Mecca Goes Mega [The New York Times] A building boom in the city’s sacred center has created a dazzling, high-tech 21st-century pilgrimage. [more inside]
An opinion piece by Edward N. Luttwak in the May 12 Sunday New York Times declares that Obama is an apostate under Islamic law (Sharia), and thus that an Obama Presidency would compromise US relations with the Middle East. This Sunday, Clark Hoyt, the NYT ombudsman, was sorry.
"Well, of course I hate you because you are Christian, but that doesn't mean I want to kill you." What a great quote. Sorry, I just couldn't resist. (NY Times)
An Algerian 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).
New scholarship on the origins of the Koran claims that the Koran has been misread and mistranslated for centuries. For example, Islamic martyrs are not rewarded in paradise with "virgins," that's a mistranslation. Oops. (NYT member: metafi, password: metafi)
Naipul thinks the causes of Sept. 11 are religious, not American foreign policy. (NYT) "There is a passage in one of the Conrad short stories of the East Indies where the savage finds himself with his hands bare in the world, and he lets out a howl of anger. I think that, in its essence, what is happening.The world is getting more and more out of reach of simple people who have only religion. And the more they depend on religion, which of course solves nothing, the more the world gets out of reach."