New from Monty Python: the Ministry of Silly Islamic Activists

Ever wonder how Monty Python would've discussed Islam and Muslims?  Wonder no more.  Behold the upcoming Secular Islam Summit, wherein an assortment of people with Muslim-sounding names are going to--drum roll, please--"chart the future course of reason, pluralism, and freedom of conscience in the Islamic world". Some folks in the MSM appear to be excited about this millennial gathering, including CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, who announced that he'd be broadcasting his … [Read more...]

WoPo online discussion of Wahhabism

You can submit questions ahead of time, or during the discussion. Should be interesting. Too bad he'll probably have to spend most of the time responding to idiotic neocon hysteria as opposed to talking about the real issues and historical factors.  The Rise of the Wahhabi Movement (The Washington Post) Monday, Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. ET The Rise of the Wahhabi Movement Professor Says Politics, Not Religion, Pushed Stringent Branch of Islam Khalid al-DakhilAssistant Professor of Sociology, King … [Read more...]

Tariq Ramadan and this adminstration’s need to dehumanize Muslims

L'affaire Tariq Ramadan lives on.  [HT:  American Leftist].Why I'm Banned in the USA - I am increasingly convinced that the Bush administration has barred me for a much simpler reason: It doesn't care for my political views. In recent years, I have publicly criticized U.S. policy in the Middle East, the war in Iraq, the use of torture, secret CIA prisons and other government actions that undermine fundamental civil liberties. And for many years, through my research … [Read more...]

Muslims, the new “natives”

Am writing a brief reaction paper to the chapter in Daniel Pals' (highly recommended) Eight Theories of Religion on the pioneer anthropologist E.E. Evans-Pritchard, best known for his magisterial and seminal work Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande. Don't have time to comment in depth, but I thought I'd share a few observations concerning how accounts of the sloppy and dehumanizing theorizing about "primitive" peoples of the 19th century have a uncannily familiar ring today … [Read more...]

The long overdue end to the Neocon nightmare

An inspired and inspiring polemic ("End of the Neo-Cons") has been loosed on the lunacy gripping Washington for so long and whose epic blunders just resulted in the Republicans losing control of the House of Representatives for the first time in over a decade in the Toronto Star by David Olive. If there's any rhetorical mistep in this eloquent and exhaustive broadside at Neocon folly it is Olive's somewhat toothless opining about the possibility that the "neo-cons will have earned … [Read more...]

Ralph Peters: “Islam-haters” are the real 5th column

Do read Ralph Peters' courageous declaration of war on the real cancer within the American body politic, empty-headed Islamophobia that passes off hatred and hysteria for patriotism and devotion to America's ideals.  As he notes, these tunes have a very famliar ring to those aware of the discourse of anti-Semites and white supremacists in American history.  It's in The New York Post.  Will wonders never cease? [HT: Carnival of Brass, by way of Non Sceptical Essays]  … [Read more...]

More on WoPo piece on Salafism

I had composed a long, detailed magnum opus the other night responding to the Washington Post piece mentioned previously, when the fate that bloggers fear worse than death befell me.  My PC rebooted suddenly, completely unbidden, just as I was reaching a crescendo.   I think I triggered an unknown keyboard shortcut for shutting down.  It was enough to make me howl into the inky sky. Perhaps it was a sign from on High that I wasn't supposed to be watching my all-time favorite … [Read more...]

Washington Post on Salafism today

The Washington Post ("For Conservative Muslims, Goal of Isolation a Challenge") has an interesting and wide ranging article on the state of Wahhabism among American Muslims.    There's a lot to comment on, but I'll just note my exception to one claim:The sense of beleaguerment among many Muslims in the Washington area is particularly strong among Salafis. "In the past, people would say, 'I'm Salafi.' Now, I never encounter people who say that," District resident and … [Read more...]