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The Wisdom of Solomon
February 22, 2007 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Wake County, NC: Solomon Kamil invited to speak at a public school in Raleigh tells the students to shun Muslims "You may be excited that you found the 'tall, dark, and handsome man' you have been looking for. His sweet words and attention may blind you regarding the power, importance, and influence of his culture and Islamic faith."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy (79 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
It seems a bit disingenuous when that news story calls him a "Christian Evangelist." If I know the type right-- I've known more than one Coptic that sounded like he sounds-- he's not really "evangelizing" so much as "getting his anger out on little kids." That's not to say that Coptic Christians are all bitter jerks; just that bitter jerks seem to be a problem among them, just as mindless drones are a problem among so-called "Evangelical Christians." I knew a Coptic priest who called Muslims "Satanists" and refused to speak of them without spitting. That's the sort of thing that comes, I imagine, from spending your entire life having your religion and way of life marginalized by society, by the government, and even by all of the people who think of themselves as your friends.
posted by koeselitz at 8:44 AM on February 22, 2007


It baffles me how often and how smoothly pure hate glides under the radar into the collective consciousness when it is wrapped in the garb of religion. Thank God for Dawkins.

A spoon full of (insert your favorite diety here) makes the prejudice go down.
posted by isopraxis at 8:45 AM on February 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


How perfectly fucked-up.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:45 AM on February 22, 2007


By the way, here's the Muslim American Society's take on it.
posted by koeselitz at 8:48 AM on February 22, 2007


isopraxis: "It baffles me how often and how smoothly pure hate glides under the radar into the collective consciousness when it is wrapped in the garb of religion. Thank God for Dawkins."

Unfortunately, ignorance has never been cured by more ignorance.
posted by koeselitz at 8:50 AM on February 22, 2007


My alma mater!

It really is one of NC's more progressive high schools--I would not expect such a thing to happen there. And attended by a lot of Muslim students. Yikes.
posted by Jeanne at 8:52 AM on February 22, 2007


Some of the parents of these children are Muslim. I can only imagine sending your kid off to school in the morning and having them return with a booklet that says (From the first link)
Islam is not a Divine faith, Muhammad was not a prophet from God and the Koran is not the Word of God.
I would be enraged, to say the least.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:53 AM on February 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Their only speaker for the semester and he was a "Christian evangelist"? For a social studies class? For gifted students? Did they lose the phone number for Duke? Hell, even Dunder-Mifflin was able to get a Ben Franklin impersonator.
posted by PlusDistance at 8:54 AM on February 22, 2007


koeselitz is, as often, on the money.
posted by languagehat at 8:54 AM on February 22, 2007


I second what Jeanne said, I didn't go to Enloe, but I spent some time in the Wake County schools, and this doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would happen there. This seems most likely to be a problem with one teacher, or an honest mistake.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:55 AM on February 22, 2007


He's the mirror image of the muslim man who torched his daughters for fear of them becoming too western.
A conflict about culture, morality and the influence on youth.

It's more prominent in Europe.
posted by jouke at 8:57 AM on February 22, 2007


I'm all for giving the school the benefit of the doubt that it was a mistake, but then they need to say "Oh, snap. Sorry y'all, we didn't know he was going to be telling people to hate other people. We thought he was going to talk about other stuff." It's hard for me to think that it wasn't planned when they don't seem to feel the need to distance themselves from the guy.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:58 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


PlusDistance: "Their only speaker for the semester and he was a "Christian evangelist"?"

Bulgaroktonos: "I second what Jeanne said, I didn't go to Enloe, but I spent some time in the Wake County schools, and this doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would happen there. This seems most likely to be a problem with one teacher, or an honest mistake.


I'm almost certain you're right, Bulgaroktonos. They didn't hire a slick guy with a suit and a flower in his lapel who went on about "Jaysus;" they hired a scholar from Egypt who speaks Arabic, and who probably represented himself as some sort of expert on Islam and the Middle East, like he does here. I have a strong feeling he didn't tell them he was something of a prick when it came to Muslims themselves, and that he'd take every opportunity to spout angry, inflammatory nonsense to children.
posted by koeselitz at 9:01 AM on February 22, 2007


The key here is that Kamil was presented as an example of extreme diversity: he was basically a science project for the students to examine. "Let's talk about the strange customs of the Coptics... here is a specimen. Note the enlarged inferiority complex and the rapid devolution to aggression when challenged." Not really a good idea, but I think probably not very harmful, either. Society has some pretty good antibodies to crazies like this. Worse to bring in a slick-talking white supremacist or a Thomist.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:02 AM on February 22, 2007


Escamilla said he did not know Solomon before inviting him to class and wasn't aware of Solomon's Web site,

So either the teacher is so incompetant, he doesn't check out a speaker before they come into his classroom...or he's lying, and knew exactly what this guy was about beforehand. Kind of makes me think either the teacher is stupid, or he's a jerk.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:04 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Worse to bring in a slick-talking white supremacist

So instead they brought in as their only speaker for the year a Christian supremacist? to a public school?

Who funds this guy? Why is he traveling the country evangelizing in our public schools, and trashing Muslims?
posted by amberglow at 9:05 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


It seems a bit disingenuous when that news story calls him a "Christian Evangelist." If I know the type right-- I've known more than one Coptic that sounded like he sounds

Well, he describes himself as a Christian evangelist (and he certainly seems to have co-opted a lot of the language and style of evangelical Christianity, despite remaining a Coptic Orthodox Christian, himself). In his bio, he seems to have had a crappy time of it in Egypt.

For a marginalized and abused religious minority in Egypt, advising young people to "stay within the fold" comes across as understandable. To tell a bunch of high school students in North Carolina to stay away from Muslims, where Muslims are a tiny minority themselves, seems like a gratuitous swipe at people in the US who, like Solomon Kamil, are just trying to start a new life for themselves in America and trying to get on with their lives.

(however, keep in mind that much of the article sounds like it's copying a press release from CAIR that the newspaper received as well as reprinting part of the pamphel athat Solomon Kamil distributed. Whether he actually told people to "shun Muslims" or not is unclear)
posted by deanc at 9:06 AM on February 22, 2007


Unfortunately, ignorance has never been cured by more ignorance.

I'm sure you didn't just call Dawkins ignorant. Because if you did....IT'S GO TIME!
posted by DU at 9:09 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's based in Raleigh, so he's not traveling much. I think this is why he was brought in:

"My Arrest in Egypt
On July 31, 1993, the Egyptian Secret Police arrested me because of my widely known evangelistic activities, preaching, counseling Christian converts to Islam and for defending the rights of persecuted Christians in Egypt.

Confiscation of My Library
After my arrest, the Secret Police confiscated my personal library and my ability to continue research was abruptly ended. My library, estimated to be worth 10,000 US dollars, contained a massive collection of valuable research books and rare references on religions, philosophy, encyclopedias, and publications I had written on Christian apologetics including my Ph.D. dissertation on "Church History in Arabia Prior to Islam".

Before the Supreme Court
On August 1, 1993, I was taken before the Supreme Court and charged with being a threat to Islam. I was allowed to speak in my defense and said, "This charge is illogical! How can I be a threat to Islam if Islam is from Allah? I believe that no one, not even Satan, can be a threat to my Christian faith and to my God." The judge was amazed and convinced and responded, "The Secret Police were right to say that you are convincing." After long discussions with me regarding my Christian faith and my Christian apologetics to Islam, the judge found me not guilty and ordered my release."

Sentenced to Life in Prison
Although all charges against me were dropped and the court ordered my release on August 1, 1993, the Secret Police returned me to detention the same day where I remained for two weeks. I was tortured physically and mentally. They made fun of my Christian faith to offend me.

On August 13, 1993, I was transferred to Tora prison in southern Cairo for life sentence where I was subjected to severe torture and inhumane treatment.

In spite of my terrible situation in prison, I remained joyful; singing and praising the sweetest Name of Jesus Christ with all my heart. I used my chains as musical instruments and continued to sing though my teeth were broken and my jaw was lacerated from being beaten."

posted by anotherpanacea at 9:09 AM on February 22, 2007


"You may be excited that you found the 'tall, dark, and handsome man' you have been looking for. His sweet words and attention may blind you regarding the power, importance, and influence of his culture and Islamic faith."

This particular statement does not seem unfair. It is not "hate" to point out and to educate people that there are substantial differences between Islamic and Western culture.

I know more than a few Swedish girls who have dated Muslim men only to find out later that deeply-held Muslim/Arabic ideas about women are in irreconciable conflict with deeply-held Swedish ideas about the equality and independence of women.

Most often it is not the men themselves who want to force Muslim ideas on their girlfriends: it is his family who forces the man to do it. The girls think "he" is different, only to find out that the family pressure on these men is enormous.
posted by three blind mice at 9:16 AM on February 22, 2007


They didn't hire a slick guy with a suit and a flower in his lapel who went on about "Jaysus;" they hired a scholar from Egypt who speaks Arabic, and who probably represented himself as some sort of expert on Islam and the Middle East, like he does here.

He doesn't present himself as an expert on Islam and the Middle East--he presents himself as "kimo4jesus" and as "the Kamil International Ministries Organization." Even the most cursory and fleeting glance at his literature or emails or site would have shown that clearly.
posted by amberglow at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2007


He's based in Raleigh, so he's not traveling much. I think this is why he was brought in

Huh. It would sure be interesting to hear him talk about all of that stuff. Just hold on the hatemongering, please.

Yeah, there's got to me more to the story than we're getting here. 23skidoo is right that, if indeed it was a mistake, Escamilla and the school need to be apologizing--loudly.

Either Escamilla has an agenda, or Kamil is actively advertising himself as something he's not, in order to get gigs like this. Either way, kids are suffering for it.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2007


got to be
posted by roll truck roll at 9:20 AM on February 22, 2007


You would think at the very least the teacher would have vetted the pamphlets ahead of time. I'm all for free speech but the school has a special relationship to the student-- a parent by proxy role-- and the material handed out under their watch has a certain added weight.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:21 AM on February 22, 2007


I know more than a few Swedish girls who have dated Muslim men only to find out later that deeply-held Muslim/Arabic ideas about women are in irreconciable conflict with deeply-held Swedish ideas about the equality and independence of women.

Maybe they'll meet a nice blonde Promise Keeper.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:24 AM on February 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


amberglow: "Even the most cursory and fleeting glance at his literature or emails or site would have shown that clearly."

I'm stalking ever-further into speculation here, but I imagine whoever authorized this didn't google Kamil Solomon or look at his web site. I say this because his resume really might lead someone to think that he was simply a middle eastern scholar.

anotherpanacea: "The key here is that Kamil was presented as an example of extreme diversity: he was basically a science project for the students to examine. "Let's talk about the strange customs of the Coptics... here is a specimen. Note the enlarged inferiority complex and the rapid devolution to aggression when challenged." Not really a good idea, but I think probably not very harmful, either. Society has some pretty good antibodies to crazies like this. Worse to bring in a slick-talking white supremacist or a Thomist."

This is actually a very good point, and I have a feeling this would be a great lesson in the classroom. The lesson is not so much about watching him under the glass; it's more about meeting a person from a marginalized minority within another society, seeing the prejudices that marginalization has caused them to develop, and learning about the knee-jerk assumptions that oppression can create.

That is, interestingly enough, a lesson that's quite apt in every society. Even our little society here, where people tend to assume that indigent bigotry is at fault when this sort of thing happens. I'm not snarking when I say that. I feel very strongly that learning this lesson about where unfair assumptions come from is of great importance to us right now, not only because we've got to figure out how to deal with Muslims in other nations, but because, always, we've got to figure out how to deal with ourselves.
posted by koeselitz at 9:33 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


the teacher appears to be a signer of this proclamation from Alliance for the Separation of School & State, which states "I favor ending government involvement in education."

Which is incredibly weird for a public school teacher, no?
posted by amberglow at 9:37 AM on February 22, 2007


I imagine whoever authorized this didn't google Kamil Solomon or look at his web site. I say this because his resume really might lead someone to think that he was simply a middle eastern scholar.

No, it wouldn't--at all. His resume is right here, and his ministry is in Raleigh.
posted by amberglow at 9:41 AM on February 22, 2007


I'd like to thank my local Triangle media for covering this story with such attention and depth that I had to find out about it first on Metafilter.
posted by malaprohibita at 10:01 AM on February 22, 2007 [4 favorites]


the teacher appears to be a signer of this proclamation from Alliance for the Separation of School & State, which states "I favor ending government involvement in education.

And his name is included in those whose affiliation is Bible-based Christians who have endorsed liberating schools from political influence. Was Kamil's appearance really a just a "mistake?"

Also, it appears that Escamilla was one of the individuals involved a few years back in promoting the idea of teaching the Bible in History as a public school course.

MMM..MMM, what's that smell? Why, its the delicious scent of a lawsuit! It would appear that the Wake County School Board's going to have some 'splaining to do...
posted by Chrischris at 10:11 AM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe they'll meet a nice blonde Promise Keeper.

It's all the same, Armitage Shanks, they'd run into the same irreconciable differences. Being taught that some cultures are profoundly different (if what is taught is actually correct) is not hate mongering - it's simply being educated.

But I shouldn't try to cross the tracks when the LOLXTIANS express is derailing the thread.
posted by three blind mice at 10:12 AM on February 22, 2007


malaprohibita: The story was on the front page of the News-Observer this morning. I read it over my bowl of cheerios.
posted by u2604ab at 10:16 AM on February 22, 2007


"I'm sure you didn't just call Dawkins ignorant. Because if you did....IT'S GO TIME"

How about "pretentious douchebag". Does that work for ya?
posted by vronsky at 10:29 AM on February 22, 2007


Being taught that some cultures are profoundly different (if what is taught is actually correct) is not hate mongering - it's simply being educated.

Oh please. This isn't a middle-of-the-road observer pointing out that there are problems at the extremes, it's a nutjob at one extreme focusing only on the nutjobs at the other extreme. You seriously think his only interest is in dispationately noting that "some cultures are profoundly different"?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:46 AM on February 22, 2007


How about "pretentious douchebag". Does that work for ya?

Lemme guess, youre one of those people that feels like someone that has a different viewpoint than you should spend 80% of the time they take expressing their opinion to also apologize for it constantly. Wouldnt want to seem "shrill", right?

You might not agree with Dawkins somewhat indelicate approach, but that doesnt mean "pretentious" can suddenly take on whatever meaning you want just because you dont like the guy.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:47 AM on February 22, 2007


Ugh, "dispassionately".
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:48 AM on February 22, 2007


"ignorant" "pretentious douchebag" etc.

Hmm, seems like the Little Green Footballs crowd is out in force today...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:02 AM on February 22, 2007


Did the news reports mention the teacher's affiliations? These would pretty much settle the matter, I should think, and are cause for great concern. I'll withdraw my attempts to apologize for the teacher and go ahead and admit that there's some pretty damning indications that the school and teacher acted negligently and allowed the violation of their students civil rights. Also, I'd like to point out that amberglow and Chrischris have done better investigative reporting than the professional journalists did.

Bravo!
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:07 AM on February 22, 2007


You might not agree with Dawkins somewhat indelicate approach, but that doesnt mean "pretentious" can suddenly take on whatever meaning you want just because you dont like the guy.

Dawkins is a jerk. Use whatever flavor of adjective you like, as long as you grok the general concept.
posted by languagehat at 11:12 AM on February 22, 2007


How about "pretentious douchebag". Does that work for ya?

It's still GO TIME, but now for two reasons. First you are objectively wrong: Dawkins is a world-famous Oxford (?) biologist who has studied the question of religion deeply. That makes him not pretentious.

As for douchebag: I disagree vehemently, but I can definitely see why someone still stuck in a medieval mythology might think so. When one's most cherished beliefs, however outmoded and illogical, are challenged, we like to engage in ad hominems against the messenger.
posted by DU at 11:12 AM on February 22, 2007


"From a constitutional perspective, schools can't teach the truth or falsity of religious belief, and atheism would fall in that parameter," said Alan Brownstein, a constitutional law expert at the University of California at Davis' School of Law.

Funny how atheism falls into the realm of 'belief' and 'religion' when it suits the purpose of some people...
posted by triolus at 11:15 AM on February 22, 2007


Someone still stuck in a medieval mythology. . .we like to engage in ad hominems.
posted by DU at 2:12 PM EST on February 22
posted by EarBucket at 11:22 AM on February 22, 2007


DU: "It's still GO TIME, but now for two reasons. First you are objectively wrong: Dawkins is a world-famous Oxford (?) biologist who has studied the question of religion deeply. That makes him not pretentious."

What makes him pretentious is that he clearly hasn't studied religion deeply. He has demonstrated on many occasions that he is very closed-minded, and he has shown time and again that he is not willing to consider the positions and points of view of his opponents.

"As for douchebag: I disagree vehemently, but I can definitely see why someone still stuck in a medieval mythology might think so."

I don't think you even have the slightest idea what the word "medieval" means. Like Dawkins, you're probably content to use it derisively without having read so much as a question from the Summa Contra Gentiles or the opening invocation from the Tahafut al-Falasifa. I'm happy to discuss the depth and insights of medieval thought, which was generally far beyond our own, with you at length, if you like. Unfortunately, I have a feeling you're talking about something you don't know about. Please prove me wrong.

lupus_wonderboy: "Hmm, seems like the Little Green Footballs crowd is out in force today..."

Yes, indeed. "Disagree with my pedantic demagogue, and you must be an adherent to the opposing pedantic demagogue." How insightful.

I guess it turns out I was wrong. The lesson here isn't "oppression and misfortune are the causes of bigotry, which can be cured if we come to terms with those who have done us wrong;" it was, apparently, "religious people are evil dingbats."
posted by koeselitz at 11:29 AM on February 22, 2007 [6 favorites]


He has demonstrated on many occasions that he is very closed-minded, and he has shown time and again that he is not willing to consider the positions and points of view of his opponents.

Then it should be very easy for you to produce a couple examples in the thread here.

Right?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:33 AM on February 22, 2007


Here is a suggestion:

If you love/hate Dawkins and feel the need to talk about it, find a thread that has something to do with athiesm or biology.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:38 AM on February 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Actually 23skidoo is right.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:39 AM on February 22, 2007


You know, it's only ad hominem if it's irrelevant. Wether Dawkins is a douchebag is irrelevant to whether he is right. The fact that religious people are still engaging in the magical thinking that medieval *peasants* are well-known for is very relevant.
posted by DU at 11:43 AM on February 22, 2007


I don't agree that this is a derail. Richard Dawkins sounds a hell of a lot like Kamil Solomon to me. He's another perfect example of the closed-mindedness and bigotry that oppression creates.
posted by koeselitz at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2007


Don't mess with Dawkinsists. They are more ardent in their faith than anyone.
- An atheist Dawkins-hater
posted by rocket88 at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


But this is a bit silly. If someone wishes to-- it won't be me-- they can quote Dawkins a bit so that his fanboys can see him whipped. If not, it be best if we stuck to the topic at hand.
posted by koeselitz at 11:46 AM on February 22, 2007


Yeah, youre right koeselitz, its a central tenet of my faith that I dont believe in magical goat herders. It takes so much energy to "believe" what i do.

Is this the point where you trot out the tired ol' "Atheism is really a religion too" schtick? Becuase that's clever too!

Off-topic: I know I can't prove this of course, but I think Richard Dawkins may be C-3P0.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:50 AM on February 22, 2007


Amen to rocket88. Intolerant theists and intolerant atheists are far more similar to each other than their tolerant counterparts.

More importantly, props to amberglow and Chrischris for the fast googling of Escamilla. You guys totally p4wned him.

On preview: Quit pretending to try to end the derail while simultaneously giving yourself the last word. It makes you look like morans.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:56 AM on February 22, 2007


An ad hominem attack addresses your opponent in a debate, not his ideas. Declaring that everyone who disagrees with you is a superstitious peasant is neither intellectually honest or likely to provoke good-spirited discussion.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you on the atheism question; I'm just suggesting you might want to try coming at it from a direction other than "Nuh-uh, YOU'RE stupid!"
posted by EarBucket at 11:58 AM on February 22, 2007


Declaring that everyone who disagrees with you is a superstitious peasant is neither intellectually honest or likely to provoke good-spirited discussion.

phew, glad I'm OK then.
posted by DU at 12:31 PM on February 22, 2007


I'm to blame for the derail. My 'Thank God for Dawkins' statement was typed 60% tongue in cheek. Mostly I was fishing for someone who might spot the ambiguity and have a bit of a larf. I should have included the 'nudge nudge wink' tag. But à propos to this discussion, it seems to have flushed out the self-same kind of ignorant bullshit that this Wisdom of Solomon post illustrates.

Unfortunately, ignorance has never been cured by more ignorance - I agree, but I'm not hearing much else come up except more ignorance. It becomes clear that dogmatics - on either side of the argument, don't answer the question either, partly because the parties involved are too passionately connected with it to argue rationally and pragmatically.

The lesson here isn't "The lesson here isn't "oppression and misfortune are the causes of bigotry, which can be cured if we come to terms with those who have done us wrong;" it was, apparently, "religious people are evil dingbats."
"

Here's where I think K is leading us far afield. How do you come to terms with irrational people who value their own 'mystical' beliefs more than any rational scientific approach to uncovering truth and dispelling ignorance. It is not in coming to terms. It is in asking honest questions and accepting nothing less than honest answers. This is the aspect in which I think Dawkins has something, if only in theory and not in practice.
posted by isopraxis at 12:40 PM on February 22, 2007


The lesson here isn't
posted by isopraxis at 12:42 PM on February 22, 2007


"It's still GO TIME, but now for two reasons. First you are objectively wrong: Dawkins is a world-famous Oxford (?) biologist who has studied the question of religion deeply. That makes him not pretentious."


How does being world famous or studying a subject deeply exempt one from being called pretentious? A pretentious douchebag is a pretentious douchebag not matter how famous or well read.
posted by MikeMc at 12:45 PM on February 22, 2007


Dear God please take this thread from my comments page!
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:49 PM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


These type of speakers are only going to enjoy more and more prominence and prestige. Criticism from "within" has always been a good tool for hatred, as it's much harder to call 'racism' etc. on. Guys like this one know that, and will use this moment in history to gain adherents, money, prestige. Look for him to show up on O'Reilly, Hannity, etc. any day now.
posted by cell divide at 12:55 PM on February 22, 2007


Mmm, I'm going to go get some sweet words and attention from my Moroccan husband.
posted by Liosliath at 1:22 PM on February 22, 2007


"It is not "hate" to point out and to educate people that there are substantial differences between Islamic and Western culture.

I know more than a few Swedish girls who have dated Muslim men only to find out later that deeply-held Muslim/Arabic ideas about women are in irreconciable conflict with deeply-held Swedish ideas about the equality and independence of women.

Most often it is not the men themselves who want to force Muslim ideas on their girlfriends: it is his family who forces the man to do it. The girls think "he" is different, only to find out that the family pressure on these men is enormous.
posted by three blind mice at 9:16 AM PST"


I wouldn't have a problem if he was discussing the problems that can occur in any inter-cultural relationship. I've seen these problems occur many times, and not just in Christian-Muslim relationship. Have you ever heard about Indian family interference? Brazilian ideas about the role of the wife? etc... Kamil is just hiding his hate behind a role of pseudo-concern.
posted by Liosliath at 1:32 PM on February 22, 2007


Just don't date anyone who follows a monotheistic sun god religion, like Islam or Christianity. Find a nice agnostic, atheist, budists, wicca, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:59 PM on February 22, 2007


atheist, budists, wicca,

worship the great god dank
posted by Snyder at 3:39 PM on February 22, 2007


oh yeah jef what about jews? better stay away from jews too
posted by Snyder at 3:40 PM on February 22, 2007


and fuck mithras
posted by Snyder at 3:41 PM on February 22, 2007


Also, I'd like to point out that amberglow and Chrischris have done better investigative reporting than the professional journalists did.

And it was only 1 minute googling the teacher's name and state, and 10 seconds actually finding the speaker's resume on his site.
posted by amberglow at 3:56 PM on February 22, 2007


Whom does Dawkins oppress?

Sure, he offends religionists. That's kind of his point. But he writes books and goes on the lecture circuit. He makes far less money off it than Ted Haggard types do.

And yeah, it's a de-rail, but I'm not comfortable with Dawkins-bashing. I happen to have problems with his approach sometimes (a disregard for phenomenology of faith), but I sense a few members trying to Godwinize him, i.e., bring up Dawkins and YOU'RE JUST AS BAD AS GODHATESFAGS!!! What an idiotic and disingenuous maneuver.
posted by bardic at 4:40 PM on February 22, 2007


As for the topic at hand, Coptic Christianity is a fascinating topic in terms of religion and culture. Too bad that's not what these kids got.
posted by bardic at 4:40 PM on February 22, 2007


It is true that Muslim culture has a very different attitude to women than contemporary Western secular culture, and that the other Abrahamite faiths are equally guilty. That said, on general principles I like to poo in threads that derail from condemning interconfessional polemicizing to Dawkins bashing, though I myself don't care much about Dawkins' anti-theology one way or another as he lost me back in the Selfish Gene days by erecting his own goofy sociobiological heresy.

I do agree that schoolkids should not be subject to religious and/or patriotic propaganda during the schoolday while in school, even though this Solomon guys' pamplets did tell a bit of what many Muslim and non-Muslim historians, quite a few hadiths and the very Qur'an itself say is the truth about Muhammad. And I agree with Kamil Int'l that it's true that Muhammad was not sent by God, but then neither was Noah, Moses or Jesus; actually, going by the Bible, the historical figures that sound most like they were sent by God were Hitler and Stalin.

In closing, Wikipedia on the Coptic Orthodox Church.
posted by davy at 8:04 PM on February 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd like to thank my local Triangle media for covering this story with such attention and depth that I had to find out about it first on Metafilter.

What an utterly bizarre statement. The main link in the article *came from* the major Raleigh newspaper; like u2604ab said, it was on the front-page this morning. And I'm sure it was big news on all the local TV stations very soon after that. Don't be blaming all "local Triangle media" because you couldn't be bothered to read the front page of today's paper.
posted by mediareport at 8:31 PM on February 22, 2007


Religionists? Isn't it usually pronounced theists or something?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:01 PM on February 22, 2007


Religionists are all about their religion. Theists are all about their own spirituality. Religionists proselytize. Theists practice. Religionists are about others' morality, Theists their own.

Religionists are a pain in the ass.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 PM on February 22, 2007


Pretty much what five fresh fish said. I kind of like Andrew Sullivan's use of the term "Christianist." As a practicing Catholic himself, he upset a lot of people by using it. Seems like a pretty solid word to me -- a Christian person who lives to imitate Jesus, as opposed to the Christianists who have turned his legacy into a laughingstock; a true Muslim versus a hypocritical Islamist who thinks people should be turned into human bombs, etc.
posted by bardic at 9:57 PM on February 22, 2007


A religionist is a theist who follows a particular religion. As in "Rabbi Johnson is happier around his co-religionists" (which in this case means fellow Jews, "religionists of the Judaic persuasion").

Note that atheists cannot have co-religionists.
posted by davy at 11:02 PM on February 22, 2007


The main link in the article *came from* the major Raleigh newspaper; like u2604ab said, it was on the front-page this morning. And I'm sure it was big news on all the local TV stations very soon after that.

It was in the paper, but it wasn't on any of the local TV news stations. To be fair, though, it doesn't really fit the usual profile of stuff they cover--there was no blood, fire, or sex.
posted by EarBucket at 4:50 AM on February 23, 2007


On my way towards adopting Islam, I spent a few years trying to look at the world from a Coptic/proto-Christian viewpoint.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:39 AM on February 23, 2007


it wasn't on any of the local TV news stations

It's up the local ABC affiliate's site, dated the 21st. I haven't checked the others.
posted by mediareport at 8:03 AM on February 23, 2007


Burhanistan, what religion and/or ethnicity were your parents then? How were you raised? My background was Methodist.
posted by davy at 11:50 AM on February 24, 2007


davy: my parents were Eisenhowerists (just made that up, they were agnostic and believed in the USA)
posted by Burhanistan at 11:53 AM on February 24, 2007


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