Importing Muslim hate into Barbados?
- By Suleiman Bulbulia
- Published 06/4/2011
The Panel Discussion organized by Olive Tree group was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Friday 27th May 2011. What was advertised as a discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis turned into a hatemongering campaign against Muslims
panelists were Joel Richardson and Walid Shoebat of the United States
of America and Monsignor Vincent Blackett and Sabir Nakhuda of Barbados.
There was a $10 asking price for tickets to cover expenses.
discussion began with Joel Richardson seemingly laying the blame
squarely on the shoulders of the Palestinians. His position was that
Muslims hate Jews and it was their divine destiny to destroy them. His
solution was for Muslims to confess, repent and thereafter wait for a
generation to pass before a peaceful solution can be sought.
Monsignor Blackett spoke of the need for all parties to work together and to build bridges of understanding.
Nakhuda gave a historical account of the beginning of the crisis laying
out a case of broken promises, betrayal, oppression and injustice of
the Palestinian people. He argued that a people who have been oppressed
cannot be labeled as ‘terrorists’ when they respond to the aggression
and injustice meted out to them. He spoke of the wall built by the
Israelis as the apartheid wall and the several United Nations
resolutions ignored by the Israeli government with no consequences. As
for solutions, he argued that sanctions like those imposed on apartheid
South Africa would be a start by the international community in putting
pressure on Israel to abide by UN resolutions. He also called on other
countries to be honest peace brokers and that countries like the USA who
gives billions of dollars in aid, including military assets to Israel
needed to step aside and allow others who are not bias to look for a
Walid Shoebat for his part told of his history as a Palestinian terrorist and then giving up that to speak in favor of Israel. He dismissed the notion of a land called Palestine and a people called Palestinians. He argued that Islam and Muslims were intolerant and peace could not be negotiated with them.
only people that seem to be educated enough to debate were Shoebat and
Nakhuda,’’ claimed one audience member. ‘‘Joel Richardson was basically
there to stir up hatemongering amongst Muslims…. The feeling of
Islamophobia could be felt throughout the entire event’’
discussion by the audience that followed in the aftermath of the
discussion went the route of criticisms on Islam and Muslims. These
comments and questions were followed by responses by Shoebat and
Richardson that misrepresented Islamic teachings on several issues.
Verses of the Quran were read out of context and the
solutions to the future of Israel and Palestine were to be discussed in
detail, it was overshadowed by the Muslims v Christians/Jews debate.
No common ground was found by the panelists but what was clear was that the drive by the two speakers from America was to present a case for Barbados to unreservedly support of Israel.
Several members of the audience in a post discussion made a request for other speakers to be invited to Barbados to discuss the issue in a more objective manner and to discuss all issues from both sides.
the event offered little education and debate on the situation in
Israel and Palestine. There also was no real Israeli or Palestinian
representation on the panel and the issue of religion overshadowed the
debate. The audience got very little out of their $10.
First published by Palestine Solidarity Movement [Caribbean].