Some foreign stuff

Some foreign stuff October 11, 2017


A scene from the Armenian genocide
An Armenian woman kneels beside a dead child, ca. 1915
(Wikimedia Commons public domain)


Just back from attending a concert, with my wife and one of our sons, of Gaelic music at BYU — sung almost entirely in Scots Gaelic.  Julie Fowlis was the principal vocalist (and pipe and bagpipe and some-other-accordion-like-Gaelic-thing player), and she was accompanied (sometimes vocally, as well) by her Irish husband Éamon Doorley on the guitar-bouzouki, and Duncan Chisholm on the fiddle, and Tony Byrne on the guitar.


Of course, Julie Fowlis is most widely known for this.


Earlier, in the afternoon (Wednesday afternoon), my wife and I toured the replica of the biblical tabernacle that is currently (and through most of the rest of this month) on the campus of Brigham Young University:


I wish it were going to be around longer.  It’s a pretty impressive teaching tool, and the admission price is optimal.  Unfortunately, there are very few openings remaining for people to tour it.  But perhaps it will be accessible at its next location . . .



Here’s an appreciative and informative post about the hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, by a Latter-day Saint blogger:


“Islam: My Neighbor’s Hajj”


It represents exactly the kind of friendly and sympathetic comment about another faith that I love to hear — and, to my considerable gratification, often do hear — from members of my church.


Once again, though, I’m embarrassed to say that I forgot to make a note of who it was that brought it to my attention the other day.  Sorry.




This is a great story, though:


“Christian church destroyed by Isis rebuilt by Muslim residents”


And I hope that I’m remembering correctly when I say that it was Matthew Wheeler who alerted me to it.




Here’s an interesting item from Newsweek:


“Islam is the Most Popular Official Religion, But Even More Countries Give Christianity Preferential Treatment”




And this article offers some useful history and a vital perspective:


“The Other al-Baghdadi — and the Christians Fighting for Freedom in Syria”


I will, however, offer one quibble:  I don’t think that it’s quite right to blame the (historically rather tolerant) Ottomans for what is generally called the “Armenian Genocide.”  That horrible campaign is typically reckoned as having started on 24 April 1915.


I’m far from an expert on this subject or this period, but it seems to me that the real villains in the story were ethnic-Turkish nationalist elements among the so-called “Young Turks,” who overthrew Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1908, replacing him with a supposed constitutional monarchy and a puppet sultan.



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