Archive for September, 2012

Radical Islamism falling apart? Inshallah!

September 24, 2012 2 comments

The stirring we are beginning to witness in the Muslim world (Muslim as opposed to Islamic or Islamist) may not yet be a harbinger of better tomorrows but still promising. It’s the stirring of normal Muslims (a term I prefer to “moderate” Muslims) the vast majority, waking up, sick of being hostage to fanaticism.
A number of signs point to the long-awaited backlash against the most extreme forms of what used to be just another faith, practiced by hundreds of millions without causing particular problems, until, starting with the 1979 revolution in Iran, it morphed into an ugly ideology. The rest of the world watched, aghast, as this sick form of Islam grew more rigid by the day, a plague spreading from country to country, insisting on a respect it no longer deserved while pursuing violence, inventing “traditions” such as the demeaning headscarf for women in countries where it wasn’t the norm, in certain cases intimidating governments into applying sharia law, recognizing polygamy, and declaring blasphemy punishable by death. Adding to the already unpleasant context was and is the strident in-your-face attitude of communities of Muslim immigrants in Western countries where rampant political correctness or simple fear of retaliation makes it a rule to accept inconsiderate demands and entitlements. Read more…


The anger of imbeciles

September 15, 2012 9 comments

In his 1938 memoir, A Diary of My Times, French writer Georges Bernanos has this sentence that applies to so many situations in our present era of extremism: “The anger of imbeciles fills the world,”* Thus again with the terrible events in Benghazi and the riots now raging through Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Tunisia, and other countries.

“I’m always angry. See this row of buttons on my forehead? Push one and I’ll explode into irrationality.” This is what we hear, over and over, from various countries, mostly Islamic, mostly in the Middle East. Political correctness makes us keep saying that it isn’t so. Sorry, but it is.

I consider myself civilized. If I don’t like you, if I find you offensive or unpleasant, if you insult me or a principle I hold important, I’ll walk away—and I’ll never break bread with you. This civilized response will not be that of Tea Partiers or extremists of any sort, of anyone blinded by ideology or rigid religiosity or conservative agendas, even in our countries. Even less so if I live in Pakistan or Libya or Afghanistan or Yemen or Iran. If you insult my faith—Islam—or my Prophet—Mohammad—I’ll set fire to your house, kill you and your family, cut off your head, and feed your remains to the dogs. I will not listen to men and women of the same faith who preach moderation and compromise, who tell me that an insult or perceived insult by a cretin does not deserve a response. Read more…

A lamentable show

September 2, 2012 1 comment

No, I don’t mean the GOP convention in Tampa. That too, of course: The scripted proceedings, Big Chris addressing beaming delegates in simple words suited to four-year olds, Clint Eastwood rambling incoherently to an empty chair (check out Jon Stewart’s take on that, unadulterated genius!), Ryan taking liberties with facts, “Ken” (as in Barbie’s Ken) Romney never managing to look either comfortable or presidentiable. I’m not sure the Democrats will fare better in Charlotte come September 4, but at least the general IQ level should be higher. (Are Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber to be thanked for turning idiocy into a national and even a patriotic virtue?)

The political game on the whole is the lamentable show I’m thinking about. We may not quite realize it yet but our elections are a sham, our conventions a tired cliché, the unlimited funds spent on presidential campaigns an insult to a world–including the United States–where there is such poverty, the ads are grotesque, the nastiness and the vindictiveness beyond appalling. And we, the people, go about our business, numbed into finding the process normal. Read more…

%d bloggers like this: