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August 20, 2010

Comments

Obviously, once you believe that Islam is a totally monolithic religion (where everybody agrees with even the most radical of al Qaeda's beliefs), then mere facts about individual Muslims are irrelevant. QED

Well, he did say that the Constitution is Sharia-compliant. So far that's the worst thing I can find about him on da innernuts.

And that is a great big bale of WTF, right there. Pollyanna-ish, I think.

Remember, it is the GOBP way to see the other, the enemy, the whatever, as a monolith.

If you're old enough, you'll remember that all commies were the same, we were told.

All dems and progressives are the same, too.

They've even done it to themselves: Now all of them are complete loons or at least pretend to be.

"If you're old enough, you'll remember that all commies were the same, we were told.

All dems and progressives are the same, too.

They've even done it to themselves: Now all of them are complete loons or at least pretend to be."

bold mine

Well, he did say that the Constitution is Sharia-compliant. So far that's the worst thing I can find about him on da innernuts.

And that is a great big bale of WTF, right there. Pollyanna-ish, I think.

Slarti, what he was saying is that Islam, and Sharia (as he interprets it), are compatible with the Constitution. That, thus, it's fine (from a religious perspective) for Muslims to adhere to the Consitution and live in Western, liberal democracies.

Well, ef made allowances for those who might be pretending, so there is that.

I thought it was mighty politically correct of him.

After all, I've never been called a pretend commie, dem, progressive at, say, Redshite.


If Marty's coming around into the comments looking for instances of false equivalence, it must be Friday!!

(as he interprets it), are compatible with the Constitution

If you replace are with ought to be, I would have no issue.

If you replace are with ought to be, I would have no issue.

Meaning what?

That Rauf is wrong, and that Islam and Sharia are not compatible with the Constitution, but they ought to be?

Let's put it this way, Eric. Let's suppose that we sampled Sharia law as practiced in Muslim communities all over the world.

Compatible, or not?

Perhaps not, as practiced.

But then it would certainly seem that we would want Imams with a different interpretation of Sharia law.

I mean, part of Rauf's vision is bringing Islam into modernity. Not unlike what has been done with Judaism and Christianity, whose strict textual dictates have been softened.

So, I don't know why his statement as such would be seen as a bad thing (let alone the "worst" thing) he has said.

sorry Eric, some things are just more important than consistency, honor, decency, the Constitution or "small government". keeping the rabble roused in an election year is one of those things.

I don't know why his statement as such would be seen as a bad thing (let alone the "worst" thing) he has said.

I thought Slarti intended that as an oblique compliment. If that's the worst thing about him, then he must be pretty good, if naive.

And it isn't as if Rauf is the first guy to attempt to "bring Islam into modernity". Socialism is part of modernity, after all. So how did the Ba'athists, say, or Nasserists get along with Islam?

Model 62: Or the Turks.

Perhaps not, as practiced.

What is Sharia law, other than "as practiced"?

Something along the lines of what Hogan said is what I meant, except for that I thought that his parallelism of Sharia Law as it actually is practiced with the Constitution was particularly blockheaded.

I don't have any particular objection to the guy, other than that.

"Secular nationalism/pan-Arabism" and "modernization of Islam" are not the same project.

What is Sharia law, other than "as practiced"?

As written, and in any possible interpretation thereof

What is Sharia law, other than "as practiced"?

Huh? It's a doctrine that is open to many different interpretations. Societies in Indonesia and Turkey abide by a form of Sharia that is different than the prevalent interpretations in Iraq, which is different than Pakistan, which also differs from Morrocco.

And many people have different interpretations within those countries.

Regardless, Catholic doctrine has changed. But before it changed, what was Catholic doctrine other than "as practiced"?

Your statement seems to preclude any doctrinal evolution ever, as if doctrine is always bound by the then-immediate manifestations of practice (leaving aside that, even then, Sharia is practiced in ways compatible with the Constitution).

Also what HSH said.

We need a tighter definition of Sharia Law for this discussion. We seem to be slipping between Sharia Law as "what the Taliban do" and Sharia Law as "what the Koran says."

I'm assuming Rauf means the latter and not the former.

Anyone notice this morning how Saudi Arabia is attempting to bring Islam into modernity? Hint: The courts there are trying to find a surgeon - instead of a scimitar - to exact a victim's Allah-given right to an-eye-for-an-eye justice.

Praise modernity!

On the other hand, I was sufficiently impressed upon discovering the text of Rauf's tribute to Daniel Pearl that I posted it on my Facebook page and sent it to virtually everyone with whom I've been discussing the mosque issue. The more familiar Rauf becomes to me the more's the shame to be heaped upon the Gingriches, Limbaughs and Glen Becks of the world.

Your statement seems to preclude any doctrinal evolution ever

Eh? You're saying Sharia law would need to evolve to be compliant with the US Constitution?

Well, if the folks pushing Republican strategy were restricted by facts, it'd be pretty damn hard to justify slamming Joseph Wilson for doing some information gathering to determine that the uranium in Niger is tightly controlled and accounted for. But slam him they did.

The facts don't matter - what matters is whether or not it's useful.

And the doubly ugly thing is, you can't always pro-actively fight this kind of thing. With Wilson, it's possible that he could have realized how torqued people would be that he was telling the simple truth, and he could have prepped for the firestorm of criticism. (I don't think he could have reasonably guessed that three high level members of the Bush administration would start shopping his wife's name around in an attempt to pretend that she sent him on a "junket" (when it was clear she didn't have the authority to "send" him anywhere) and then, to Niger of all places - did Niger become a tourist hotspot for a brief, shining moment?)

But bullshit like this? There are always a few stories simmering that look like they might get a good hatefest going. You can't pro-actively fight each one of them.

And there's apparently no leadership among the Republicans who care about this - no one wants to shut it down.

I think that's the ugliest part of it - there are Republicans who take stands against a particular smear campaign, but no one cares about the constant smears.

Eh? You're saying Sharia law would need to evolve to be compliant with the US Constitution?

No, I'm saying that certain interpretations of it might. And that, regardless, Sharia is a doctrine subject to interpretation. So, it is more than "as practiced." It is, potentially, many things in practice. That is whay Rauf's statement, and his interpretation, are so interesting to me - and not, IMHO, a bad thing, or the worst thing about him.

For example of how doctrine would need to evolve, is the Old Testament compatible with the Constitution?

If interpreted and applied literally, no. If the interpretation evolves to view certain portions of the text as allegorical and symbolic, and other mandates are disregarded altogether, then yes.

Adding, not only is it potentially many things in practice. It is, in fact, many things in practice.

It's normal for religious liberals in any faith to say that their belief system really favors compassion, love, etc.... I know almost nothing about Islam, but I assume the Koran and Islamic tradition contains enough to justify both bin Laden and Rauf in their respective interpretations, just as the Bible has verses that could inspire the abolitionists and pacifists and Southern slaveowners and witch hunters and anti-semites and crusaders and so forth.

Incidentally, I clicked on the Adam Serwer link and then the "partially observed life" link there and then on to the link below, which shows that some of the "new atheists" are obviously just as bigoted as any rightwing Christian. I knew that already, having read a little of Sam Harris.

link

From the all-knowing Wiki:

Sharia (شريعة Šarīʿa; [ʃaˈriːʕa], "way" or "path") is the sacred law of Islam. All Muslims believe Sharia is God's law, but they have differences among themselves as to exactly what it entails.[1] Modernists, traditionalists and fundamentalists all hold different views of Sharia, as do adherents to different schools of Islamic thought and scholarship. Different countries and cultures have varying interpretations of Sharia as well.

Adding, not only is it potentially many things in practice. It is, in fact, many things in practice.

That's part of what I was getting at, Eric. It's not any one thing, and in some places, as practiced, it's manifestly incompatible with the US Constitution.

anyone wanting to impose any kind of Sharia law in the US is going to have to get in line behind the Real Americans ™ (ex. Sarah Palin) who want to impose Biblical law. we can only have one theocracy at a time, and the Christianists were here first.

hmmm. so i guess the "trade" HTML escape doesn't work so well here. yow.

Okay, that's weird. I thought I posted a correction to my 3:39 post.

Second try--

"It's normal for religious liberals in any faith to say that their belief system really favors compassion, love, etc.."

I meant to add that religious liberals in the modern era also argue that their religion is compatible with American notions of freedom and governance. Rauf is just doing what Catholic liberals did in arguing against a conservative Rome a few generations ago.

Sorry if this appears twice. I don't see it at the moment.

The only reason Death Palin prefers Biblical law over Sharia is the former's insistence on tight-fitting sweaters.

That's part of what I was getting at, Eric. It's not any one thing, and in some places, as practiced, it's manifestly incompatible with the US Constitution.

But how does this make it blockheaded for Rauf to say that his interpretation (presumably) of Sharia isn't incompatible with the Constitution? I mean, do you really think he meant that, say, the Taliban's treatment of women should be considered compatible with the rights guaranteed to women under the US Constitution? That would be pretty blockheaded, but I don't know why anyone would assume that he meant anything like that.

"one theocracy at a time" Well done, cleek!

And both the Muslim fundamentalists and the Christian fundamentalists will both have lots of fights among themselves about that their religion actually mandates.

It's not any one thing, and in some places, as practiced, it's manifestly incompatible with the US Constitution.

But we're not really talking about sharia as it is practiced in some places.

We're talking about Rauf's comments. He gave a very clear statement of what sharia was about, which is, the five core freedoms that he enumerates.

What russell and HSH said.

Specifically:

But we're not really talking about sharia as it is practiced in some places.

We're talking about Rauf's comments. He gave a very clear statement of what sharia was about, which is, the five core freedoms that he enumerates.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, if I understand it correctly, there is no single ultimate religious authority in Islam.

Different communities of Muslims work from different traditions. They look to different religious and legal scholars for direction.

"What sharia is" is not a fixed thing, nor a universal one.

Rauf tells us what he thinks sharia is about. We can take him at his word, or we can assume that he's being less than candid.

That's our choice.

But I see nothing in his background, his public statements, his resume, or his current actions that gives me any reason not to take him at his word.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, if I understand it correctly, there is no single ultimate religious authority in Islam.

russell: that is right.

It's not any one thing, and in some places, as practiced, it's manifestly incompatible with the US Constitution.

BFD. The Ten Commandments, both as written and as practiced, are fundamentally incompatible with the US Constitution, yet that doesn't stop the Christianists from insisting that they appear in every schoolroom and courthouse.

If [the Bible is] interpreted and applied literally, no. If the interpretation evolves to view certain portions of the text as allegorical and symbolic, and other mandates are disregarded altogether, then yes.

Eric, please. There are no "interpretations" of the Bible. Any half-literate Mainer can write a letter to the editor of my local paper -- and many have -- to point out that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, and every last word of it is true. Any other interpretations besides theirs are just flat wrong, heretical, evil, whatever.

There is never the slightest consciousness that they are interpreting too -- only other people can "interpret," while they just know. Never one iota of awareness of irony.

This is how the Reformation replaced one Pope with millions, every last one of them trying to run my life.

Not that this is news, but it's Friday afternoon, what do you expect?

BFD. The Ten Commandments, both as written and as practiced, are fundamentally incompatible with the US Constitution, yet that doesn't stop the Christianists from insisting that they appear in every schoolroom and courthouse.

A bigger issue with displays of the Decalogue is that they are *explicitly* religious law. They are binding on Jews, and Jews only. Gentiles are not commanded to honor their fathers and mothers, forswear graven images, honor the sabbath, avoid coveting, or bearing false witness. Gentiles are bound by the Noachide Laws (the laws binding the children of Noah - i.e., all people), not the special laws for the children of Abraham (Jewish people).

Not that this is news, but it's Friday afternoon, what do you expect?

A gin martini with a twist?

Or, in the alternative, a vodka martini with extra olives?

I think we're getting too far into the weeds in the Sharia/compatibilty question.

Taking as an example that which I know best:
My father and his family were orthodox Jews. they kept Kosher, went to Schul every day (at least my grandfather did). Most of my uncles/aunts brought their kids (my cousins) up as orthodox/conservative. They keep kosher, all joined temples, all sent their kids to Hebrew school, took fairly regular trips to Israel, all that stuff.

My mother's family? Not so much. You could describe them as somewhere between Reform and non-practicing. Bacon for breakfast, my grandfather and uncles were in the wholesale seafood business and brought lobster and scallops home. They mostly joined temples for the social aspect, went on the high holy days and gave money.

What's the point? Many Jews adapted to our constitutional democracy in many different ways. Some live in Brooklyn much as they did in the old days (although without the stoning of adulterers). Their lives are shut down from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown. They keep strictly Kosher homes.

Most live in the suburbs, and participate to a greater or lesser degree.

NONE are trying to pass laws making the Jewish sabbath holy for everyone else, or outlawing the sale of pork (hell, you can even buy pork in Israel). Some CHOOSE to dress in a certain way, or live in a certain way, or pray in a certain way. No-one makes them do it. They don't make anyone else do it (although I'm sure many of them think the rest of us are "not real Jews").

Same with Catholics.

And, potentially, same with Islam.

In fact, in case nobody notices, there's only *ONE* large religious group in the US that wants to impose religious law on the rest of us. Can you guess? I'll give you a hint: their founding myth involves a man who supposedly died on a cross roughly 2000 years ago and then came back to life.

Is it drink o'clock yet?

momentarily

momentarily

Faster, please.

I moved apartments this week, and need about a dozen cocktails just to take the edge off.

Using the Palin/Gingrich compass, and sense of spatial relation, I moved from Ground Zero to Ground Zero.

Quoth cleek:
keeping the rabble roused in an election year is one of those things.

Dude, this is an unsecured channel! Please don't say things in the clear like that. The phrase to use is keeping the base energized.

My mother's family? Not so much. You could describe them as somewhere between Reform and non-practicing. Bacon for breakfast, my grandfather and uncles were in the wholesale seafood business and brought lobster and scallops home.

That pretty well describes my other half and most of her family. We are a very bacon-friendly household, and Jess has since meeting me discovered that she actually really loves lobster and crab.

In fact, in case nobody notices, there's only *ONE* large religious group in the US that wants to impose religious law on the rest of us.

Well, only one with a track record of actually succeeding at doing so, anyway.

"Sharia LAW" is not compatible with the Constitution of the United States of America for the simple reason that, however practiced or interpreted, it purports to be God-given.

WE make the laws around here. We elect people to make our laws. We can vote the bums out when they make laws we don't like. Try THAT with God.

"The Ten Commandments" are of course purported to be even more directly the word of God than "Sharia" is. As a personal code of conduct for believers they are okay, if a bit weird. But that's a far cry from "the basis of our Constitution" as various Christian mullahs are fond of claiming.

--TP

Let's not get lost in the details. This is about the hatred (mostly old) white people have for people who aren't like them.
Without that social fact, the Republicans would get less votes than the Prohibitionists.
There's really no other element to this "issue" that means anything. American politics is the attempt by a large minority of cowardly, cruel, ignorant fools to create a majority that agrees with them out of fear.

BFD. The Ten Commandments, both as written and as practiced, are fundamentally incompatible with the US Constitution, yet that doesn't stop the Christianists from insisting that they appear in every schoolroom and courthouse.

Yes, but the Ten Commandments don't seem to have a set of laws (including consequences for noncompliance), currently exercised elsewhere in the world, that anyone in this conversation is purporting to be consistent with the Constitution. Other than that: point taken.

Rauf tells us what he thinks sharia is about. We can take him at his word, or we can assume that he's being less than candid.

Well, here's my issue, not that I haven't explained myself multiple times: Rauf's version of Sharia law doesn't really correspond well to that of the rest of the world. If he'd said something like: here's my idealized notion of Sharia law, and here's why it and the Constitution are compatible, I'd have not so much to object about. But that's not what he said. If he meant that, fine. On the other hand, if he meant Sharia law in general, then he's wrong. Not: lying through his teeth. Not: being less than candid. Just incorrect.

"Yes, but the Ten Commandments don't seem to have a set of laws (including consequences for noncompliance), currently exercised elsewhere in the world, that anyone in this conversation is purporting to be consistent with the Constitution."

Well, according to the Catholic Church (and a whole lot of Protestants), abortion violates 'Thou shalt not kill'. On this basis, the Catholic Church advocates for the continued prohibition of abortion in countries where it's already illegal as well as the outlawing of abortion elsewhere. Including right here in the US. Where there's a constitutional right to abortion.

So your claim is false--unless you're going to really hang your hat on "including consequences for non-compliance"--and by your own lights it's a great big bale of WTF to think that the Ten Commandments (or even Judeo-Christian ethics in general) are compatible with the constitution.

I suggest you read again.

[Reads again. Shrugs shoulders.]

And liberal Episcopalian's vision of the word of God doesn't really correspond well to the rest of the world either. If a liberal Episcopalian said, "Christianity is compatible with the constitution," would you really interpret them as insisting that the stance of the Catholic Church on abortion is constitutionally okey-dokey? Or that some American protestants express desire for theocracy is constitutional? Of course you wouldn't--you'd take them to be talking about their particular version of Christianity. So why saddle Rauf with such a ludicrously uncharitable interpretation?

Oy vey, Slarti, if you're going to start pointing fingers at Rauf for being insufficiently precise . . .

some of the "new atheists" are obviously just as bigoted as any rightwing Christian. I knew that already, having read a little of Sam Harris.

That Sam Harris piece is, in a way, even more appalling than the drooling ignorance coming from the Right, or it is for me, anyway. Suave, intellectualized bigotry (or just stupidity) is like a very small touch of cologne daubed onto a very smelly person: instead of being able to smell him a block away, the cologne multiplies the bad smell, carries it, making the overall badness greater than the sum of its parts, and the aroma carries for several,/i> blocks.

Harris puts forward such a poor argument that he approaches William Kristol or Krauthammer-badness. He gives atheism a bad name. And so does his inferior sidekick, whose site Donald links to.

italics begone!

Why is such a great deal of energy spent trying to tell muslims they can't fit in with western culture?

If the guy says he sees the constitution as sharia compliant... who the fuck seriously has a dog in that fight other than some other muslim with a different interpretation?

to the rescue!
?

Slarti, of course he's saying his ideal notion of Sharia law is true and that of the Wahabists et al is not. Does a person have to preface a statement with "I believe that the following is true and am saying it to dissuade you from the beliefs it contradicts"?

Johnson, Jerry Coyne's and Sam Harris's remarks depressed the heck out of me even though, like you, I already knew Harris was appalling.

Read the rest of this over at Brad Delong's place.

"Am I the Only Person in the World Who Remembers That the World Trade Center Was a Work of Islamic Architecture?

Laurie Kerr:

http://www.slate.com/id/2060207: The Mosque to Commerce:Bin Laden's special complaint with the World Trade Center: We all know the basic reasons why Osama Bin Laden chose to attack the World Trade Center, out of all the buildings in New York. Its towers were the two tallest in the city, synonymous with its skyline. They were richly stocked with potential victims. And as the complex's name declared, it was designed to be a center of American and global commerce. But Bin Laden may have had another, more personal motivation. The World Trade Center's architect, Minoru Yamasaki, was a favorite designer of the Binladin family's patrons—the Saudi royal family—and a leading practitioner of an architectural style that merged modernism with Islamic influences.

The story starts in the late 1950s, when Yamasaki, a second-generation Japanese-American, won the commission to design the King Fahd Dhahran Air Terminal in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. His design had a rectilinear, modular plan with pointed arches, interweaving tracery of prefabricated concrete, and even a minaret of a flight tower. In other words, it was an impressive melding of modern technology and traditional Islamic form. The Saudis admired it so much that they put a picture of it on one of their banknotes.

For Yamasaki, an architect with a keen mathematical mind and a taste for ornamental pattern-work, this brush with the intricate geometries of Islamic architecture was inspiring, and he began to incorporate arabesques and a"

But on to the next thing.

From Balloon Juice:

"Julian Assange faces rape charges in Sweden. So much for the 9/11 Mosque story."

See you folks next week. I'm off to play in a softball tournament today and I play baseball tomorrow.

Does a person have to preface a statement with "I believe that the following is true and am saying it to dissuade you from the beliefs it contradicts"?

No, not really. But if some public figure had said something to the effect that the the actions of the US are compliant with the US Constitution, and failed to preface that with ideally or in theory, you'd expect to hear some people point out that such a statement is manifestly untrue in practice, no?

But how can actions be ideal or theoretical? To be actions, they have to have been done. Sharia is a concept distinct from the various implementations thereof. This seems obvious to me. I don't see the controversy.

So, just for a shorter version of your objection:

The man in question didn't spend 2000 words, minimum, explaning that his version of Sharia is different than other versions (which themselves are all different, due to the nature of Sharia) and thus that, of course, this was only his interpretation.

Well, now that THAT is out of the way -- can we discuss the fact that a moderate Muslim cleric whose views on Islam fit easily into the post-Enlightnment structure of the US Constitution?

Or will that stir debate, if I don't add 2000 words on how the US Constitution is only "theoretically" post-Enlightnment, and how many US Christians view it as merely an accessory to a theocratic Christian state?

can we discuss the fact that a moderate Muslim cleric whose views on Islam fit easily into the post-Enlightnment structure of the US Constitution?

No one's stopping you. Be my guest. By all means, you're completely welcome to discuss things that you find praiseworthy.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, if I understand it correctly, there is no single ultimate religious authority in Islam.

Not to pick on russell, but why do people keep bringing this up as something surprising? Isn't this true of most major religions? Is there some expectation that standard religions follow the pattern of the Roman Catholic Church? Are people under the impression that Southern Baptists care what the pope has to say, or that there are Jewish and Hindu and Buddhist popes that speak for those religions?

Jerry Coyne's and Sam Harris's remarks depressed the heck out of me

Depressed you? I just bought Coyne's book (at list price, yet) last week and lost the receipt.

Susan Jacoby, the Washington Post's resident atheist, is being a total asshole about it too. The whole A-Team minus Hitchens (weirdly enough) has been spewing the standard right-wing talking points and it's disgusting.

BTW, Slartibartfast, I hear Rauf once called Keyboard Cat "the cutest thing ever." Maybe he really believes that, but I seriously doubt he's never seen Sneezing Baby Panda. What's he up to?

Woof woof. I hear the dogs barking..quietly.
"Religious tyranny" reportedly widespread in US military

http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/religious-tyranny-reportedly-widespread-us-military

Over at 'They Gave Us a Republic' I noted Muslims would have died at the WTC too. Anybody remember who Muhammad Ali was ? How about the Black Panthers ? Damn dude, don't you honkies understand nuthin ' ?
( Excuse my dummied Harlemese. I'm a WASP who's never been near the joint...and even I know Obama was sworn in on Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Koran.)
Oh. A few months back I saw a YouTube video posted at TGUaR called Crusaders about 3 American servicemen preaching Fundamentalism 'over there.'
WTF There were 'missionaries' in 'Nam too. The Cong called them spies...and worse.

I'm sure glad that the 'war' is against al Qaeda...the Taleban....Muslims.
Damn. It's against whoever I say it is !

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