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19 September 2012


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Babak Makkinejad

I just do not believe that one can get away with that in Europe.

Nor with writing Hebrew on the body of a pig.

Nor do I recommend it in any way shape or form.

Babak Makkinejad

OK, so this is a variant of the usual situation in divorces: "How dare you not love me....".

The beaver

Speaking of AIPAC ( sorry it is OT)
Interfering in a country's election:




The real challenge facing the Muslim world today is how to stop violent protesters from becoming the face of the religion. In order to do that, we need more Muslims to get rid of their indifference and speak against the misrepresentation of Islam.By Aziz Abu Sarah, more at http://972mag.com/violent-protests-are-the-true-insult-to-islam/55920/


While I largely agree with you, I must note that even in my mostly "progressive" college town my Catholic congregation features a non-trivial number of Filipina nurses, many from Mindanao (usually Davao) who are quite hostile on a personal level to Islam. We also have a Chaldean family with similar views.


"Most of them are uneducated or poorly educated. They live hard lives, struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Their living conditions are poor to awful. They have no control over their lives, being at the mercy of events and the powerful. No wonder they see the world as ruled by dark conspiracies."

Brig. Ali,

Aye, sir (you've hit the nail on its head).

Unfortunately, these 'sentiments' are also largely utilized [in varying degrees] by their political (& sometimes religious) leaders....

"By and large they are corrupt and self-serving. It suits their purpose to keep the attention of their peoples directed outwards at foreign threats and conspiracies."

I could say very much the same for the present denizens of the ancestral land from whence my forebears were from....

Breaking shops & beating foreign nationals on one's land does not speak well of the Character of a Populace.

What will the govts of other nation-states consider when they next wish to pour in investments of both monetary & technical nature?

"Will they start causing harm to my citizens & start burning down our [factory] plants if I were to make a 'bad' political move....?"



In re the filipina nurses et al, I don't understand your point. If you are saying that I think that anti-Muslim hostility is something new in the US, then I would add that Christian and other minorities who immigrate from Muslim dominated countries almost always bring anti-Muslim feelings with them. They are a special case. pl


Roger Cohen in today's NYT:
LONDON — The Muslim world cannot have it both ways. It cannot place Islam at the center of political life — and in extreme cases political violence — while at the same time declaring that the religion is off-limits to contestation and ridicule.


Charles I

heavy on the "these days"

Charles I

you're not wasting enough time on youtube.

Charles I

Hi FB, thanks, wanted to hear your thoughts on this. Great discussion folks, thanks


There is no symbol in Christianity with more emotional impact than a crucifix. Here is how a controversy over its degradation played out in the 1980s. Note the differing roles of the authorities and parts of the public.


The role of freedom of expression is fundamental to how our Founding Fathers constructed our democracy. It rest on the belief that human reason is strong enough for people to govern themselves and to discern truth from falsehood. Thus the expression of a falsehood is not banned but is to be exposed by those who argue the truth. Further, there is a belief that an unquestioned belief is not as valuable as one which has survived questioning.

Lord Curzon


While al-Ghazali's interpretation of the religion is still rife, I don't see any meaningful progress. However, there is a body of scholarship at Oxford (Tariq Ramadan) and Exeter (Sajjad Rizvi) Universities that are promulgating a much closer cleaving to Ibn Rushd's work. More recently helped by the body of work left by Allamah Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i (Tafsir al-Mizan and others)

Unfortunately the standards of Al-Azhar, Qum and Najaf have fallen very far when it comes to published work. If there is to be a tectonic shift in Islamic jurisprudence and falsafeh, and therefore the outlook and thinking of the Muslim masses, I believe it will come from the West and migrate East.

William R. Cumming

How many dialects exist in Arabic language?

How many religions and sects?

How many nation-states have Arabic as their language?




Over 21 countries in the Arab League. Religion? Overwhelmingly some kind of Muslim. pl

Al Arabist

The religion Islam itself has always been a globalizing forces of the pre-modern world. Merchant traders in Kano and East Asia preceded the Venetians and Dutch in the Levant. But I agree that the last 160 years have been grim thanks to colonial occupation and its negative political contribution.
Still, Islam's practice/creed harmonizes well with new media, migration and modernity but will be hampered by unsettled feuds around church-state fusion that makes legitimacy nearly impossible. I can easily imagine a world of many Muslims- American prisons are already such a world--but not a world of Islamic governments. The former can be fit with many human needs but the latter, like colonialism, has too many seeds of conflict and feud.
As far as the American chapter of Islam, people are taking a high level of responsibility and I think we are in some way doing ok: Muslims who are economically AND politically powerful without relying only on genealogy or state power alone, there's civil marriage, a softening of patriarchy, no muezzin, less communal compunction about ritual and yet people carry on, then there's companionate marriage and its reduction of mother in law power. I seriously think this is significant. Finally, who worries about "Land of Islam” issues or how legitimate the ruler is.

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