Tag Archive for ‘Islam’
The proposal to build a mosque in Manhattan near the site of the Twin Towers has ignited the usual futile debate that marks all political discussion in America. I don’t know which set of arguments is more degrading, the opponents’ cry of insensitivity or the defenders’ claim of religious freedom.
On Friday night, at a White House iftar, the breaking of the Ramadan fast, Obama strode directly into the blazing controversy over whether a mosque should be built two blocks from Ground Zero.
The Beltway Right is a comical farce. But like the blind squirrel that occasionally finds an acorn, it is right about one thing: Liberal Democrats simply cannot be trusted on national security. That truth was no more apparent than in early April, when an A-list of Virginia Democrats were named “invited guests” on a flyer advertising the annual fundraising banquet of the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church.
Ali Mir of the USC Muslim Student Union is upset about the media’s usage of such terms as Islamist and extremist. (They are “blah, blah, blah.”) This bothers him because these words “play to readers assumptions” and fail to “challeng[e] their prejudices.” And that’s unfair, considering he is “unable to find examples of similar stock-phrases referring to Christianity . . . that carry the implications of something inherently negative or dangerous . . . ” (I’m sure you’ve never read anything negative about “fundamentalist Christians” in the aforementioned media.)
He then goes on to rely on Princeton’s “WordNet” for a definition of Islamist, which, by his standards, is pretty innocuous—the term only refers to someone who is knowledgable about Islam and probably believes that stuff! (Ali Mir is an Islamist!)
This is disingenuous at best. Islamism and Islamist have a long history. Islamism used to be a synonym for Mohammedanism, before both gave way to Islam. Then the term resurfaced in connection with modern political movements that had a basis in Islam.
But more to the point, the mainstream media now uses such terms while falling all over itself in an effort to keep from identifying the followers of Muhammad (in word and deed) as vanilla “Muslims.” So perhaps what Ali Mir wants is for the media to stop identifying killers who cry “Allahu Akbar!” with Islam in any way, shape, or form.
Swiss voters approved a constitutional amendment banning the construction of new minarets last November, to the howls of bien-pensant rage at home and abroad. The proposal was supported by 57.5 percent of the participating voters and 22 of the 26 Swiss cantons.
“We are at war. We are at war against al-Qaida, a far-reaching network of violence and hatred that attacked us on 9/11, that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people and that is plotting to strike us again.”
Thus did Barack Obama clear the air as to whether we are at war, and with whom and why.
At the inauguration, Rick Warren invoked “Almighty God, our father,” which is unsurprising. But very quickly, he turns to the Old Testam—er, Hebrew Scriptures to remind God of the Shema: “The Scripture tells us Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God; the Lord is one.” Of course, that One God is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Unsurprisingly, Warren doesn’t go on to clarify that. What he does go on to clarify, in the very next sentence, is that the one god he’s referring to is Allah.
Parties comprising Pakistan’s ruling coalition continue to be deeply divided in the aftermath of former president Pervez Musharraf’s sudden resignation last Monday. The late Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), which lead the coalition, were able to agree on impeachment charges that forced Musharraf out of office. They appear unable to agree on much else, and notably on the key issue of reinstating dozens of judges sacked by Musharraf last year, as Islamic insurgency in the tribal areas and the collapse of Karachi’s Stock Exchange continue unabated.
But is Barack taking his own advice? For he pledges to shift two U.S. combat brigades, 10,000 troops, out of Iraq and into Afghanistan, raising American forces in that country from 33,000 to 43,000.
The spirit of the media frenzy surrounding the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on July 21 is based entirely on the doctrine of non-equivalence inaugurated in 1992: Serbs willed the war, Muslims wanted peace; Serb crimes are bad and justly exaggerated, Muslim crimes are understandable.
This doctrine was spectacularly reiterated a month before Karadzic’s capture, when the Muslim wartime commander of Srebrenica, Nasir Oric, was found not guilty by The Hague Tribunal of any responsibility for the killing of thousands of Serb civilians by the forces under his command in the three years before the fall of the enclave in July 1995. It is also apparent today, in the endless media repetition of Karadzic’s alleged bellicose intransigence before and during the Bosnian war.