Walid Shoebat at USF - 'Islam is not a religion' - by SeÃ¡n Kinane
As part of Israel Week at USF, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Hillel sponsored a lecture Thursday night by Walid Shoebat, who was billed as a former terrorist turned Zionist. WMNFâ€™s SeÃ¡n Kinane has more.
ACT â€“ fundamentalists â€“ Shoebat (20 sec)
I said Iâ€™m sorry. I know Iâ€™m a Christian fundamentalist and I give people a headache because I proselytize. I admit that, us fundamentalists give the world a headache. But the Muslim fundamentalist will take the whole head off [laughter]. I said thereâ€™s a quite a difference there, isnâ€™t there?
That was Walid Shoebat. The title of his lecture was Inside Terror: Confessions of a PLO Terrorist. Here he describes terrorism he committed in the 1970s.
ACT â€“ bank â€“ Shoebat (29 sec)
â€œI put a bomb in bank ?Lomi, Israel, in Bethlehem. It exploded. I saw some Arab children â€“ I was supposed to put it on the door of the bank. It was the only Jewish bank, or Israeli bank in an Arab area. So my mission was to blow it up. So when I went to the bank, I was supposed to put it at 6pm, and I saw some Arab children walking around, I didnâ€™t want to kill Arabs, so I put it on the roof, hoping the roof would collapse. It exploded at 6pm exactly. Had I followed my instructions, Iâ€™d have been dead.â€?
But since then he has rejected Islam and become a Christian. He speaks out against what he calls the hatred preached by fundamentalist Islam, such as the regime in Iran.
ACT â€“ triggerhappy â€“ Shoebat (32sec)
â€œYou deal with it exactly how you dealt with the rise of Nazism. You have a window of a chance to get rid of it now. You either get rid of it now, crush it basically. Iran cannot have nuclear. You must stop Iran from establishing nuclear weapons. Itâ€™s not fair for Iran to not have nuclear weapons and America [sic â€“ he meant Israel?] have nuclear weapons. Well, yeah it is fair because one is trigger-happy and one is not. Itâ€™s a difference. One is not a free democratic society, itâ€™s a dictatorship, itâ€™s a theocracy, itâ€™s a madhouse. And one is not. Israel is not trigger happy, theyâ€™re not going to push the button.â€?
But some of Shoebatâ€™s other statements call into question his claim that Israel is not trigger-happy.
ACT â€“ osirak â€“ Shoebat (39 sec)
â€œSo sometimes we gotta get rid of our tyrants. You know, get rid of Saddam Hussein. America â€“ ohh, bad for attacking Iraq. OK, there was never found nuclear bombs. Excuse me, they had nuclear buildup and the Israelis destroyed Osirak, did you forget about that? Didnâ€™t Israel go and bomb the Osirak nuclear reactor that Saddam Hussein was building? Why is nobody talking about that? Ohh, itâ€™s because Israel did it. Nobody wants to say thank you for the state of Israel. Because we all condemned Israel for blowing up Osirak, the whole world community objected. So if a Jew does it itâ€™s an objection, if an American does it, itâ€™s OK.â€?
Shoebat put forward the idea that Islam is not a religion, but a system of government.
ACT â€“ islamnotreligion â€“ Shoebat (34 sec)
â€œI began to understand that Islam as a religion is NOT a religion. Islam is a system of government. Can anybody deny that? Islam is a legislation, civil code, government, then a religion. Thatâ€™s what Islam is. So now you want to fight Islamic fundamentalism and itâ€™s a problem because youâ€™re really talking about a religion. And youâ€™re going to offend people. â€˜We must have Islamic democracy.â€™ I said, â€˜excuse me, Islam is not a religion.â€™ Itâ€™s like saying capitalistic communism, is there such an oxymoron?â€?
Since the recent election of Hamas by the Palestinians, many countries have threatened to or, in the case of Canada and Israel, have actually cut off monetary aid to the Palestinian people. Shoebat called former U.S. President Jimmy Carter â€œcrazyâ€? because he thinks aid should not be cut off to Palestine.
ACT â€“ carter â€“ Shoebat (25 sec)
â€œWe have to deal with evil. Youâ€˜ve got to deal with Hitler â€¦ There is a limit that you can put up with. And you have to come up with a limit until you say enough is enough. Hamas was established now as a state. Enough is enough. No funding for Hamas. Carter comes on the television. He should be selling peanuts; the guy is crazy. We should give them money, but we should give them a different avenue, dah-dah-dah. No!â€?
During his lecture Shoebat mentioned that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and that of the 55 Muslim states, including Turkey, â€œnone is a democracy.â€? WMNF asked him how he defines democracy.
ACT â€“ democracy â€“ Shoebat (38 sec)
â€œI define a democracy where, look, to me, democracy is the treatment of the minorities. If blacks are mistreated in America, then we donâ€™t have a democracy. Treatment of minorities, minorities have a right to live and express their view in freedom. Thatâ€™s a democracy. Can I go to Ramallah right now and say â€˜suicide bombing is wrong?â€™ Carry a placard saying â€˜suicide bombing is wrong.â€™ Iâ€™ll be lynched within minutes. Is that a democracy? No. Can I go to Syria in the middle of Damascus and say â€˜I condemn suicide bombing in the Palestinian areas?â€™ Iâ€™m finished. Can I do that in Cairo, can I do that in Saudi Arabia?â€?
A student in the audience asked Shoebat for the advice he would give young people on creating a world of peace. In his response, Shoebat answered:
ACT â€“ wolf â€“ Shoebat (6 sec)
â€œSometimes we have to shoot brother wolf until he promises to stop eating sister sheep.â€?
WMNF asked Shoebat if he thought that violence was really the way to achieve peace.
ACT â€“ court â€“ Shoebat (27 sec)
Shoebat - â€œYeah, Iâ€™m talking about the extremists who are pushing the hatred. Sometimes you have to eliminate them. You know, itâ€™s like Sheik Yassin. Yes, I think itâ€™s right to kill Sheik Yassin.â€? â€¦
Kinane â€“ â€œIn a democracy you would bring somebody to court.â€?
Shoebat â€“ â€œLook America wants him â€˜dead or alive.â€™ George Bush said, â€˜dead or alive,â€™ Texan style, regarding Usama bin Laden. They didnâ€™t [mocking accent] â€˜bring him to court,â€™ thereâ€™s no need to [mocking accent] â€˜bring him to court.â€™ Iâ€™m not going to bring Usama bin Laden to court to please you, Iâ€™m gonna kill him.â€?
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Shoebat claims that activists are overly concerned about Palestinian victims of Israeli violence and ignore other problems in the world, such as violence in the Sudan.
ACT â€“ jessejackson â€“ Shoebat (21 sec)
â€œSudan, South Sudan and North Sudan. I donâ€™t know if you know about the story where thereâ€™s Catholics and Greek Orthodox and all that stuff. They killed millions, literally millions, and nobody says nothing! Womenâ€™s rights activism â€“ what happens, where are womenâ€™s rights activism? Whereâ€™s Jesse Jackson? I mean, these are black people, too. Whereâ€™s Jesse Jackson?â€?
Jesse Jackson visited the Sudan in 2004 and told Jet magazine "It's the world's No. 1 humanitarian disaster â€¦ The U.S. must act.â€?
== Del for time ==
Shoebat also blames the media for what he considers its anti-Israel bias:
ACT â€“ media â€“ Shoebat (19 sec)
â€œI guess Israel is guilty. And the Jenin massacre was the Jenin massacre. Thatâ€™s the way it is with this media. Jenin was not a massacre. And I rarely ever read about Hebron massacre in the media. The media is the problem. The media has been focusing on one side but never focusing on the other side.â€?
After the lecture, Shoebat received a standing ovation by more than half of the fifty or so people in attendance. A USF student, Merav, told WMNF that she found Shoebatâ€™s speech inspiring.
ACT â€“ Merav (22 sec)
â€œI definitely found it a message of peace, and a message of hope. That itâ€™s just to go from being in a situation where you feel that you can kill yourself because you hate something or someone so much to advocating for their rights, is just, itâ€™s beautiful.â€?
A former USF student, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, did not agree that Shoebat delivered a message of peace.
ACT â€“ Anonymous (25 sec)
â€œHe knows how to stir the crowd, and thatâ€™s what you need a speaker for, is how to move a crowd to what direction you want. But the content, I wasnâ€™t really impressed at allâ€¦ A student in the crowd asked what does he think the solution was for peace. I was actually confused because he said the way for peace to happen is by killing other people.â€?
If you would like to get involved with Hillel, or find out about upcoming events, phone them at 813-899-2788.
For WMNF News, Iâ€™m SeÃ¡n Kinane
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