Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holocaust in Gaza | Hypocrisy of U.S.-Israeli Acts

Two articles below my comments
1) Holocaust in Gaza
2) Hypocrisy of U.S. Israeli Acts of Terrorism

The stereotyping of "all Arabs" or "all Jews" are alike is a shameful categorization. No, they are as individualistic as Americans, Indians or any one. The silent majority of them go on about their lives letting a few evil men continue with their destructive actions, there Jewish and Arab Organizations whose wisdom seeks justice, the seed for peace.

The world puts Zionism in the same category as Islamists, Neocons, Hindutvadis and other groups, but they claim their role is to "seek and preserve" their heritage, where as the world sees them as extremists bent on "annihilation" of the others through devious means. You can trace all the world problems to them, the causers of conflicts. I believe not all of them are bad boys, only a few of them are, and the world needs to come to grips with it and laser point to those individuals who give birth to conflicts. They can be rehabilitated if only they know that peace comes through justice for all, and not advantages to one over the other.

Justice is the key to peace and placing responsibility on individuals will be the first step towards bringing justice to one and all.

Mike Ghouse

Rohini Hensman

In February 2008, Israel's Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai warned that if Hamas continued firing rockets, they would bring upon themselves a 'bigger shoah,' the word used by Israelis to refer to the Nazi genocide or holocaust. This statement came in the wake of attacks on Gaza which left 32 Palestinians dead, including eight children, the youngest a six-month-old baby. These regular attacks, combined with a blockade which deprived Palestinians in Gaza of food, fuel, potable water, medicines and educational materials, was the slow-motion shoah which had been taking place up to December 27. The full-scale bombing which began on that date is surely the 'bigger shoah' promised by Vilnai, and, according to Israeli reports, it was being planned as long back as February (1).

There were demonstrations against the Israeli bombing by outraged protestors throughout the world as the Palestinian death toll climbed to more than 300 in as many days, but Palestinians in Gaza felt that the international community were acting as mere spectators to the massacre. They were right. Protest demonstrations are not enough to stop a holocaust. Even less effective are sanctimonious statements by the UN and EU equating one Israeli life to more than a hundred Palestinian lives, which make the outright support for the massacre by George W. Bush almost attractive in its honesty. So what can we do?

Debunking Myths

The first necessity is to debunk myths that have successfully been used to vitiate all previous actions against Israel. Firstly, the myth that the founding of the Zionist state has anything to do with the Nazi genocide. In fact, the project was conceived decades before the Nazi holocaust, and was a straightforward colonial agenda in which European settlers would evict indigenous Third World people from their land and take it over. Gandhi saw this very clearly, which is why he refused to give the Zionists his support when they approached him, despite his sympathy for persecuted Jews (2).

The second myth is that criticism of or opposition to the Zionist state of Israel constitutes anti-Semitism, and is an attack on all Jews. This is not true; indeed, Jews are among the most trenchant critics not only of Israeli atrocities, but also of the whole idea of a Zionist state. The notion that Judaism and Zionism are one and the same is shared by anti-Semites and Zionists; the former assume that all Jews are responsible for the crimes of the Zionists, while the latter assume that all condemnation of Zionist crimes constitutes an attack on Jews. These assumptions, equally reprehensible, are simply two sides of the same coin.

The third myth is that there was ever a possibility of a two-state solution. There were two models of settler-colonialism debated by the Zionists. One model, supported by very few, was the South African one, where the indigenous Palestinians, though evicted from their land and herded into Bantustans, would be allowed to remain in the country. The majority view was that the indigenous population should be eliminated, like the indigenous peoples of North America and Australia. To this end, massacres were carried out to terrorise the population into leaving, a process then known as 'transfer of population' and now as 'ethnic cleansing', and ever since the Nuremburg trials considered to be a crime against humanity (3). Both sides saw Israel as swallowing up the whole of Palestine, and one look at a map of Palestine/Israel today shows that this has now been achieved, with the Apartheid wall carving up the West Bank into ghettos, while the very fact that Israel could blockade the Gaza strip so effectively shows that it, too, is nothing more than a ghetto.

If Israel controls the non-contiguous borders, the coastal waters, the ground water and air space of the proposed 'Palestinian state', if the people of Gaza can be starved and bombed simply because they exercised their franchise to elect a government which the Israeli state did not approve of, there could be no clearer proof that Palestinian self-determination is not an option so long as the Zionist regime remains. The struggle, therefore, is not for a separate Palestinian state but, as in Apartheid South Africa, for one democratic state with equal rights for all in the whole of historical Palestine. This would solve the problem of the second-class status of Palestinian citizens of Israel, the need for self-determination for Palestinians in the territories occupied in 1967, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees, all without driving Israeli Jews out of the country. It is the only possible solution (4).

The fourth myth is that Israel attacks Palestinians in self-defense. Take the most recent massacre, for example: it is claimed by Israel, and repeated by other politicians and the media, that it was Hamas which broke the ceasefire. Yet a careful scrutiny of ceasefire violations shows that once Hamas defeated Fatah and took control of the Gaza strip, violations from its side dropped almost to zero, until Israel broke the ceasefire by an air attack and ground invasion on November 4. Furthermore, throughout the ceasefire Israel implemented a siege and naval blockade of Gaza, defined as acts of war in international law. So it was Israel which broke the ceasefire in an act of aggression, and the legally elected Hamas government of Palestine which was acting in self-defence (5). This means that in international law, the murder of each one of the over 550 Palestinians killed in the most recent massacre, whether the vast majority of civilians or the small minority of guerrilla fighters, is a crime equivalent to the crime of killing one Israeli civilian.

Indeed, even before the December onslaught, it was clear that what Israel was doing in Gaza amounted to genocide according to the Genocide Convention (1948), reiterated in the Rome Charter of the International Criminal Court (2002), which includes: '(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part' (6). The launching of rockets into Israel by Hamas was, like the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943, a response to impending extermination: a desperate bid for survival. The Zionists' hostility to anyone standing up for the rights of Palestinians led them in 1948 to murder Count Folke Bernadotte, who had negotiated the release of tens of thousands of prisoners from German concentration camps and was subsequently appointed UN Security Council mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict. More recently, their shameful abuse of Richard Falk, UNHRC Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine (himself an American Jew), who in December 2008 was denied entry, ill-treated and deported, suggests that only pragmatic considerations prevented them from assassinating him too (7).

What Needs to be Done?

According to twenty-one human rights activists (including Jews) from South Africa visiting the West Bank in July 2008, the situation in Palestine/Israel was 'worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of the apartheid, the racism and the brutality, are worse than the worst period of apartheid;' 'What we went through was terrible, terrible, terrible – and yet there is no comparison. Here it is more terrible' (8). An international response at least as strong as the response to Apartheid South Africa therefore seems to be appropriate, and this is constituted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel called for by Palestinian civil society groups on 9 July 2005, to be continued until the apartheid regime is replaced by a democratic one. This includes cultural, academic and sports boycotts, and a consumer boycott of Israeli goods (barcode starting with 729), as well as a boycott of companies investing in, sourcing from, or otherwise supporting Israel, and pressure on them to change their policies. It would also include pressure on governments to break off diplomatic, economic and military ties with Israel, pointing out that these constitute complicity with Israel's crimes (9).

There should be extra pressure on openly collaborationist regimes, like those of Mahmoud Abbas, Hosni Mubarak, and the Arab allies of Israel, which ought to be made to feel that their people will reject them unless they cease their complicity in Israeli crimes. Enormous pressure would also have to be brought to bear on the US, which assists Israel with billions of dollars annually as well as other forms of support. Given the indications that no change in US policy towards Palestine and Israel is planned by Barack Obama's administration, the pressure should begin immediately, before his inauguration. And pressure from within the US should be augmented by international pressure.

The US economy is in deep crisis, with more than $ 10 trillion of national debt, and the only reason it can keep bankrolling Israel is that the US dollar is treated as world currency and oil sales are denominated in it, so the US has been getting more or less unlimited credit from the rest of the world. Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries must be pressurised into supporting the rights of Palestinians by immediately denominating their oil sales in euro, in preparation for moving to roubles in the case of Russia, and a common Gulf currency in the case of the GCC countries. Countries like China and Japan, with their massive US dollar reserves, should make the extension of further credit conditional on the US ceasing to fund Israel as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and countries with smaller dollar reserves should shift their reserves to other currencies. Such a move is required not only by ethical considerations, but also by pragmatic ones: if the credit extended is used to rebuild the US economy, there is a chance that it might be returned, whereas if it is used to fund aggression against Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, it will never be returned. In this campaign, very little individual action is possible, and success would depend on putting collective pressure on governments to boycott the US dollar until the US ceases to engage in and support imperialist aggression. With very few exceptions, governments of the world are complicit in the atrocities being committed in Gaza, just as they were in the crushing of the Warsaw ghetto uprising (10), and strong public pressure would be needed to expose, condemn and end their complicity.

The myths enumerated above need to challenged in every forum, along with the more diffuse racism that constitutes their premise. We may disagree with the politics of Hamas, just as we may disagree with the politics of the British Labour Party, but it does not follow that we should condone the slaughter of all leaders and members of Hamas, their families, government employees, and random members of the Palestinian population which elected them to power, any more than we would condone the slaughter of all leaders and members of the Labour Party, their families, government employees, and random members of the British population which elected them to power. The fact that the US and EU cannot see this equivalence demonstrates that they are dominated by the same racism which allowed slavery to flourish and the indigenous peoples of North America and Australia to be exterminated. Where Black people are killing Black people, as in Rwanda, or White people are killing White people, as in Bosnia, there is a chance that the UN may take action, however weak and belated. But where White people are killing Third World peoples, as in Palestine, there is no hope that it will take any action unless citizens of the world put massive pressure on their governments to support a solution which can bring justice and peace to Palestine/Israel. It is good that there have been worldwide protests against the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, but a ceasefire would be no better than putting a sticking plaster over a festering wound, which will only erupt again sooner or later. The wound cannot heal until the infection has been eliminated by replacing the Apartheid state with a democratic one, and long-term, concerted action is required to achieve that goal.


(1) 'Israeli minister warns of Palestinian 'holocaust', Guardian, 29 February 2008,

(2) A.K.Ramakrishnan, 'Mahatma Gandhi Rejected Zionism,' The Wisdom Fund, 15 August 2001,

(3) The debates as well as the methods by which the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was achieved are meticulously recorded in Ilan Pappe's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 2007

(4) See the One Democratic State Group website at

(5) 'On Sderot and Ashkelon,' Jews sans Frontiers, 30 December 2008,

(6) For this argument see Ilan Pappe, 'Genocide in Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing In the West Bank, 28 January 2008,

(7) Stephen Lendman, 'Obama v. Richard Falk on Israel and Occupied Palestine,' Countercurrents, 24 December 2008,

(8) Gideon Levy, 'Twilight Zone / "Worse than Apartheid",' Haaretz, 12 July 2008,

(9) For details of the BDS campaign, see Global BDS Movement – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine, The website of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) also has suggestions for action, including signing a petition in support of UN General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, who has spoken out to condemn Israeli apartheid and called for boycott, divestment and sanctions Information about companies linked to Israel can also be found in the Boycott Apartheid Israel leaflet published by the Friends of Al Aqsa at

(10) See Joseph Massad, 'The Gaza Ghetto Uprising,' The Electronic Intifada, 4 January 2009,

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Jack Stone, read these "lies"!

The Long and Bloody Hypocrisy of U.S.-Israeli Acts of Terrorism
By Robert Parry

Israel, a nation that was born out of Zionist terrorism, has launched massive airstrikes against targets in Gaza using high-tech weapons produced by the United States, a country that often has aided and abetted terrorism by its client military forces, such as Chile's Operation Condor and the Nicaraguan contras, and even today harbors right-wing Cuban terrorists implicated in blowing up a civilian airliner.

Yet, with that moral ambiguity excluded from the debate, the justification for the Israeli attacks, which have killed at least 364 people, is the righteous fight against "terrorism," since Gaza is ruled by the militant Palestinian group, Hamas.

Hamas rose to power in January 2006 through Palestinian elections, which ironically the Bush administration had demanded. However, after Hamas won a parliamentary majority, Israel and the United States denounced the outcome because they deem Hamas a "terrorist organization."

Hamas then wrested control of Gaza from Fatah, a rival group that once was considered "terrorist" but is now viewed as a U.S.-Israeli partner, so it has been cleansed of the "terrorist" label.

Unwilling to negotiate seriously with Hamas because of its acts of terrorism -- which have included firing indiscriminate short-range missiles into southern Israel -- the United States and Israel sat back as the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza worsened, with 1.5 million impoverished Palestinians packed into what amounts to a giant open-air prison.

When Hamas ended a temporary cease-fire on Dec. 19 because of a lack of progress in those negotiations and began lobbing its little missiles into Israel once more, the Israeli government reacted on Saturday with its lethal "shock and awe" firepower -- even though no Israelis had been killed by the post-cease-fire missiles launched from Gaza. [Since Saturday, four Israelis have died in more intensive Hamas missile attacks.]

Israel claimed that its smart bombs targeted sites related to the Hamas security forces, including a school for police cadets and even regular policemen walking down the street. But it soon became clear that Israel was taking an expansive view of what was part of the Hamas military infrastructure, with Israeli bombs taking out a television station and a university building as well as killing a significant number of civilians.

As the slaughter continued on Monday, Israeli officials confided to Western journalists that the war plan was to destroy the vast support network of social and other programs that undergird Hamas's political clout.

"There are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel," a senior Israeli military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post.

"Hamas's civilian infrastructure is a very, very sensitive target," added Matti Steinberg, a former top adviser to Israel's domestic security service. "If you want to put pressure on them, this is how." [Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2008]

Since the classic definition of "terrorism" is the use of violence against civilians to achieve a political goal, Israel would seem to be inviting an objective analysis that it has chosen its own terrorist path. But it is clearly counting on the U.S. news media to continue wearing the blinders that effectively limit condemnations about terrorism to people and groups that are regarded as Washington's enemies.

Whose Terrorism?

As a Washington-based reporter for the Associated Press in the 1980s, I once questioned the seeming bias that the U.S.-based wire service applied to its use of the word "terrorist" when covering Middle East issues. A senior AP executive responded to my concerns with a quip. "Terrorist is the word that follows Arab," he said.

Though meant as a lighthearted riposte, the comment clearly had a great deal of truth to it. It was easy to attach "terrorist" to any Arab attack -- even against a military target such as the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 after the Reagan administration had joined hostilities against Muslim forces by having U.S. warships lob shells into Lebanese villages.

But it was understood that different rules on the use of the word "terrorism" applied when the terrorism was coming from "our side." Then, no American reporter with any sense of career survival would think of injecting the word "terrorist" whatever the justification.

Even historical references to acts of terrorism -- such as the brutal practice by American revolutionaries in the 1770s of "tar and feathering" civilians considered sympathetic to the British Crown or the extermination of American Indian tribes -- were seen as somehow diluting the moral righteousness against today's Islamic terrorists and in favor of George W. Bush's "war on terror."

Gone, too, from the historical narrative was the fact that militant Zionists employed terrorism as part of their campaign to establish Israel as a Jewish state. The terrorism included killings of British officials who were administering Palestine under an international mandate as well as Palestinians who were driven violently from their land so it could be claimed by Jewish settlers.

One of the most famous of those terrorist attacks was the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem where British officials were staying. The attack, which killed 91 people including local residents, was carried out by the Irgun, a terrorist group run by Menachem Begin who later founded the Likud Party and rose to be Israel's prime minister.

Another veteran of the campaign of Zionist terrorism was Yitzhak Shamir, who also became a Likud leader and eventually prime minister.

In the early 1990s, as I was waiting to interview Shamir at his Tel Aviv office, I was approached by one of his young female assistants who was dressed in a gray and blue smock with a head covering in the traditional Hebrew style.

As we were chatting, she smiled and said in a lilting voice, "Prime Minister Shamir, he was a terrorist, you know." I responded with a chuckle, "yes, I'm aware of the prime minister's biography."

Blind Spot

To maintain one's moral purity in denouncing acts of terror by U.S. enemies, one also needs a large blind spot for recent U.S. history, which implicates U.S. leaders repeatedly in tolerance or acts of terrorism.

For instance, in 1973, after a bloody U.S.-backed coup overthrew the leftist Chilean government, the new regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet joined with other South American dictatorships to sponsor an international terrorist organization called Operation Condor which assassinated political dissidents around the world.

Operation Condor mounted one of its most audacious actions on the streets of Washington in 1976, when Pinochet's regime recruited Cuban-American terrorists to detonate a car bomb that killed Chile's former foreign minister Orlando Letelier and an American co-worker, Ronni Moffitt. The Chilean government's role immediately was covered up by the CIA, then headed by George H.W. Bush. [For details, see Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege.]

Only weeks later, a Venezuela-based team of right-wing Cubans -- under the direction of Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles -- blew a Cubana Airliner out of the sky, killing 73 people. Bosch and Posada, a former CIA operative, were co-founders of CORU, which was described by the FBI as "an anti-Castro terrorist umbrella organization."

Though the U.S. government soon learned of the role of Bosch and Posada in the Cubana airline attack -- and the two men spent some time in a Venezuelan jail -- both Bosch and Posada since have enjoyed the protection of the U.S. government and particularly the Bush Family.

Rebuffing international demands that Bosch and Posada be held accountable for their crimes, the Bushes -- George H.W., George W. and Jeb -- have all had a hand in making sure these unrepentant terrorists get to live out their golden years in the safety and comfort of the United States.

In the 1980s, Posada even crossed over into another U.S.-backed terrorist organization, the Nicaraguan contras. After escaping from Venezuela, he was put to work in 1985 by Oliver North's contra-support operation run out of Ronald Reagan's National Security Council.

The Nicaraguan contras were, in effect, a narco-terrorist organization that partially funded its operations with proceeds from cocaine trafficking, a secret that the Reagan administration worked hard to conceal along with the contras' record of murder, torture, rape and other crimes in Nicaragua. [See Parry's Lost History.]

President Reagan joined, too, in fierce PR campaigns to discredit human rights investigators who documented massive atrocities by U.S. allies in Central America in the 1980s -- not only the contras, but also the state terrorism of the Salvadoran and Guatemalan security forces, which engaged in wholesale slaughters in villages considered sympathetic to leftist insurgents.

Generally, the major U.S. news outlets treaded very carefully when allegations arose about terrorism by "our side."

When some brave journalists, like New York Times correspondent Raymond Bonner, wrote about politically motivated killings of civilians in Central America, they faced organized retaliation by right-wing advocacy groups which often succeeded in damaging or destroying the reporters' careers.

Double Standards

Eventually, the American press corps developed an engrained sense of the double standards. Moral outrage could be expressed when acts of terrorism were committed by U.S. enemies, while studied silence -- or nuanced concern -- would be in order when the crimes were by U.S. allies.

So, while the U.S. news media had no doubt that the 9/11 terrorist attacks justified invading Afghanistan, there was very little U.S. media criticism when President Bush inflicted his "shock and awe" assault on Iraq, a war that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths.

Though many Muslims and others around the world have denounced Bush's Iraq invasion as "state terrorism," such a charge would be considered far outside the mainstream in the United States. Instead, Iraqi insurgents are often labeled "terrorists" when they attack U.S. troops inside Iraq. The word "terrorist" has become, in effect, a geopolitical curse word.

Despite the long and bloody history of U.S.-Israeli participation in terrorism, the U.S. news media continues its paradigm of pitting the U.S.-Israeli "good guys" against the Islamic "bad guys." One side has the moral high ground and the other is in the moral gutter. [For more on the U.S. media's one-sided approach, see the analysis by Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher.]

Any attempt to cite the larger, more ambiguous and more troubling picture draws accusations from defenders of U.S.-Israeli actions, especially the neoconservatives, of what they call "moral equivalence" or "anti-Semitism."

Yet it is now clear that acquiescence to a double standard on terrorism is not just a violation of journalistic ethics or an act of political cowardice; it is complicity in mass murder. Without the double standard, it is hard to envision how the bloodbaths -- in Iraq (since 2003), in Lebanon (in 2006) and in Gaza (today) -- would be possible.

Hypocrisy over the word "terrorism" is not an innocent dispute over semantics; it kills.

Robert Parry's new book is Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq."

© 2009 Consortium News All rights reserved.
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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.