Shamsul Akmar: New Straits Times
The question still is: Do Jews control the world?
Byline: Shamsul Akmar
Edition: Main/Lifestyle; 2*
Column: Saturday notes
Memo: OIC Summit 2003.
MECCA Cola, a carbonated drink, was promoted at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit.
The drink, given its name, looks set to be an Islamic drink. If the name is not enough to make it “Islamic”, the manufacturers have added a one liner on the cans.
It states: “Please do not mix with alcohol.”
Mecca Cola, which could have passed off as Coca-Cola, from the taste to the design and colour of the can if not for its name and one liner plea, has, according to its founder and owner Tawfik Mathouthi, penetrated 48 nations.
He is a French citizen of Tunisian origin and the manufacturing of the drink is done in his adopted country.
Asked why he choose to put the one liner that the drink should not be mixed with alcohol, he said: “I am being a responsible Muslim. You know how some people will mix such drinks with whisky. I just want my conscience clear that I have done my part to remind those consuming my product not to mix it with alcohol.
“Furthermore, I believe it is a responsibility on my part, since I decided to use the name Mecca for my product, that I try to ensure that it is put to good use.”
Of course, he will have no control if consumers do decide to mix it with alcohol. It would have been easier on his conscience, if that is truly the reason for the reminder, if he had given his drink a name that would not be associated with Islam.
However, it is obvious that he is banking on the name to sell the product and Muslims the world over, those in Malaysia included, are “affectionate” about products manufactured by Muslims and carrying symbols or names associated with Islam.
Apart from the fact that Muslims do seem easily swayed by anything that carry an Islamic label, it can also be a reflection of how “proud” they are to see their brethren doing well in the global market, generally accepted to be controlled by the West and Jews.
However, singling out Jews here may not go down well with those in the West as any remark or statement that has a negative connotation may result in those making the remark being labelled anti-Semitic, a racist or even being equated with Adolf Hitler.
Those were the labels Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad received for saying that “Jews controlled the world”.
Forget about the fact that his statement was taken out of context.
What is more sinister is why the statement was taken out of context and the strong reactions from certain leader from Australia and also the Israeli diplomat to Singapore?
Forget also the accusations that Dr Mahathir was trying to stir sentiments against Jews; the question is whether Jews control? Lest the West forgets, the perception that Jews control the world is entrenched in Third World nations, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
It is accepted among Third World nations that Jews in the US control the country’s foreign policies, hence the reason why the US has always vetoed resolutions in the United Nations that favour Palestinians, even though the majority of members support them.
An example is the act of aggression by Tel Aviv on Syria. How did the US respond to it? By pushing for sanctions against Syria and not a condemnation against Israel, which had, over the years, systematically killed Palestinians.
Should the rest of the world also ignore the genocide waged by Israelis against Palestinians just because Washington is silent about it? Against this backdrop, the Israeli diplomat to Singapore had the cheek to equate Dr Mahathir with Hitler.
Dr Mahathir can defend himself over such insults but for the rest of the Muslim world, the Israeli diplomat may have forgotten that his leaders are the ones committing atrocities.
Also, US policies seem to suit that of Israelis. Thus, is the rest of the world wrong to believe that Jews control the White House, meaning they control the most powerful force in the world?
While these events are taking place, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is busy defending Lt-Gen William G. Boykin, who had equated the war against terror as Christianity vs Satan.
Boykin had made numerous remarks about the war against terror.
Take this, for example: “And we ask ourselves this question, `Why do they hate us? Why do they hate us so much?’
“Ladies and gentlemen, the answer to that is because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo- Christian. Did I say Judeo-Christian? Yes. Judeo-Christian. That means we’ve got a commitment to Israel. That means it’s a commitment we’re never going to abandon.”
Rumsfeld, however, despite calls for Boykin to be removed, had defended him, arguing that the remarks made were in Boykin’s personal capacity.
Indeed, but for a military leader who is in the frontline in the war against terror and with a mind like that, why should the rest of the Muslim world not see that it is a crusade he is waging and with Washington refusing to remove him, it can be concluded that the US is fine with having someone waging a war with a mind conditioned as such.
Obviously, the mistake, if it was one, made by Boykin, was to say it out loud.
One can’t help but wonder, whether the likes of him would drink Mecca Cola?