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04 June 2009

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Babak Makkinejad

Arun:

Only God can make the determination if someone is a true Muslim (or Christian, or Jew).

jonst

Ah, there are days where it feels SO GOOD to have no religion! Hearing, and reading, news accounts in the aftermath of the speech is one such day.

Please don't get me wrong...there are lots of other 'good days'. But the last 24 hours was a special day.

The beaver

Hilary Clinton in a headscarf visiting pharaonic antiquities is simply absurd

Col. Lang,

I believe you are mistaken here. Most of the pictures showing HRC with a headscarf were taken inside the the Sultan Hassan Mosque (Women have to cover their heads inside).
Those who went to visit the Pyramids and the antiquities were in casual garb , including the President, with bottles of water in hand and hats or caps to prevent sun burn.

curious

interesting footnote about the speech, Obama mention women president in Islamic countries:

-Benazir Bhutto. She probably is the only Islamic PM out there. But then again she was assassinated by radical Islamist. I would put here among world most skilled politicians.

-Megawati. Islamist doesn't like her. She is center right nationalist. during her last presidential campaign, Islamists made a hard case about her not being Islamic. Of course that pissed voters off and elected her.

both women inherited incredibly messy economy.

Susie

"Obama is well advised. In his speech he used the phrase 'justice and prosperity' not the 'freedom and prosperity' that we, as Westerners, have been conditioned with. Everyone I spoke to here caught that immediately. "

It has nothing to do with ‘conditioning.’
It would be a bit awkward for him to talk about democracy and freedom, which is exactly what the US-supporting regimes in the neighborhood don’t want. Lipstick on a pig, indeed.

Patrick Lang

Babak

Don't get sanctimonious on me. I am not approaching the question of Muslim identity from the point of view of religion per se. I am more interested in what the attitudes are of those who think themselves "true" believers. pl

Patrick Lang

ok Beaver. Headwear is unobjectionable to me in a mosque, if that is what it was.

All

anyone know if Mubarak went to the airport to meet him? pl

Highlander

My goodness! I have never seen this many men get their poetry button pushed at one time like this. Remarkable!

The results speak for themselves. President Obama obviously knows how to push a button or two.

But all the touchy feely "can't we all just love one another"rhetoric aside. Well no, we actually can't.

The Western secular humanistic thought which is well on the way to burying the Judeo-Christian faith.Is even less compatible with the Muslim faith, and more than a few of their more( shall we say zealous) believers have figured this out.

Unlike the decayed and ever so decadant Bishops of Christendom,who apparently are more than willing to trade their faith and beliefs for a nice soft pension in this life. The Mullah's appear to be more than game for a nasty little bit of resistance.

That might be why they drive airliners into sky scrappers, etc.,etc. And with the advent of 4th generation warefare they are just getting started.

My personal advice to all you touchy feely humanist out there in blog land, is either get a turban or get a gun before they are outlawed. Because the "Musis" have every intention of either converting you or cutting your head off, and turing your women and children into concubines and slaves.

They have the will to win. They just damn well might pull it off.

Ian

I should think history is at least as much of a factor as religion, though I would take exception to this:

"...Fourteen hundred years of hostility and confrontation..."

It hasn't been a history of uniform hostility. The Lithuanians and Mongols were happy to tag team the Russians, as were the Ottomans and the French happy to work together against the Austrians. Alliances against the Turks as at Lepanto seem to have been motivated primarily by the need to contain a superpower, with religion being of secondary importance. Yes, the crusades were religious, as were the early Muslim conquests, but since then the story seems to me to have been mainly one of cynical power politics.

As for the 20th century, it's easy to see why people in the middle east might hate us for purely secular political reasons.

Here's what happened in one five year period:
The Sykes–Picot Agreement
The Battle of Maysalun
The Iraqi Revolution of 1920
The Turkish War of Independence

Compared to any of those, the Balfour declaration was relatively benign.

To spell out a specific example, Iran has exceptionally good reason to hate the US. Imagine if President Truman had been overthrown by Iranian agents in 1953. Now imagine that the Iranians propped up the repressive government of King MacArthur for the next 25 years, right up until the tyrant was finally overthrown by Pastor Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority Militia in 1979. That's exactly what the US did to Iran in the second half of the 20th century. To the best of my knowledge the US has never so much as apologized for overthrowing the democratically elected Mossadegh government.

I don't mean to deny that religion has been vital to anti-American movements both as a recruiting tool and for organizational cohesion, but I don't think religion is the reason why such groups exist.

The beaver

Don't think Mubarak went to the airport because of this piece :
After spending the night at Saudi King Abdullah's horse farm in the desert outside Riyadh, Obama arrived at Egypt's imposing, ornate Qubba Palace on a lush property in the middle of Cairo with nearly two dozen horses leading his motorcade down the wide, palm-lined palace drive.

The U.S. president jogged up the steps to greet his Egyptian counterpart with a handshake and the region's traditional double-cheek kiss. As the two leaders stood on a balcony, a military band in blue dress uniforms played both countries' national anthems.

http://www.cleveland.com/world/index.ssf/2009/06/president_obama_meets_with_egy.html

Patrick Lang

Ian

Surely you know that history, politics and all else are not separate for the believer. pl

Arun

Generations of Egytian and other Arab women heave struggled for many years to control their own lives even in matters as small as how they dress.

As Leila Ahmed points out (Women and Gender in Islam, Yale Univ. Press, 1992) this struggle has often been coopted by patriarchal white men in their quest for colonial domination; prime example the earl of Cromer. This is something Egyptian men and women will have to come to agreement on, and not Egyptian women and Americans.

Anyway, the futility of this all is bothersome. Today I learned about optical interferometry methods that enable us to see the deformation of rapidly spinnning stars. This corresponds to having resolution power in the milliarcsecond range. This corresponds to be able to see a man-sized feature on the moon. But the scientists are confidently talking of being able to get to the microarcsecond range. This would correspond to being able to see a man-sized feature on the sun. Or, if only they were bright enough, resolving a sun-earth system in the Andromeda galaxy. If the scientists do get to microarcsecond resolutions, we may learn as much about the universe as we have since the beginning of our history.

The universe beckons us and we fight over what women should wear!

Arun

Generations of Egytian and other Arab women heave struggled for many years to control their own lives even in matters as small as how they dress.

As Leila Ahmed points out (Women and Gender in Islam, Yale Univ. Press, 1992) this struggle has often been coopted by patriarchal white men in their quest for colonial domination; prime example the earl of Cromer. This is something Egyptian men and women will have to come to agreement on, and not Egyptian women and Americans.

Anyway, the futility of this all is bothersome. Today I learned about optical interferometry methods that enable us to see the deformation of rapidly spinnning stars. This corresponds to having resolution power in the milliarcsecond range. This corresponds to be able to see a man-sized feature on the moon. But the scientists are confidently talking of being able to get to the microarcsecond range. This would correspond to being able to see a man-sized feature on the sun. Or, if only they were bright enough, resolving a sun-earth system in the Andromeda galaxy. If the scientists do get to microarcsecond resolutions, we may learn as much about the universe as we have since the beginning of our history.

The universe beckons us and we fight over what women should wear!

Babak Makkinejad

Highlander:

To my knowledge none of the attackers on 9/11/2001 had any formal religious training. Nor were they shia, much less a mullah - commonly referred to a Shia scholar.

Also please be advised that turbans are also worn by non-Muslims; Hindus and Sikhs are examples.

And last I looked, it is US & certain European armies that are going up and down the lenght of Islamdom looking for enemies behind every bush.

Rider

There are no three religions on planet Earth more similar than Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. And for good reason, as Christianity was once a Jewish sect, and Islam drew from the wells of both Judaism and Christianity. They are blood relations with different points of view; not natural enemies. There is common ground between them in terms of spirituality if not in theology. The way to find the common ground is to focus on orthopraxis rather than on orthodoxos, which has produced so much regrettable history.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

They are wrong - both religiously & metaphysically - in their attitudes.

But, unfortunately, no Doctor of Religion or collection of them has the physical and moral courage to say so.

Even Tabatabi wrote a book and did not go public with his own beliefs.

Patrick Lang

Arun

If human social issues are merely annoying then why do you bring up this ancient ant-colonial business about Cromer?

Yuo think issues of women's freedom were invented by the imerialists?

This attitude is a stereotypically 3rd world evasion of responsibility. pl

Ian

Col. Lang: "Surely you know that history, politics and all else are not separate for the believer."

Quite true. I should know, seeing as I'm high Anglican. Still, sufficiently extreme differences in degree amount to differences in kind. The war started by Innocent III was a heck of a lot more religiously motivated than Bush II, "crusade" language notwithstanding.


Highlander: "My personal advice to all you touchy feely humanist out there in blog land, is either get a turban or get a gun...because the "Musis" have every intention of either converting you or cutting your head off, and turing your women and children into concubines and slaves."

Have you ever actually met any Muslims?

The fear you're expressing would be understandable if you lived in Pakistan. If you are American, your fear of an Islamist coup d'etat is insane, on a par with thinking that the saucer people are listening to your thoughts. Acts of terrorism could happen, but mass enslavement? Are you high? Why oh why are you so afraid?

Highlander

Ian,

The Muslim world is the only place where slavery is still institutionally practiced( granted it's done in a slightly covert manner. I mean it's just not good PR at all).

In my roaming days I passed through Muslim countries on a fairly regular basis. I've had the privilege of watching Muslim sanctioned public beatings in Singapore and beheadings in Saudi Arabia.
(I never made it to one of their stonings of an unfaithful woman, though)

As for a Muslim Coup d'tat, there is a 50/50 chance it just happened in the last Presidential election. The true irony of that is. It was almost entirely engineered by very rich, liberal American Jews(Is there any other kind).

At a minimum the Obama administration has some very serious internal contradictions. It should be interesting observing how they play out.

I find it sad watching the west slowly decay. Afraid, no. I've always had an unnatural desire to be around for the crunch.

Byron Raum

Highlander,

I can certainly agree with what you say about internal contradictions, but these are inherent to human nature and not the Obama administration, per se.

For example, I am against the death penalty in all its forms. I believe that it is just never appropriate, not for anyone. Yet, at the same time, I can still relish the idea of the Saudis beheading a pedophile.

As has often been mentioned, Obama is not the Messiah. He's not able to change human nature, and it's not necessary that he change human nature. We've lived with serious internal contradictions all the time.

B.R.

Babak Makkinejad

Highlander:

You wrote: “The Muslim world is the only place where slavery is still institutionally practiced”. Where exactly do you have in mind?

One only needs to go to India and look at how orphaned Dalit girls are raised to be temple prostitutes for the Hindu men of the village. Do you not consider that slavery?

Certain Muslim judicial practices, are, in my opinion superior to judicial practices of US, EU and others.

For example, retribution as a principle of Islamic Law enables victims or their blood kin to exercise certain rights - such as a right of clemency as well as retribution in capital cases. Perhaps Roman Polanskii would have preferred to exercise that right under Islamic Law, no?

Another example, from US is this: armed robbery, even if no one is killed, has a mandatory 15-year Federal sentence with no possibility of parole. Which one is worse, cutting off the offender’s hand and letting him go or locking him up for 15 years?

In the case of Rodney King beating, would not have canning been a better punishment for a momentary lapse of judgment rather than ruining the careers of the Police Officers involved in that case?

Slandering other traditions is not going to save the West (whatever you meant by that) I should think.

curious

We've lived with serious internal contradictions all the time.
Posted by: Byron Raum | 06 June 2009 at 12:40 PM


Stanford's Robert Sapolsky anthropologists lecture, 90 minutes on the evolutionary basis for literal religious belief, "metamagical thinking," schizotypal personality and so on, explaining how evolutionarily, the mild schizophrenic expression we called "schizotypal personality" have enjoyed increased reproductive opportunities.

Evolution, religion, schizophrenia and the schizotypal personality

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/06/06/evolution-religion-s.html

-------------

explain a lot about aspect of politics and religion. As a society we aren't all that grounded. So maybe we all should chill and not take everything so seriously. Or the irrationality will kill us all.

Cosmic

Col Lang, I'm not sure, but I'm believe Clinton only wear the headscarf when she visited ISLAMIC antiquities. Which is not excessive political correctness, but pretty much par for the course.

Babak Makkinejad

What is the big deal with the scarf? A generation ago women wore that when entering a Catholic church. Even today, Catholics will not like bare-bossomed or bare-shouldered women to enter their churches.

Patrick Lang

Babak et al

Enough! Already! I have no objection to women wearing headscarves in mosques!! pl

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