invented anyone more useful for Israel than Amadinejad.

I met another Iranian supporter of him (web wise), by the way, and if I had to guess why you consider him the 'most effective executive in the history of Iran' it may have to do with why I consider Communism as a secular religion. Caring about the poor or the not so well off. Jan Assman considers that one central element of all Monotheist religions, the one we can never give up. The other as he sees it, starting in early Judaism is to fight 'the other'. And this one he thinks, should be watched carefully.

You made a good point elsewhere considering a fast and misjudgment by SAVAK, resulting in torture; do you think the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution could not just as easily target the wrong suspects? The same dynamic of looking for the threat within kicks in at one point?

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