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July 27, 2010


I was just having this conversation today. I can't say whether my friends believe this or not, because when I ask to clarify, they just confirm something else I didn't say.

But apparently, in Right World, Islam is a cult that systematically indoctrinates people to violence while suppressing free thought and taking away civil rights. Why, you'd have to simultaneously be Christian, a Marine (No offense, Marines--I know how dangerous you guys are), and a public school student in America to have that happen to you....

In addition, they not only believe in outrageous jihads of unstoppable extremists with explosives, they're also very subtle and cunning people who have infiltrated by the Millions without our noticing.

Now, they're trying to build a "cultural center" --can you believe it?-- wherein their Rightist Imam (never mind that the Taliban thinks he's not Muslim enough for them) will gloat over their triumph at being able to improve their position next to Ground Zero. I guess on Holy Days, he and his followers will rejoice in their success at deceiving non-Muslims into thinking Islam is a religion of peace while... what? Keeping an eye on Ground Zero to make sure no more capitalist infidel monuments are erected there?

Oh, right, I forgot the important part--this is all their subtle plan to use the building as a fake front to fund terrorists. Because it's no fun to be secret unless you can do it with nationally controversial behavior.

Do these people get their understanding of evil solely from comic books and the Left Behind series?

(This story is a fiction made up out of the b-s I've been dealing with the last week or so.)

I'm not sure how I I could possibly respond to this claim, without having an objective definition of "cult" to compare Islam to.

But the claim that Islam isn't a religion is absurd; Of course it's a religion, cults are a subset of religions, if it wasn't a religion, it would make no sense to claim it was a cult.

What's objectionable about cults? Just that they're more religiony than most religions...

They are just cranking down the fineness of that Carl Schmitt designed filter by which they explain that the 'We' in 'We the people...' shouldn't mean *those* people. Compare this to GW Bush back in 2000 when asked if Wiccan servicemembers should be able to have religious services on a US Army base:

"I am committed to the First Amendment principles of religious freedom, tolerance, and diversity. Whether Mormon, Methodist, Jewish, or Muslim, Americans should be able to participate in their constitutional free exercise of religion. I do not think witchcraft is a religion, and I do not think it is in any way appropriate for the U.S. military to promote it."

Guess we can scratch one more group off the Official US Christmas card list -- and yes, they *do* mean CHRISTmas, you apostate.

If you listen to all of Ramsey's answer you will also find a clear, if not explained, assertion that building a Muslim Center implies the imposition of Sharia Law on the whole area. No one questions this. It's clear that Ramsey is no great shakes at public speaking, but that is part of the charm, I guess. Perhaps the incoherence helps him slip through such extraordinary illogic.

The man who introduced the issue later explains "there are 22 communities so far that have been established in the United States under Sharia Law, and it's expanding rapidly." The locations are specified no more clearly than Joe McCarthy's 57 Communists in the State Department, but it appears to be an accepted fact among these people.

If I'm in a firefight, I wouldn't mind having a witch or two on my side.

Do we have a consulate, with maybe a library attached, in Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

Dresden -- that would seem a good spot for an American consulate reading room.

I'd like to see someone stand up in a Louisiana church next Sunday, post-Jindal-bring-your-weapons-to-worship-law, and suggest Sharia Law for the pubescent teens sitting glumly in the pews, just to see what happens.

How much ordnance does a person have to drop on North Vietnam to get them to not invite John McCain over for a little good-natured show and tell.

The hysterical segment of our increasingly dumbass culture are cowards. Tough-talking, strong-jawed men and women, talking trash, while getting their whimpering demagogic diapers in a twist. Loudmouthed hollerers alone in radio studios talking smack into the ether or addressing empty chambers of Congress on C-Span, while they feel around for their balls, in case they haven't got any, or maybe left them in their high-school locker.


We're doomed. Even the Taliban know it.

They wait.

I was pleasantly surprised the other day. A colleague of mine at work, who I have known for 14 years, is as right-wing as you can imagine, swallowing every bit of Glenn Beck-pushed tripe she's exposed to. She believes that ACORN helped steal the election for Obama, she believes that there should be no taxes except for maybe schools and roads, etc., etc. (She calls Thomas Sowell "the smartest man on the Internet." Also, too.)

And yet she posted about this on her Facebook page and said that America is better than to discriminate on the basis of religion, and that equal rights means equal rights. I was, frankly, floored. Maybe some people are reachable.

(BTW, +1 internets to Eric for the Pavement ref. I'm got tix to see them in Columbus next month.)

Do these people know any Muslims?

Even the Taliban know it.

They wait.

An OT observation, if I may:

This is true, in the sense that they don't round themselves up in big groups and make frontal attacks on American troops.

In another sense, there's not much difference between "they wait" and "they stay home that day".

The Taliban live in the Pashtun tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. I suspect that "waiting" is not so much a clever diabolical 11-dimensional assymmetric war tactic as it is a matter of them having no particular other place to go.

They're not going anywhere, because there is no other "there" for them.

I guess they could all just surrender, or fight us on our own preferred terms, but that would be kind of dumb.

We can either try to locate and kill every Talib in all of Pashtunistan, or we can live with the fact that Taliban are going to be there when we leave.

And since there's not really that much of a bright line between "Taliban" and "some Pashtun guy", the first option is unlikely to play out well.

Thanks for your indulgence.

Maybe some people are reachable.

Maybe so. I'd think that operating as if they are not reachable doesn't improve their reachability any.

In this bold sketch, Smith shows that the "Jewish Question" has persisted since ancient times -- over many centuries and in diverse cultures. His observations and presentation of facts point up parallel problems in own era.

He establishes that horrific and much-publicized accounts of anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian empire during the 1880s were grossly exaggerated, and debunks the widely accepted charge that these anti-Jewish outbursts were rooted in religious bigotry and intolerance.

The recurring friction between Jews and non-Jews through the ages, Smith persuasively argues, is due primarily not to the defects or iniquities of non-Jews, but rather is a lamentable but nevertheless quite understandable reaction to Jewish behavior. The most galling features of this behavior, he contends, are rooted in the distinctively tribalistic character of the Jewish religion as laid out in the Talmud and the Old Testament.

The Vexing 'Jewish Question': A Nineteenth-Century Scholar's View

The Jewish Question


I suspect, we've been here before.


Indeed we have been here before. I fear the modern versions of blood libels, accusations of well poisoning, etc., are on their way, featuring Muslims in the starring role.

After all, they are clannish, look different, pray in a strange language, have odd dietary rules, celebrate Sabbath on the wrong day, etc.

I think it’s ironic, back in the day when the Jewish question was all the rage, and evolutionary hierarchies “informed” debate, Islam was placed below Christianity and above Judaism. Hegel seemed to suggest that Muslims had evolved to while Judaism stagnated. It’s funny how political context says a lot.

Well, Muslims believe that Jesus was a serious kick-ass prophet, and revere Mary to some degree as well.

The Jews? Not so much.*

(*Jews for Jesus notwithstanding)

Well, Muslims believe that Jesus was a serious kick-ass prophet, and revere Mary to some degree as well.

Do they also revere Paul?

Couldn't say.

You can tell me. I'm a doctor.

heh. just got that. i suck.

Peter, Paul, and Mary really nail me to the wall.

heh. just got that. i suck.

Don't know about that, but you certainly bit.

"I fear the modern versions of blood libels, accusations of well poisoning, etc., are on their way, featuring Muslims in the starring role."

Technically, the modern versions ARE the ancient versions, as they're currently being taught in Palestinian schools.

Palestine is the 51st State!

Technically, the modern versions ARE the ancient versions, as they're currently being taught in Palestinian schools.

Vicious anti-semitism among some, even many, Arabs in the Middle East does not justify vicious anti-Islamism in the US. Our standards are, I hope, higher than those of Saudi Arabia.

Not that it's any better, but they are engaged in anti-Judaism...although they would say its anti-Zionism...many Arabs are Semites, as well...the term "anti-Semitism" was coined to make anti-Jewish ideologies less about religion and more about race and ethnicity.

Think about how many in the US have fused “Arab” with “Islam” although there are many Jews and Christians who are Arab.


I've never been much on the distinction between anti-semitism and anti-Judaism. I think it's mostly a rationalization of historical Christian anti-semitism, or an excuse to distinguish it from Nazi racial thinking, which in fact clearly had its roots in Christian anti-semitism.

Many Arabs are indeed Christians (I even know some). Whether there are many who are Jewish I don't know. I do suspect a comprehensive DNA analysis of Palestinians and (Jewish) Israelis would produce results that neither side would find welcome.

Of course, I think that's true of all ethnic conflicts between populations that are close neighbors.

Amor vincit omnia.

[profane, bigoted diatribe deleted - Ed.]

Sam Simple,

As a former Tennessean, I disagree pretty striongly with your assessment. Tennessee is not Alabama. It's actually, by red state standards, a fairly moderate place politically. It nearly elected a black Senator in 2006, it has a Democratic governor (a carpet-bagging Harvard graduate, no less) and its Republican party has a history of sanity, Ramsey and Zach Wamp notwithstanding.

Neither of those guys is likely to be the GOP nominee. The favorite is Bill Haslam, who apparently did a decent job as Mayor of Knoxville. His likely Democratic opponent is Mike McWhirter, whose principal qualification seems to be being the son of former governor Ned McWhirter.

The Jews of Iraq, had a vibrant culture in Iraq, up until 1948.

Around 70AD, the two major Jewish communities, outside of Palestine, were in what is today, Spain and Iraq.


I think, when the Enlightenment/modernity took off and religion no longer became the prime source for "truths" (thus creating "myths" of the Other) the sciences were used for creating new myths. Africans and Native Americans were pagans...when they converted to Christianity, they were then "Black" and "Red", other races.

Now that biology is no longer the rage, "culture" has come to stand in for "race" and "religion"

My cousin is a total Hippie Stoner and love living Tennessee.

My cousin is a total Hippie Stoner and loves living in Tennessee.

Do they also revere Paul?

A large number of Sunni do. Most Shia, however, revere Ringo. He had a better beard; and, furthermore, though all four Beatles contravened the strictest interpretations of sharia by playing musical instruments, the Shia comfort themselves that at least Ringo wasn't trying very hard.

A large number of Sunni do. Most Shia, however, revere Ringo.

No Lennonists?

Ringo took a Sharia break during the White Album sessions to observe the platitudes, so that's Paul, who had few qualms, doing the drummming on "Back in the USSR".

Yoko, who broke strict Beatle Sharia by, for starters, showing up at the all-male studio sessions, then practically brought down the entire religion by making a suggestion about one of the songs (from her bed in the corner, but sans veil), to which mullah Paul responded, looking straight at mullah George, "F*cking-a George, was that you talking, because I sure didn't see your lips moving?"

Then mullah John took Yoko out to the green room for the ritual stoning.

Do they also revere Paul?

The Yiddish are coming! The Yiddish are coming!

Technically, the modern versions ARE the ancient versions, as they're currently being taught in Palestinian schools.

If only we were actually discussing Palestine, this would be a pithy--if pointless--observation.

As it stands, it's a pretty lame attempt at deflecting a discussion of conservative bigotry into an I-P donnybrook.

Lots of the old antisemtic fabrications are still beleieved and taught by non-negligible Kristian(TM) groups, also by very significant parts of conservative Catholics in Poland. The Russian Orthodox church is also infected, otherwise Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion would likely not sell so well on church events.
And for those that consider it a fringe view in the US, ask Jews that study at the Air Force Academy about their experiences. For the rapturists the Jews are the useful idiots that will (have to) light the fuse that causes Armageddon and will then be the first to perish and be thrown into the eternal fire.

For the rapturists the Jews are the useful idiots that will (have to) light the fuse that causes Armageddon and will then be the first to perish and be thrown into the eternal fire.

I grew up with that one.

control of every aspect of human life — social, political, and economic.

Many fundamentalist Christians take it as a matter of course that they've given up their entire lives to Jesus.

More seriously, Islam isn't a religion in the way Westerners are used to thinking of religion: something private.

Islam has no distinction between mosque and state, and permits none. In Islamic countries, the Islamists believe that the religious leader has to be the political leader. You see this in Iran, for example. It's an Islamic goal everywhere.

But this message has been distorted into the sound bite "Islam is not a religion". Possibly through error, or as political baloney for partisan reasons.

It isn't worth focusing on instances where people spout nonsense; it happens too often. It is well worth focusing on the different nature of Islam.

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