of the life of dhimmi (non-Muslims) under Islam. How do other religions treat the 'infidels'? Judaism has the goy, but what's his rights? What about Christianity? Hinduism? Shinto? How has the legal view of the minorities developed in socio-political systems informed by different religions?...
posted by bokononito
on Dec 2, 2002 -
Conservatives dispute Bush on Islam
Bush critics, we are told, though they support him believe his statements about Islam are basically political and that Islam is not a peace-loving religion. Though I am not sure on this issue, I do not think citing a passage or two in this or that holy scripture is sufficient to apply to any religion, since what it does (or has done) differs often from what it's stated position is. In this article I find myself torn between disliking in general anything that right-wing conservatives utter and also disliking anything that Bush has to say! My shortcoming, no doubt.
posted by Postroad
on Nov 30, 2002 -
Stop making excuses for Muslim Extremists
Still licking my mefi wounds that I received last week when I posted a NY Times article discussing the recent rise of crime in France, in which the author states that a recent immigrant was murdered solely for his North African heritage, and also reports that the mayor of Paris was also attacked in the same week - yet the author does not bother to mention that the attacker was a Muslim who 'didn't like homosexuals'. Has anyone else noticed how the media is downplaying the role of Muslim extremism since 911 ?
posted by Kaslo
on Oct 29, 2002 -
Bin Laden Unmasked?
Robert Fisk [ducks]
reviews a '215 page treasure trove' written by an Al Jazeera journalist and published in Beirut. It contains a 'wealth of information' about the elusive billionaire and his followers. He communicates over the Internet - no surprise there - but the book gives some clues as to the site used: al-Nidaa
, 'The Calling'. Can you find it? The words of Mullah Omar are apparently distributed on site called the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan', wild goose chase?
posted by grahamwell
on Oct 23, 2002 -
Elephant in the living room: A radical Islamic Nuclear Pakistan
(NYT reg. : name-metafilter password-metafilter) "Hard-line Islamic parties did unexpectedly well in Pakistan's election last week, and Pervez Musharraf's hold on power may be slipping. Do I need to point out that Pakistan is a lot bigger than Iraq, and already has nuclear weapons?...These guys [Bush Adm]want to fight a conventional war; since Al Qaeda won't oblige, they'll attack someone else who will [Iraq]. And watching from the alley, the terrorists are pleased. " -Paul Krugman, once again forced to state the obvious; the US is, effectively, helping with Al Qaeda's goal of radicalizing Islamic populations. In parts of Pakistan, they call Musharaff "Busharaff", and Nick Kristoff notes
"Even in Kuwait, where Yankees have the best possible claim on Arab gratitude, a significant minority of men and women regard us as worms" and that "The most common name given to Pakistani boys born after 9/11 in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province reportedly was Osama." What does this have to do with a war in Iraq? Well.........
posted by troutfishing
on Oct 15, 2002 -
The linked article, while a bit disapproving ("There can be little doubt that Muhammad would be displeased if he could see what passes for Islam in much of the Muslim world today"), gives a good description of the cult of saints and their tombs in popular Islam. [More inside.]
posted by languagehat
on Oct 6, 2002 -
are containers built to hold objects of special religious significance, such as the foot
of a saint, or the skull
of a king. The art of European reliquary making reached it's zenith in the Middle Ages when craftsman created fantastic objets d'art
for cathedrals and monasteries in the form of caskets
, bodily appendages
, and freestanding holders built to visually display occasionally gruesome
bits of the venerated individual. The layperson had access to reliquaries as well, typically in the form of small lead crosses
worn around the neck, containing pieces of bone or one of the ubiquitous fragments of the True Cross
. Reliquaries are not unique to the Christianity, but can also be found in Buddhist
posted by MrBaliHai
on Oct 6, 2002 -
"I asked who was playing. A Moroccan group, said the cabbie. He told me its name. Did I want to know what it was singing? Certainly. It was a plea to Israel from the Arab people. The chorus was, 'We have the same father. Why do you treat us this way?' Who might the father be? I asked. 'Ibrahim
,' he said. 'The song is called Ismail and Isaac,' after his sons."
posted by artifex
on Sep 24, 2002 -
of the Egyptian Zawahiri's Islamic Jihad and the Saudi Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda in 2001, based on the foundation of Qutb's book "Milestones", provide outlet for those who have no other way of expressing their objections to the authoritarian regimes of the countries they live in, and the reach of American power in the Middle East.
posted by semmi
on Sep 17, 2002 -
London Muslims to CELEBRATE 911
Is it cool to be angry? Do I care? I'm VERY angry about this. Maybe someone will celebrate 911 by flying an aircraft into Finsbury Park Mosque. There must be a limit to the progressive tolerance of other cultures and religious nuts. I think Londoners might reach it very soon. We seem to have our own Taliban. The time might be right for a radical secularism. What do you think?
posted by terrymiles
on Sep 8, 2002 -
Kinder, gentler minders
in Kabul? President Hamid Karzai has re-opened the Department of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice
. Department head Mohammad Wazir Razi Kabuli promises no beatings or jailings for violating Islamic tenets, as was common under the Taliban Ministry of Virtue and Vice
. Instead, "propaganda" will be used influence the people of Afghanistan. However, when asked what would happen if, for example, a woman was caught wearing makeup in public, Kabuli said "It's too early to talk about that."
posted by mr_crash_davis
on Aug 12, 2002 -
Man hijacks al-Qaida Web site.
He offers it to the FBI to use for intelligence gathering, but the FBI stumbles around for a week trying to find somebody with the technical abilities to take advantage of the site. By then, the site's militant Islamic visitors had discovered the ruse. Go figure.
posted by TBoneMcCool
on Jul 30, 2002 -
The Burqa Incident.
British freethinker Sarah Lawrence
dresses in a burqa to make a point at the US Libertarian Party Conference, and causes a hotel-wide security alert. Looks like one of those systemic sense-of-humour failures that conspire to spiral out of control these days. But isn't it a bit
worrying when even Libertarian Party
officials start threatening to report their own conference speakers
to the FBI for suspicious dress sense?
posted by ntk
on Jul 21, 2002 -
A Peace to End All Peace:
The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin. Ever wonder how the Middle East got so screwed up to start with? It all happened in an eight year time span, 1914-1922. The destruction of the Ottoman Empire laid the foundation for over half of the current conflicts in the world. Coupled with Huntingtons' Clash of Civilizations
, this book does more to explain WTF went wrong.
posted by Mack Twain
on Jul 20, 2002 -
It's the Law in South Dakota: Convert to Islam, Lose Your Child
Citing a woman's conversion to Islam as a sign of "bizarre behavior" that made her unfit to be a mother, a South Dakota judge removed her 5-year old son Trevor and gave temporary custody of him to his grandparents. "My wife and I are very concerned about Trevor's safety," explained Conrad Rederth, the child's grandfather. "Trevor's mother has engaged in some bizarre behavior, including wearing Muslim garb and declaring herself a Muslim." (Via alt.muslim
posted by laz-e-boy
on Jul 12, 2002 -
"Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives..."
The Rev. Jerry Vines slams Islam while speaking to delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention this week. The group's newly-elected president, the Rev. Jack Graham, refused to denounce the comments since "his statement is actually a statement that can be confirmed." Hmmm... since when is 'demon-possessed' an emperical statement?
Anyone want to guess what the reaction would be if a Muslim leader denounced Jesus with this much venom?
posted by Dirjy
on Jun 14, 2002 -
Catholics, Jews, Muslims - all three feel suddenly embattled and isolated
[nyt reg req] "This is a rare moment in history, like a planetary alignment: three world religions simultaneously racked by crisis....this confluence is highly unusual but not without precedent... — from 800 to 200 B.C., a period of tremendous violence and upheaval on many continents.... We could use this suffering to create wonderful new religious systems, as the Buddha did, or we could retreat into the spiritual barbarism of hatred ." Perhaps Karl Marx
was right that religion, like opium, results only in illusion and false hope.
posted by Voyageman
on Jun 13, 2002 -
A blasphemy trial out of the 17th century "Let's be clear. Criticising the precepts of modern Islam and the resultant actions of its adherents is not racist. Philosophically, it is the precise opposite of racism. It is an intellectual position arrived at through a consideration of ideas, rather than a cruel and irrational prejudice based upon the colour of someone's skin."
Rod Liddle discusses the upcoming prosecution of French writer Michel Houellebecq for a comment he made about Islam in an interview. Some interesting points here about the wider context, in which Houellebecq has been attacked for the beliefs of the fictional characters he creates.
posted by jonpollard
on May 29, 2002 -
Unlikely Allies Bound by a Common Hatred.
"Herr von Laden is an example for our children."
The bridge between radical Muslims and the neo Nazis in Europe and the United States.
In 1991, German neo-Nazis tried to form a "Condor Legion" to fight alongside Iraqis against the U.S.-led international coalition. More recently, members of the European far right have journeyed to Baghdad to express solidarity with Saddam Hussein.
posted by semmi
on Apr 29, 2002 -
defendant tells a court of his transformation from an irreligious drug dealer on the streets of Germany to an Afghanistan-trained militant, and the psychic journey
of some young Muslim slackers in England to become fighters for Al-Qaeda (NYT).
posted by semmi
on Apr 24, 2002 -
Five Pillars of Islam
Bradley County, one of several Tennessee counties to vote recently to post the Ten Commandments
, has been asked to extend its endorsement of religious documents in public places to include the Five Pillars of Islam
Smith (the commission chairman) said he respects Cate's beliefs but believes that, particularly since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that have been blamed on extreme factions of Islam, it would be inappropriate to post the Five Pillars.
Would it be appropriate to post if there had been no 9-11 or is it just inappropriate.
posted by onegoodmove
on Apr 3, 2002 -
The God Squad
Christopher Hitchens gives (another) one to organized religion, and reminds us of the important role that the Islamic world played in preserving Western Civilization.
posted by Ty Webb
on Apr 3, 2002 -
Islamic nations dodge defining terrorism.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference is divided over whether Palestinian suicide bombers should be classified as terrorists. On the other hand, there's no question that Israel practises terror.
Rather than stick their necks out and commit to something, they'll leave it to the good ole UN to decide who is a terrorist. That'll solve everything.
More depth here.
posted by badstone
on Apr 2, 2002 -
The "Sum Of All Fears"
trailer recently went online, and is already causing some heated discussion
over major changes from the book. In the wake of 9/11, it seems that terrorists in the film have been changed from Muslim to Neo-Nazi (who then go on to detonate a bomb within the United States). Hollywood knee-jerk reaction or a good call given the timing of things? Discuss...
posted by almostcool
on Mar 28, 2002 -
Come Under Fire.
Watchdog Group Issues Rebuke on Poll on Islamic Countries. Meanwhile, those bogus aggregates continue to circulate freely in this country and around the world.
posted by semmi
on Mar 22, 2002 -
Saudi Arabia's religious police caused the deaths of 15 schoolgirls
by preventing them from escaping from a burning building. The children were not allowed to escape because they were not wearing the correct Islamic dress. When something like this happened under the Taliban it was taken as proof of Evil, but when it happens under our friends in Saudi Arabia it seems to just be ignored by the American government and the American media alike (or at least I haven't been able to find any reference to it in the American media.)
posted by homunculus
on Mar 16, 2002 -
Are people demonizing Islam to gain publicity?
In an op-ed article in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, Asma Hasan
wrote that post 9/11, 'hating' Islam is getting 'intellectualized'. She wrote that those who are framing the debate in 'clash of civilization' terms are doing it mainly to gain publicity (or because they dont know better). Her ire was directed more towards Sullivan and Rushdie whose voices as she rightly pointed out carry greater weight than that of people like Buchanan or Graham.
I do see a lot more stuff on the the 'clash of civilization' theme now than I have seen before sept 11. Is it because people think and speak a lot more on this subject now and this is what they actually believe or has the subject been getting sensationalized over the last few months?
posted by justlooking
on Mar 14, 2002 -
A Grand Narrative
"When Hindus kill Muslims it's not a story, because there are a billion Hindus and they aren't part of the Muslim narrative. When Saddam murders his own people it's not a story, because it's in the Arab-Muslim family. But when a small band of Israeli Jews kills Muslims it sparks rage — a rage that must come from Muslims having to confront the gap between their self-perception as Muslims and the reality of the Muslim world." Thomas Friedman looks for an angle and finds a story! What role, if any, does narrative consciousness
and social psychology
play in the Middle East? (via blogdex
posted by kliuless
on Mar 8, 2002 -