On expecting second-class citizens to be flag-waving patriots.

A recent article in alt.muslim ("Mosques With Foreign Flags") illustrates much of what's dead wrong with discussions in Washington of Muslims, immigration and assimilation.  I try to ignore silly statements of this nature in the media, but with this mix of irresponsible rhetoric and indifference to elementary considerations of historical and social context coming from a prominent Muslims I'm irritated enough to comment.  I have to shake my head in amazement at these … [Read more...]

Literalism and temple demolitions in Malaysia

Worrying developments in Malaysia, which long seemed such a promising laboratory for new models of tolerance and peaceful coexistence for Muslims and non-Muslims. IPS on Temple Demolitions in Malaysia: Hundreds of worshippers watched in horror as the workers, mostly Muslims, brought down the roof, pushed down the walls and smashed the deities that immigrant Indian workers had brought with them from South India to provide solace in a strange new land. "We are poor and our only comfort is … [Read more...]

KY Christians demanding schools teach “BC” and “AD”

From The Forward: Religious Groups Push Kentucky Schools To Use 'Before Christ' Activists, along with the governor and other state politicians, have accused the State Board of Education of attempting to drive Christianity from the classroom through the use of secular notations, like BCE for "Before the Common Era," in place of religious ones, like B.C. for "Before Christ." The Western calendar counts years from the traditional birth of Jesus. The use of the notations B.C. and A.D. (anno Domini, … [Read more...]

Unwilling Self-Negation on the “Myth of the Judeo-Christian West”

[Am reposting this because I've added some eye-opening passages from key prayers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.]Ali makes some intriguing observations about the "myth" of a Judeo-Christian West.A particularly stimulating claim is that there is no unified Judeo-Christian religious tradition because Jews have for much of recent Western history been advocating--as an understandable defensive tactic by a vulnerable minority in Christian societies that were steeped in … [Read more...]

The curious history of the codpiece

I generally steer away from racier topics, schizophrenic quasi-prude that I am.   On the one hand, the romantic (Or is it elitist snob?) in me can't get enough "Murder She Wrote", "Rumpole the Bailey", and "Brideshead Revisited", but I'm probably better known among friends for switching on David Chappelle or, history's funniest movie ever, "Booty Call" (to which I'm not going to provide a link, beta).  In fact, "Booty Call" was, … [Read more...]

Forget blowing up the Death Star. Try being a Third World farmer!

There's a fascinating and innovative new "Civilization"-style web-based game in the works where you take the role of a Third World farmer struggling to survive in the neofeudal economic order that is modern "Globalization" for much of the world.  It can be played online, so try it out.BTW, it looks like this game is being developed in Denmark.  It's nice to see a reminder of the vision and compassion that characterized Danish politics before Denmark went … [Read more...]

Mozaffar on “The Jewish Mirror”

Mozaffar has a thoughtful post on the similiarities between Jews and Muslims, a topic that has long been dear to my heart.other|matters ยป The Jewish Mirror If the Prophet -p- has been reported to have said that we (Muslims) and they (the Jewish people) are so alike that we are like two shoes of a pair, then what does that tell you? Further, look at al-Baqarah; our Blessed Creator speaks to us by way of speaking to the Children of Israel, and then (almost immediately afterwards) speaks directly … [Read more...]

Islamist mods of popular video games

Speaking of Muslims and the Internet... Islamists using US video games in youth appeal - Yahoo! News Tech-savvy militants from al Qaeda and other groups have modified video war games so that U.S. troops play the role of bad guys in running gunfights against heavily armed Islamic radical heroes, Defense Department official and contractors told Congress.[..]"Battlefield 2" ordinarily shows U.S. troops engaging forces from China or a united Middle East coalition. But in a modified video … [Read more...]