Shim Jae Hoon at PostGlobal

Shim Jae Hoon

South Korea

Shim Jae Hoon is a Seoul-based journalist and commentator writing for a variety of international publications including YaleGlobal Online, The Straits Times of Singapore, The Taipei Times and Korea Herald. He was a correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review in Seoul, Taipei and Jakarta. Close.

Shim Jae Hoon

South Korea

Shim Jae Hoon is a Seoul-based journalist and commentator writing for a variety of international publications including YaleGlobal Online, The Straits Times of Singapore, The Taipei Times and Korea Herald. more »

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The Most Uncompromising Kind of Imperialism

There is no reason for Muslims to take personal offense to this gesture, which has been given to a variety of personalities from many nations. The problem with Muslim fundamentalism is that it demands submission to its zealotry. By insisting that we yield to their "sensitivity," they seek to impose their values on nonbelievers.

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All Comments (29)

baiinshan:


USAMa

USA is responsible for all the wrongful acts rammaging through the globe is over bloated judgmental call. I used to hate USA imperialism, because I felt greatly aghasted over US indirect involvement in Kwangju massacres in 1980 when then dictator Chun was recognized by Reagan.

Chalmers Johnson's triology which may be easily accessible in the US presented a strong accusation of the US military industrial complex that purports to perfect the vicious cycle of the spread of US imperialism after the cold over rivalry is over. To some extent his analysis and exploration rings true, but it is two much one sided.

US Marshall Plan did help a lot to recreate the war-stricken Europe after WWW II. US intervention in Korean war helped S. Korea survive Kim's futile invasion which was supported by Stanlin and Mao Zedong. I know US egregious interventionist schemes in toppling down a Chilean newly elected left-leaning president and many of undercover schemes to kill many of smart left-leaning students when latin american academies and students were in the grip of dependencia school attakcing the imperialistic interventionist acts of US in the region, which was held to perfectuate the vicious cycle of creating class lines within each and every Latin American nation.

But those once arduous and fervent supporters of dependencia school of thought are not changing their coats, not anymore criticizing the US's foreign policy and economic policies one sided inthe region. We came to hold more balanced viewpoint of the history of what had happened in the sixties through 80s. It is more of the result of corrupted bureaucracies and military elites that disrupted the potential growth of naturally abundtantly endowed countries in the region, not to attribute their failures exclusly to US intervention.

It is too much one sided, thus failing to ground your balance, if US imperialis is at fault for all the failures of world.

katakaha:

Usama:
Let's look at South Korea as an example of US empire. We, and many other allied countries, kept them from being overrun by North Korea. (No one, after all, disputes that life in North Korea runs from painful to horrific.) As part of the free global community, South Korea has gone from utter devastation to great prosperity in only a few decades. Their educational system is excellent, and their implementation of technology is among the best in the world. I think they have the highest proportion of people with broad-band internet access in the world. They survived several decades of dictatorship, yes, but Kim Dae Jung, then a pro-democracy activist and opposition politician, was reportedly saved from an assassination attempt by the S. Korean government by US intervention. Many years later, Kim Dae Jung became president. Not too shabby, I think. Japan and Germany have also fared very well since becoming friends of the US. It's terrible that the US brought the Shah back in power. But by continuing to hate the US, Iran is hurting itself.

Usama:

That's right, Muslims love the Prophet Muhammad (saaw) more than they love quiet surrender to REAL WORLD imperial powers.

Mr Hoon seems to have an upside down sense of reality. America is the world empire. And Britain is America's tag-along imperial bulldog. South Korea is a shining example of America's empire, keeping the Korean people divided for 50 years by military force, supporting Korean dictators for decades and shaping Korean society to serve American globalization efforts. For Mr Hoon to throw the imperialism label on Muslims is ridiculous. America has the 700 military installations worldwide and the record of coups, assasinations, coup attempts, and interventions in foreign lands for the past 60 years.

Muslim fundamentalists, whomever they are, are simply voicing their condemnations. And to answer Mr Hoon: yes, if you love something enough that has been violated or blasphemied, you act out to defend it.

Muslims do put the love of the Prophet Muhammad (saaw) above the love of their own children, even themselves. That is a reality which many Muslims and a growing number of Muslims hold dear. If they can't control their govts because they are run by dictators subservient to the REAL world empire America, they can at least show they care about the Prophet Muhammad (saaw).

Muslims are simply making public protests of their condemnation of the British crown. Should they remain silent in the face of something which they disapprove? That seems to be what everyone wants- shut up and take it.

Well that's for people who submit to others. I don't submit to the Queen, do you?

Shaan Khan:

Bill Tetzeli:

While you remind people that Palestinians celebrated 9/11 , please do not forget to mention that Israelis were also caught filming and celebrating the national tragedy. Moreover the Yahoo from Nathan, i.e. Nathanyahoo's first comment was "This is good for Israel". No sorrow, no compassion but, "this is good for Israel".

I agree that although it may appear that there are a billion plus Muslims, in reality most of them are just Hypocrites. Your analysis on this issue is on the mark. I typical Mid-Western guy is a better Muslim than many of these billion plus Muslims.

Shaan Khan:

Miftah Ismail

I do not believe in Fatwas. I do not believe Islam has vested much power in the Mullahs / Iman. An Imam is just someone who leads a prayer, he is just another guy. Islam does not have a Pope or a clergy class. Everyone is equal.

Having said that let me also say that issuing a Fatwa to kill Salman was wrong. I do believe in letting people say what they want.

Nonetheless I understand the sensitivity but don't find it unique.

Bill Tetzeli:

Box 2222: "To beguine [sic] with roshdi [sic] was not known anywhere and his style of writing is very poor."

Sez you. "Satanic Verses" was one of the best books I ever read. The fatwa and anger over the supposed insult to Islam drowned out the real message of the book. It wasn't an accusation directed at Islam or Muhammed, it was about self-estrangement in an increasingly Westernized world, and the journey back to one's origins and one's own true self. The pilgrimage episode is not only beautiful, it's a Rorschach test. Those who understood saw the pilgrims reaching Paradise. Those who didn't saw only broken bodies on the beach. I know which vision I prefer.

x2:

C'mon guys. Give Shaan a little credit.

He's here using words to argue his point. At least he's not chopping heads.

Bill Tetzeli:

The constant refrain is "Islam is a religion of peace". America has another refrain - "Talk is cheap". I will grant that peace is the blueprint laid out in the Koran and the Hadith - being an "infidel" I don't have the right to judge them - but I submit that the architects have deviated egregiously and the tenants have accepted their errors.

Was there peace in the rejoicing in Palestine over the destruction of over 3000 lives on Sept. 11th? Was there peace in the riots and killing (of nuns, no less) because of the Danish cartoons? Is there peace in the civil war in Iraq between Sunni and Shia over a 1,400 year-old grudge?

You can only come to one of two conclusions: either these are true representations of Islam, which means Islam is not a peaceful religion; or the people who exhibit these behaviors are not true Muslims, and only use religion as a cover for their darkest, most primitive passions (linguistic note: Greek "hypos" (under) + "kryt" (cover, shield) = hypocrite).

These people are as much hypocrites as the Crusaders, the KKK or the "Christian" who bathed Europe in centuries of blood over Protestant vs. Catholic. So if you want to call Islam a religion of peace, by all means do. But then take the next logical step of condemning those - and loudly - who abuse your religion with violence. We can't hear you now.

Mark in Exile:

"Name one country in the past 200 years that has issued an edict calling for the death of a critic of its state-sponsored religion - a country that doesn't have "Islamic" in its title. I dare you to respond!"

"Pick up any newspaper and you will find that on a regular basis Israel issues a new "FATWA" to kill
its critics."

Any religion that calls for the death of its critics is a very poor religion indeed - it is a religion of force and violence, not a religion of faith and forgiveness.

lalit bagai:

No dialogue is possible with muslims.

In Pakistan the punishment for blasphemy is death. Apostasy is punished with death.

It is difficult for a women tp prove rape, because 4 muslim men are required.

All this in a land which has a surplus of clerics who have studied the religion.

For every quote of tolerance there are several which demand intolerance.

The prophet demanded that people love him more then their own parents. He demanded that any one
insulting the prophet be put to death. And thats
what muslims demand every time they feel this has taken place.Even the Pope had to withdraw his criticism of Mohammed.

However if muslims feel they are the best people, why dont they live in their own countries
That would solve all problems.

Or do muslims believe that they have the right to live in nonmuslim countries, dictate to them, and to mistreat nonmuslims who live in theirs.

Ultimately all debate with the muslim world will
stop, because its a pointless discussion.

And its time that the liberal nonmuslim world stop being deffertial to muslims.

Anyway if muslims do not live in the nonmuslim
world they will not know or care how others think of them.

Or is the intent of muslims that they will hear
and see what we do in our homes, and judge whether it hurts their sensibilities.

lalit bagai:

No dialogue is possible with muslims.

In Pakistan the punishment for blasphemy is death. Apostasy is punished with death.

It is difficult for a women tp prove rape, because 4 muslim men are required.

All this in a land which has a surplus of clerics who have studied the religion.

For every quote of tolerance there are several which demand intolerance.

The prophet demanded that people love him more then their own parents. He demanded that any one
insulting the prophet be put to death. And thats
what muslims demand every time they feel this has taken place.Even the Pope had to withdraw his criticism of Mohammed.

However if muslims feel they are the best people, why dont they live in their own countries
That would solve all problems.

Or do muslims believe that they have the right to live in nonmuslim countries, dictate to them, and to mistreat nonmuslims who live in theirs.

Ultimately all debate with the muslim world will
stop, because its a pointless discussion.

And its time that the liberal nonmuslim world stop being deffertial to muslims.

Anyway if muslims do not live in the nonmuslim
world they will not know or care how others think of them.

Or is the intent of muslims that they will hear
and see what we do in our homes, and judge whether it hurts their sensibilities.

Miftah Ismail:

Shaan Khan:

Do you think it is wrong and immoral to issue a fatwa calling for Rushdie to be killed?

Sister Jannah:

I'm Muslim but believe that Islam is ill served by the extreme inability of its self-appointed spokesmen to take any criticism at all. Grow up, crybabies, and act like adults. If Islam is all that great and superior, it will withstand criticism of its mistakes. If you think it's so weak and fragile it can't take any criticism, I submit that YOU are the ones belittling Islam. I for one think Islam would benefit by coming down off its arrogant high horse and engaging in dialogue with the rest of the world as an equal, not as a petulant autocrat.

Shaan Khan:

David

Why do you insist on asking me such easy questions. Pick up any newspaper and you will find that on a regular basis Israel issues a new "FATWA" to kill its critics.

Past 200 years, Buddy you give me too much time. How about past one week.

David:

Shaan:

Name one country in the past 200 years that has issued an edict calling for the death of a critic of its state-sponsored religion - a country that doesn't have "Islamic" in its title. I dare you to respond!

John Ho:

Shaan Khan makes a valid point that there is a distinct difference between the teachings of a faith and the misdeeds of some of its adherents in the name of that faith. There are zealots of every stripe, in every faith, following every ideal.

Do we judge and condemn various faiths for the failings of the people who follow it? Do we reject Islam because there are some who fail to live up to its beautiful and wonderful teachings? If so, do we reject Christianity for its followers who fail to "turn the other cheek" or "love his neighbour as he would love himself"?

Every faith on the planet tries to teach us, to prompt us to live better lives. It calls upon us to live to a higher standard. But we're all flawed people, and we can take our angers, our hatreds, our bitterness, our ignorance and warp these beautiful ideals.

Rather than judging others, we, each person on this planet should be looking within, and judge ourselves. And when we find ourselves lacking, we should and must try again to live up to those standards.

gringo:

Shaan Khan:

What does Koran say about people who leave Islam?
What does Koran say about people who say bad things about Islam?

Go ahead, quote the Koran for us on these particular questions...

Ex-Moslem:

Mr. Khan - Second Caliph of Islam Omar (the lizard eater savage) was one of the cruelest and most evil creature mankind has ever seen. Omar was a savage that got pleasure from burning men live and raping their wives and stealing their wealth. The word of tolerance does not exist in Islam. Please stop spreading false information.

rk, Oakland, USA:

If everyone of all faiths would keep their deeply
held religious beliefs in their heart instead of
wearing them out on their sleeves, then we would all
be less inclined to fall prey to the politicizing
and demagogy of religion that is often used by evil
men to obtain or keep power.

box2222:

To beguine with roshdi was not known anywhere and his style of writing is very poor. However, if it's not for his book against Islam we won’t be having this discussion.
Naming roshdi it's a political move by the british government, why they didn't honor him before writing the book or at least 5 years ago.
Shim Jae Hoon you have to know your freedom stops when you touch someone else freedom.

Shaan Khan:

Andy:

A famous Egyptian was once sent by his government to tour the world. He came back and reported that, “In the land of Islam he found no Muslims while he found plenty of Muslims in the land beyond those ruled by Islam”.

I myself have said many a times that our stereotypical Mid-West person in USA is a far better Muslim than a lot of Muslims in Islamic countries. The question really is “Who is a Muslim”. One does not get “Baptized” to become a Muslim. It is not based on one’s Mother’s religion. It is not a birth right. A Muslim is one by his deeds and action. It is not easy being one. Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) said the one who lies is not a Muslim. The same case can be made about tolerance, righteousness, patience etc.

If you want to understand Islam then pick up the Quran and read it. If you want to judge Islam then judge it on the deeds of a Muslim. Reading DC comic books or watching hostile media will not further you knowledge of Islam. Similarly observing criminals or ignorant bigoted fools will not enable you to judge Islam.

Shaan Khan:

St Huck.

USA has the largest prison population in the world. Are the deeds of the people in the prison a reflection of Judaism/Christinaity/Islam ? Ofcourse not, criminals have no religion, they are just criminals. I have never ever connected Jeffrey Dahmer to the teaching of Christianity or Irving David Rubin to Judaism. Hence I find it disgusting that you would connect the action of some ignorant fools to the teaching of Islam. Islam is in any case bigger than the actions of some self proclaimed Muslims.

Majority of the Muslim are just simple folks who are a victim of a hundred plus years of chaos. Their political leaders have been killed and poisoned. Their religious leaders have been steadily assassinated to a point where the insane are now running the asylum. A lot of Muslim communities around the world are in a state similar to the one seen pre Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), viz a state of total ignorance. The best way forward is to re-inject Islam into these communities so that they can stand up on their own two feet and contain the trouble makers within their communities. I would like local Afghans to ask the Talibans Goons why they are being intolerant in the name of a religion which is the very font of tolerance.

Andy:

Shaan Khan, your defense of Islam rings hollow. You point to various writings in the Koran and statements by the Prophet Mohammad that purport to show that Islam is a peaceful, tolerant religion. That's fine as far as it goes, but I (like many Westerners) prefer to judge a religion by the actions of its adherents, rather than their words. What you are trying to do would be like arguing that murder is not a part of American culture because every city and state has laws on the books prohibiting it. A better question might be to ask why, if we consistently try to outlaw killing, do we still do it so often?

It is only by thinking critically and objectively that we learn to improve ourselves. From this outsider's perspective, many Muslims fall short in that capacity.

St. Huck:

Sorry about that first one, I'm not trying to impersonate anyone here!

St. Huck:

Shaan Khan

"I can go on and on but please in return show me equal amount of inclusiveness and tolerance outside of Islam. Show me a religion outside of Islam which believes that they are not a chosen people but merely part of a big universal family and that forgiveness and God’s mercy is for all."

You can harp on and on and on with things like this, but do the actions of those that issued and supported (in the present tense as well) the fatwa embody this sentiment, or in fact the majority of the Prophet's teachings? You (and many people of similar ilk) use such points to argue that Islam is unjustly persecuted, but you hesitate to use the same arguments to condemn those that claim to embody your faith but show much more disrespect to the concepts you posted than any non-believer ever could.

This whole post is a pipe dream, but the best way to improve the current state of affairs would be not to indoctrinate outsiders to the admirable values of the faith, but to ensure that current believers actually adopt and practice them, both on the world stage and on personal levels. In doing so, outsiders would learn in turn of the values of the faith.

This, of course, is a lesson the "west" and the united states could serve to learn as well.

Shaan Khan:

"I can go on and on but please in return show me equal amount of inclusiveness and tolerance outside of Islam. Show me a religion outside of Islam which believes that they are not a chosen people but merely part of a big universal family and that forgiveness and God’s mercy is for all."

You can harp on and on and on with things like this, but do the actions of those that issued and supported (in the present tense as well) the fatwa embody this sentiment, or in fact the majority of the Prophet's teachings? You (and many people of similar ilk) use such points to argue that Islam is unjustly persecuted, but you hesitate to use the same arguments to condemn those that claim to embody your faith but show much more disrespect to the concepts you posted than any non-believer ever could.

The best way to improve the current state of affairs would be not to indoctrinate outsiders to the admirable values of the faith, but to ensure that current believers actually adopt and practice them, both on the world stage and on personal levels.

This, of course, is a lesson the "west" and the united states could serve to learn as well.

Salamon:

Without doubt the British Monarchy [at the behest of the PM] will bestow knighthood on the author of the De Vinci Coade, and any similar authors who attack any and all religions' sacred tenets -- while at the same time the British Monarchy [at the behest of the PM] and the Monarchy with the help of the PM will take any and all meassures to defend ZIONISM, ZIONIST extremism, and ZIONIST transgression against international law [the validity of the last section is absolutely clear to anyone perusing the history of British politics regarding Israel since 1957] and prosecute those opposing Zionist agression under new HATE LAWS and or ANTI_SEMITE behhavoir..

I would suggest that this elevation to Knighthood had nothing to do with literary genius but everything to do with a jubilation of the Secular leadership of Brittain with anyone attacking religion, especially if such attack is against MUSLIMS, the prime enemy of the re-incarnated ANGLO-SAZON Cultural heritage [From a as in Austraila to U as in United States]

Michael:

I believe there is too much tolerance and deference shown to people who exhibit inappropriate behavior in the name of religion.

There is good and bad in all religions. Unfortunately, these cannot be separated - just as a few drops of poison ruins an entire pot of soup.

I don't believe the British government bestowed honors on Rushdie as an insult to Islam. But perhaps it should have. Why on Earth should anyone show any kind of deference to a people whose most vocal advocates have absolutely zero respect for the rest of the world.

Uncompromising peoples such as this have not fared well throughout history. This will be no different.

Shaan Khan:

Shim Jae Hoon:

I have seen in USA that whenever someone in the media tries to be fair and balanced on Islam, he gets fired or replaced. It almost seems that job security compels people in the media to say something very negative or nasty about Islam regardless of the facts. If that is the case with you, then I understand and emphasize. Hopefully your uncalled for and consistent attack on Islam will enable you to hold on to your job till you find a more honorable way to make a living.

Nonetheless if your attack is based on sheer lack of knowledge then please consider the following.

Islam believes in equality and inclusiveness. Chapter 4 Verse 1 as well as Chapter 49 Verse 13 of the Quran makes it clear that all of humanity is one great family. In this regard Islam embraces all divinely inspired religions including Judaism and Christianity (See Chapter 42 Verse 13), and commands Muslims to only judge each other with Justice (Chapter 4 Verse 58). Further more Allah (swt) states that Muslims should not allow hatred to deviate them from being just. Chapter 5 Verse 8. Islam unequivocally affirms the right of each individual to freedom of thought and religion. Chapter 2 Verse 256

One of the verified statements of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is “He who harms a Jew or a Christian will find me his opponent on the Day of Judgment”. When a Christian delegation from Najran, a town in SW Arabia came to Madina (Saudi Arabia), they prayed in the well known and well respected Masjid (or Mosque) of Prophet Mohammed on one side while Prohpet Mohammed (pbuh) prayed simultaneously on the other side (i.e. they shared the Masjid).

This tradition of tolerance was carried on by Prophet Mohammed’s (pbuh) successors also. The second Caliph of Islam Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA) when he took over Jerusalem, accepted all the conditions of the Christian inhibitors. He refused to pray in a church fearing that some bigoted zealot in the future might use that as a claim over that church and demand the church be converted to a Masjid.

The same Omar Al Khattab (RA) stopped the governor of Egypt who was under the prevailing laws expanding a Mosque at the expense of a Christian lady’s house. Although the prevailing laws of Egypt then allowed such an expansion, he made the governor stop the expansion and asked then to rebuild the lady’s house. He made it clear that Islam will not tolerate such injustice.

I can go on and on but please in return show me equal amount of inclusiveness and tolerance outside of Islam. Show me a religion outside of Islam which believes that they are not a chosen people but merely part of a big universal family and that forgiveness and God’s mercy is for all.


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