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...]

The Pope and the Muslims

Given all the work I have to do, I probably shouldn't be blogging, but I've been really itching to comment on this bizarre Pope controversy for a while.  I need to scratch this itch so I can get back to work. Under Progress has contributed some thoughtful and informative reflections on this mess, along with a useful round-up of what people are saying in the blogosphere.  I'm of two minds on this sorry affair. Despite my vigorous objections to the Pope's charges, I think that many … [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...]

Norm Solomon on selective outrage over barbarism

The ever insightful Norm Soloman on the consequences of the American media's spineless and selective coverage of wartime atrocities in "Their Barbarism, and Ours" : "The story really takes us back into the 8th century, a truly barbaric world," John Burns said. He was speaking Tuesday night on the PBS "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," describing what happened to two U.S. soldiers whose bodies had just been found. Evidently they were victims of atrocities, and no one should … [Read more...]

Jyllands-Posten’s noble efforts finally bear fruit

Some considerably less upbeat news from the state of Denmark, and from Jutland, Jylland-Posten's heartland.  The Danish newspaper Politiken reports (my translation): According to Aalborg Police, approximately 110 threating letters have been mailed directly to northern Jutlanders with Muslim-sounding names. "In the past, we have had individual cases of racism but nothing at all on this scale.  So we take it very seriously.  It is deeply tasteless action and a punishable … [Read more...]

Understanding Muslim Language

My heart really goes out to journalists charged with the daunting task of getting to the bottom of the neverending mayhem of the Middle East and Muslim world.  The region's confusing and disturbing twists and turns are only made ever more inscrutable by the baffling way Muslims talk.  Their inconsistent statements make it even harder for normal people to make sense of the screaming headlines we read every day reporting the latest outbreak of violence, irrationality, or hatred over … [Read more...]

National Review on Denmark’s “Democratic Muslims”

There's an unremarkable piece in The National Review by Andrew Stuttaford on Denmark's Naser Khader and his Democratic Muslims group. Predictably, the article cites Ahmed Akkari's infamous quip about killing Khader by blowing up the Ministry of Integration as prima facie proof of dangerous extremism, as opposed to what such silly melodramatic declarations generally are in the real world, exagerrations for dramatic effect and/or rants to let off steam. Yes, I said "silly", not … [Read more...]


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