The Arab Street is owed an apology!

Most of the time I post stuff about Denmark, it tends to be bad news--of course, if you're a Muslim observer of Danish politics there's often been, sadly, pretty good reason for that--so I thought I'd try to atone a bit by translating this very thoughtful and topical piece by a Danish pundit on the lessons of the Arab Spring. One could quibble about a few small things (e.g., identifying Saudi-funded establishments as "ultra-orthodox"; their claim to orthodoxy is rather … [Read more...]

Saints of clay

There's an intriguing report on the website of the Chabad-Lubavitch, the most prominent branch of Hasidism (a Jewish mystical movement with much in common with Sufism). A stop-motion animated film has been made for kids telling the story of Israel ben Eliezier (often called the Baal Shem Tov, or "Master of the Good Name"), the Lubavitch movement's founder who lived in 18th century Poland. One of the most unhealthy developments in modern Western … [Read more...]

Danish embassy bombed in Islamabad

The Danish embassy in Islamabad was bombed today. No Danes were hurt, but several innocent Pakistanis lost their lives to this senseless savagery. Which makes sense in a grisly way, as throughout this ridiculous conflict (about which I've blogged at length) the victims of these so called defenses of Islam have and continue to be mostly Muslim. In fact, the organization most devastated by this terror attack an UNDP supported NGO that is, unlike these zealots, helping the people of Paksitan. … [Read more...]

OBL threatens Europe after the republication of the Danish cartoons

The latest development in the cartoon wars.Bin Laden slams EU over prophet cartoons - Yahoo! News Osama bin Laden criticized the publication of drawings insulting to the Prophet Muhammad in a new audio message posted late Wednesday and warned Europeans of a strong reaction to come. The message, which appeared on a militant Web site that has carried al-Qaida statements in the past and bore the logo of the extremist group's media wing al-Sahab, showed a still image of bin Laden aiming with an … [Read more...]

Abdul Sattar on Danish cartoons

Abdul Sattar has a good post on the latest spasm of conflict over the Danish cartoons. [HT: Suhaib Webb, via Mere Islam]Notes on the Cartoon Controversy « “…perhaps they may Reflect…”“God will not change the condition of a people, until they change what is within themselves.” (13:11)It is time to stop burning flags, and start burning desires. Stop yelling in the streets against people who are overjoyed at your anger, and whisper to Allah who will become overjoyed at your prayer. Stop breaking, … [Read more...]

New skirmishes in Denmark over the Jyllands-Posten cartoons

Speaking of Denmark, there have been interesting developments surrounding the cartoons that launched a thousand boycotts not so long ago. Uffe Elleman-Jensen, an internationally respected Danish conservative leader who served as foreign minister in the 1980s, emerged in 2006 as a leading critic of Jyllands-Posten's cartoons, which he viewed (quite sensibly in my view) as a deliberate and irresponsible provocation. Listening to the mostly idiotic saber-rattling emanating from the GOP … [Read more...]

Reflections on the Danish cartoons a year later

Danish journalist Jakob Illeborg has penned a balanced and insightful reflection in The Guardian Unlimited on the lingering legacy in Denmark of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons that roiled the known universe a year ago.  My only complaint is that he didn't explicitly acknowledge how intensely political the affair was from the outset.  It never was simply about freedom of speech, and the affair's architects' professed  motivations have become increasingly hard to swallow as more … [Read more...]

Why Muslims don’t protest peacefully like civilized Westerners

A comrade commented on my post about the controversy among German Catholics over the "Popetown" program ("German Catholics offended by 'Simpsons'-style cartoon of Vatican") by predicting that many will respond that, sure, some Catholics may be calling for censorship, but at least they're not burning embassies, killing people, etc. I thought I'd repost my response to that observation on its own since I think it begins to addresse some of the underlying problems with the … [Read more...]