Justice: Judaism versus Islam

October 29, 2006 at 4:01 am (Arabic, Books, Christianity, Hebrew, History, Islam, Islamism, Judaism, Personal, Religion, Religions, The West, Theology)

Here is a post, inspired by what Robert Spencer wrote in The Truth about Muhammad, comparing justice, historically and currently, in Judaism to that in Islam.

In page 120 of his book, Spencer mentions a Hadīth. (From this point on, everything is my extrapolation.) Read the rest of this entry »

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“The Truth about Muhammad”

October 28, 2006 at 10:41 pm (Blogs, Islam, Islamism, The West)

In “Following the Example of Muhammad” by Frank J. of IMAO recommended Robert Spencer’s The Truth about Muhammad. I bought the book and am reading it now.

If anyone is wondering whether one should or should not buy it, my verdict so far is that one should most definitely buy it. This book provides details and explanations that will not only help non-Muslims understand Muhammad (as seen and believed in by Muslims) but also help them understand crucial elements of Islam.

I am a little more than half-way done. I will review the book in detail once I am done. Until then, I recommend this book: it already has my seal of approval, as it were, and this because of what I have read and not because I trust Robert Spencer (I have two other books by him) and respect him as an author and commentator.

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North Korea: Same old, same old

October 28, 2006 at 7:57 pm (Blogs, International community, Military, The United States, US Government, War)

“Predictability” by Spook86 of In From the Cold reminds me that one of the advantages of the North Korean situation is that North Korea is predictable or, at least, consistent. They go through the same cycles (maybe because these cycles get the world’s attention) of threats, appeasement, backing down, and then starting all over again.

Perhaps one mistake The United States made was giving in, apparently taking advantage of one of North Korea’s appeasement/backing down stages to get some sort of agreement or settlement. Of course, it was not long before that turned out to be a waste of time. Unfortunately, The Government has taken such steps a number of times, which reinforces North Korea’s belief in the usefulness of their tactics (bluster, backing down, et cetera). And if The Government doesn’t bite the bait, so to speak, the North Koreans will dismiss it as a consequence of some foolhardy/obstinate politician, and will simply wait until he or she is replaced. What needs to happen is a systematic and thorough policy of not engaging North Korea in this manner and then to make them realize that this policy is not because the whim of some politician or leader but because it is The United States’ doctrine. Only then will real progress or movement occur.

Or we can wait for Kim Jongil to fall from power (by death, a coup, et cetera). It will be some time before his successor consolidates his position, if one successor rises to the top. Just as he waits for one leader to be replaced by another, we can also wait for him to be removed from power. Until then, the same games will be played.

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‘Awrah, aurat: of women in Arabic in Urdu

October 24, 2006 at 5:36 pm (Amusement, Arabic, Blogs, India, Islam, Languages, Pakistan, Religion, South Asia)

In Arabic, the word (عورة, ‛awrah) refers to, among other things, one’s private area. This is defined according to Islamic law as the area between the navel and knees for men and the entire body, except the face and hands, of women. Not only does this word refer to the private area, per se, but also to what “private area” is used euphemistically for, namely genitalia.

This is explained in a somewhat cheeky comment on a page called “neqabi”. (A (نقاب, niqāb) refers to a veil that covers the face but (usually) exposes the eyes. (نقابي, niqābī) would be an adjective form, meaning “of or pertaining to wearing a niqāb.“) I found this page via Isaac Schrödinger‘s post “100% Vagina” (which, coincidently, is a useful phrase for the paragraph below).

What also intrigues me is that when the Arabic word (عورة, ‛awrah) is rendered, according to the normal rules, into Urdu, it becomes (عورت, aurat) which, in Urdu, means “woman.” What does it mean when Urdu uses a word that in Arabic means “private area” (and, I should add, “weakness, weak spot, defectiveness, faultiness, deficiency, imperfection” and refers to female genitalia) to refer to women individually and categorically?

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Detail of a spectacular galactic collision

October 24, 2006 at 5:13 pm (Amusement, Blogs, The Internet, US Government, Websites)

In “When Worlds Collide”, Isaac Schrödinger of Isaac Schrödinger links to a post, “When galaxies collide”, by Michelle Malkin (of Michelle Malkin) wherein she posted a breath-taking picture of two universes colliding.

Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA is a close-up of that picture: “The Antennae Galaxies in Collision” (picture for October 24, 2006).
Antennae Galaxies

From that page:
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Acknowledgment: B. Whitmore (Space Telescope Science Institute) et al.

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Persecution against Muslims and Jews

October 23, 2006 at 11:06 pm (Blogs, Islam, Islamism, Judaism, The United States, Websites)

When Muslims talk about The United States, whether they are in The United States or outside of it, they are quite wont to claim that there is rampant bigotry, persecution, and offenses against Muslims throughout The United States. (This is blamed on neo-cons, Zionists, Jews, CIA, Mossad, the Government of The United States, Christians, secularists and/or atheists, Freemasons, so on and so forth.)

Considering the above, this is an interesting bit of information (emphasis added):

Who hates whom in America?

If the latest FBI hate-crime statistics are any indication, of the 1,314 verified offenses motivated by religious bias, 68.5 percent were anti-Jewish.

Only 11.1 percent were anti-Islamic, despite claims of rampant anti-Muslim bigotry in the U.S. by groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations.

(From “American Jews top hate-crime targets” by WorldNetDaily. Thanks to “The Islamophobia Myth” by Patrick of Clarity & Resolve.)

Perhaps we are underestimating the validity of anti-Semitic paranoia among Jews and quite overestimating the validity of anti-Islamic paranoia among Muslims.

Frankly, I have always refused to accept the claim that Muslims are being persecuted in The United States. That good-will towards them has decreased is quite obvious (and organizations like CAIR are not winning them any friends), Muslims are free, just as ever before, to do what they want. In fact, Muslims are far too thin-skinned, are too quick to assume offense, and are in a way even quite infantile.

I think we, especially on the conservative, Republican, and/or libertarian side of the blogosphere, should do more to raise awareness of anti-Semitism and to condemn it unequivocally. I, myself, am guilty of not doing enough, for which I hope my Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Semitic readers will forgive me.

(!עם ישראל חי)

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The goodness of US soldiers

October 23, 2006 at 10:19 pm (Amusement, Blogs, Iraq, Military, The Internet, The United States, Websites)

So often, the armed forces of The United States are depicted and described as evil monsters. We know they are not: it’s all false propaganda by people who are wont to lie.

But I have found a picture that is, in a word, sublime. It may make you cry; it may lift your spirits; it will fill you with pride in our men and women in uniform. This may be old for many, but this is new for me.

John Gebhardt and little Iraqi girl
This picture is of Chief Master Sargeant John Gebhardt. A little Iraqi girl was rescued from an attack by insurgents, who killed her entire family and shot her in the head. She survived, but would cry all day. She would only be calm when Gebhardt would hold her. So Gebhardt has held her and slept with her in his arms for four nights (by the time the picture was taken).

Thanks to:
“An Email from Iraq” by John of OpFor.
“Why We Fight, Part…I’ve Lost Count” by MikeyNTH of Cold Fury.
“Chief Gebhardt… Making a Difference” by El Capitan of Dude, where’s the beach?
“Gentle Warrior” by dcat of Razor Sharp Claws.
“Severely Wounded Little Iraqi Girl Comforted In Arms Of U.S. Airman” by Richard of Hyscience.
“Thanks, Chief” by Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
“Gentle Warrior” by Anna of A Rose By Any Other Name.
“”Baby Killer” Comfort” by alan of Kim & Her Friends Explain It All.
“this made me cry” by Marsha of Marsha Loftis.

Another story of/by Chief Master Sergeant John Gebhardt (also has a picture of him holding a baby):
“Prepare now, your life depends on it” by Chief Master Sergeant John Gebhardt on Air Force in Iraq 332nd AEW.

Another example of how our men and women in uniform have a positive impact (quite a heart-warming story):
“The Soldier and the Boy” by Anna of A Rose By Any Other Name
from
“Found” by bandit.three.six of bandit.three.six.

May God bless and keep all of the above, and may He bless, keep, protect, and abundantly comfort and strengthen all of our men and women in uniform, wherever they may be. May the world thank them for the wonderful job they do, and may we always be grateful to them.

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Magical Jew Missiles!

October 23, 2006 at 9:47 pm (Amusement, Blogs, Islam, Islamism, Israel, The Internet)

From commenter Amos (here’s the comment’s permalink) in the comment thread of “BOOK YANKED” by Tim Blair of Tim Blair:

You can laugh, but magical Jew missiles are no joke! I hear the hated occupiers have one which can hypnotize the faithfull and cause them to sneak out at night to have intimate relations with livestock, which it then films and puts on YouTube. It has a giant eye full of evil and it’s solid rocket booster is made of muslim orphans but don’t fear because if one recites a passage from the sunnah it causes it to explode inshallah which is why you should always loudly recite the Qur’an while having sex with a cow.

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Speaking out and writing on jihad do make an impact

October 22, 2006 at 4:53 pm (Amusement, Books, Islamism)

In his new book Jihad Incorporated, Steven Emerson provided what I consider to be a somewhat amusing endorsement of himself and his work. On page 13 of the section with pictures and documents, he provides transcriptions of three wiretap conversations between terrorists. In two of them, the terrorists mention Steven Emerson by name, cursing him and his work for disrupting their efforts.

So, yes, spreading awareness of jihad and its networks and sympathizers, whether in books or in articles or online, does make an impact.

Be not afraid: speak out.

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Fallaci gifts pontifical university out of admiration for Benedict XVI

October 22, 2006 at 7:25 am (News, Oriana Fallaci)

The revered Orianna Fallaci (وإنها رسولتنا ورسولة المغرب) left her books and journalistic notes to the Pontifical Lateran University (Pontificia Universita Lateranense) out of her respect and reverence for Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. She had a secret and private audience with Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo shortly before her much-lamented death. Although she found much to criticize about The Catholic Church, and she was surely not afraid to voice her criticism, she found hope for The Catholic Church in Pope Benedict XVI. This gift was a surprise to The Holy See, especially as she was an atheist. Nevertheless, there was significant common ground between Orianna Fallaci, of blessed memory, and Pope Benedict XVI.

For more information:
“Atheist gifts pontifical school in will” by Frances d’Emilio of AP, courtesy of Yahoo! News.
Pontificia Universita Lateranense (Pontifical Lateran University).
The Holy See (The Vatican).
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

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Some comments on recent comments against The US in Iraq

October 22, 2006 at 5:42 am (Blogs, History, International community, Iraq, Islamism, Military, News, Personal, The Internet, The Media, The Rest, The United Nations, The United States, US Government, War)

There have been a number of people who have made a number of comments on the Iraq War, comments with which I, however respectfully, firmly disagree. I really don’t want to create yet again a long, rambling post on the Iraq War, so I will summarize my thoughts.

1. The Iraq War was inevitable. It would have happened at some point. This point cannot be denied, explained away, or ignored.

2. It is true there is much we did not know before we went in. But the same applies to every armed operation that anyone undertakes. Using hindsight to judge a decision made with limited information is ridiculous. And, for that matter, our information today remains incomplete and limited.

3. The Iraq War was not fought for the armed forces of The United States to conquer and administrate Iraq but rather to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime and assist Iraqi authorities in establishing a viable state. Issues such as wiping out the insurgency, internal rivalries, number of troops, and so on, should be seen keeping this point in mind.

4. There is no insurgency. An insurgency connotes a popular rebellion against an unwanted authority. The violence of Iraq is due to inter-ethnic and inter-religious rivalries (which have existed for a very long time, and which certain elements have been trying to increase) and to foreign forces and involvement. There is no popular revolt against any authority. That Iraqis are unhappy with occupying forces can be understandable (I have yet to see any reliable report on what Iraqis, in general and specifically according to demographics, feel about Coalition forces), why they would be targetting their own people is beyond me. We focus on American casualties, but let is not forget the many Iraqis who have been killed by forces under foreign orders.

5. In addition to preventing the proliferation of WMDs, the development of military nuclear technology, and any working link between terrorists and Saddam Hussein’s regime, there are a number of equally valid and vital reasons to have liberated Iraq. This was not and must never be seen as a single-issue conflict.

6. The United States did the best it could and continues to do the best it can. To cast aspirations of arrogance or stupidity is absolutely and utterly unacceptable.

(I strongly condemn the words of Alberto Fernandez to al-Jazeerah: he spoke his own opinion and not the thinking of any entity affiliated with The Government, and I am very, very upset with him for his arrogance and stupidity. More to come on this issue.)

7. The Iraq War was necessary in order to establish deterrence for opposing The United States, especially in the case of armed opposition. Consider that The United States had been attacked not too long before the liberation of Iraq and that The United States were seen as weak even then. An act was needed, among other reasons, to establish that The United States will protect their interests no matter who says what. (And as a sovereign state, this is our indisputable right. Sovereign states have, since the beginning, moved against other sovereign states when one threatens the interests and security of the other. To deny this is to deny us one of the fundamental rules of human society.) Furthermore, this act was needed in order to establish that The United States will keep its interests and security above diplomatic hindrances and games and above international regimes such as The United Nations.

If, for some quite odd reason, someone wants a long, rambling post on the Iraq War, I will not mind obliging. Just that enough people are talking about it, and I don’t want to unnecessarily add to the avalanche of statements.

Update: Clarified the insurgency point, and added point 7.

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US imperialistic war crimes!

October 21, 2006 at 6:27 pm (Amusement, The Internet)

Oh noes!

Forget Abu Ghraib: look at this indisputable evidence of US imperialistic war crimes in Iraq!

And for good measure, here is indisputable evidence of US imperialistic war crimes in France! How we should lament the German working class tourists on the beaches of Normandy!

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Badgering imams with trivialities

October 19, 2006 at 10:49 pm (Amusement, Arabic, Blogs, Islam, Islamism, Theology)

Please go on over to “GEL RULING IN” by Tim Blair of Tim Blair and read on over the thread for a while. At least until you get an idea of what sorts of questions are asked for imams to answer.

Back? Thanks. Had a fun time? I hope so.

No, that was not a joke. People actually have asked those questions. That website, Ask-Imam.com, is for real.

Muslims have traditionally asked their imams (from the Arabic إمام, imām, plural: أئمة, a’immah, “leader/leaders or guide/guides”; another word used in this regard is عالم, ‛ālim, plural: علماء, ‛ulamā’, “scholar/scholars”) questions related to Islamic law. And Islamic law has something to say about everything. Often, imams or groups will make a big deal about issues that we see as completely irrelevant or preposterous. As an example, Tablighi Jamat (Urdu: تبلیغی جماعت, tablīghī jamāt, “congregation or group for propagating” Islam) believes that it is mandatory for Muslims to wear pants that end above one’s ankle. Muslims who do not do this are in serious transgression. There’s a whole theory and reasoning behind why this ruling would be so, but I offer this example to show how seemingly trivial issues take on great importance.

From the very beginning of Islam, Muslims have been asking experts on Islamic law questions on how to implement it in certain cases. Indeed, a large number of aHādīth (أحاديث, sayings of Muhammad and other senior members of the early Muslim community) came about when someone approached another (usually Muhammad) with a certain situation and asked what one should do. The response is remembered and used as a template for further rulings on similar issues.

A World of Fatwas by Arun Shourie demonstrates how, frankly, ridiculous this situation can become. People ask all sorts of questions, some of which are outright weird and even perverted. The author gives examples of questions related to bestiality (no, I’m not kidding), minutiae of sexual activity, dead animals in water tanks, child abuse, spousal abuse – and these are not questions related to whether it is right or wrong but rather when it happens, what is to be done.

If you want some more entertainment, go to the Ask-Imam website (which Tim Blair links to) and see what sort of questions are asked.

Some day, I’ll expand on this issue.

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Iraq War: an editorial to read

October 19, 2006 at 6:55 pm (Amusement, Blogs, Iraq, Military, The United States, War)

I was going to write a long, rambling post on my thoughts on the Iraq War, having found myself respectfully disagreeing with Patterico (“Reacting to Jonah Goldberg’s Column on the War” by Patterico of Patterico’s Pontifications) and Jonah Goldberg (“Jonah Goldberg: Iraq Was a Worthy Mistake” by Jonah Goldberg at the Los Angeles Times). Instead, I will refer you to the best editorial ever written about the Iraq War: “The War in Iraq Is Going Either Very Well or Very Poorly… Or So-So… I Think” by Frank J. of IMAO. Frank J. has a different but important perspective. Bravo, Frank J.!

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Why I do not trust Democrats

October 19, 2006 at 12:54 am (Military, Personal, The United States, US Government, War)

Here is why I do not trust Democrats or The Democrat(ic) Party.

Democrats, almost without exception, voice their opposition to the Iraq War. (One who supported the Iraq War was basically expelled.) They go on and on and on about it. But nothing they say is in any way constructive, productive, or looking towards the future. Nothing they have said gives us any indication what they will do if they come into power.

And let us be perfectly honest: no matter who comes into power and no matter how much power they have, Democrats will never unilaterally withdraw from Iraq at once. They may offer a timetable (which they may or may not follow); they may withdraw a certain number of troops; but they will not withdraw completely. All of their bluster and hot air is just that. Politicians love to make empty promises, knowing such promises or claims would not be implementable if one comes into power. Reality takes over. So let us not think that the Democrats have offered anything concrete or realistic as to what they would do. Read the rest of this entry »

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Voting in 2006

October 18, 2006 at 10:34 pm (Idiots, Leftist idiocy, Military, Personal, The Left, The Right, The United States, US Government, War)

I would like to address an issue that has been vexing the dexteroblogosphere for some time now: voting in the 2006 elections.

I am not going to be all idealistic and say that as citizens, it is our duty to vote. (It may be, but reality trumps ideals this year.) The argument can be made that not voting is a good sign: it means the people think things are going well, that the boat need not be rocked. Contented people, on the whole, do not vote. One needs to be motivated to vote, or be forced to vote (as in Australia).

But things are not all right. America turned out in record numbers to vote in 2004. What makes this of interest for this year is that record numbers of conservatives and leftists turned out to vote. The leftists are still as seething and motivated. Being in power, we may not be as motivated, which is what The Left is precisely betting on. This time, we cannot sit out of complacency or spite. Read the rest of this entry »

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One more nail in the MSM’s coffin

October 18, 2006 at 7:10 pm (Blogs, Israel, Middle East, News, Palestinian Territories, The Media, War)

A recent incident demonstrates why the mainstream media, or the legacy media as some call such entities, cannot be entirely trusted. Rather than reporting the news, some feel the need to make the news. This is unacceptable.

A Reuters cameraman, Imad Muhammad Intisar Boghnat, was arrested for inciting Arab children to throw rocks at Israeli vehicles. It is alleged that he participated in throwing rocks as well.

For more information, see:
“The Multi-Talented Cameramen of Reuters’ Middle East Bureau” by Patrick of Clarity & Resolve.

“Israel arrests Reuters cameraman for encouraging rock-throwers” by AllahPundit of Hot Air.

“Reuters Cameraman Caught Staging Photos of Rock Throwers” by Charles Johnson of LGF.

“Reuters Cameraman Remanded for Inciting Rock Attacks”
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz of Israel National News.

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Three Hundred Million?!

October 18, 2006 at 5:49 am (Amusement, Blogs, Culture, The Internet, The United States)

A time to celebrate America, I think, rather than wring our hands in despair.

The above link (“Three Hundred Million” by Tim Blair) is one of the most hope-inspiring and life-affirming things I have seen in a while.

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Palestinian militias jockeying for recognition

October 17, 2006 at 1:50 am (Amusement, Arabs, Islamism, Israel, Middle East, Military, Palestinian Territories, The Media, War)

Sometimes, the civil war in the Palestinian Territories is amusing in a tragic way.

According to “Made by Islamic Jihad” by Elder of Ziyon: as various factions attack Israel, factions are upset that they are not getting enough credit. Not that Palestinians are not getting enough credit but that one’s own militia/gang of thugs is not getting enough credit. So, in order to get credit among Palestinians for their “brave” attacks on Israel (and to show the Palestinian how much they are “fighting” for them), they have begun labelling their rockets. In Hebrew. So that the Israel media can identify which terrorist group attacked them, so the group’s prestige among Palestinians will rise.

So the Palestinian civil war can be amusing in its own way.

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What Islamists say and see and want

October 16, 2006 at 3:58 pm (Arabic, Islam, Islamism, Israel, Pakistan, The United States, The West, War)

When reading through Islamist propoganda for their internal use, one thing becomes clear: the Islamists are not anti-Zionists or anti-Israel, they are anti-Jews. In all of the Islamist books I have been reading in Urdu, not once has Zionism been mentioned. Israel has been mentioned a few times, but the bulk of remarks against Jews have been explicitly against Jews (Urdu: singular: یہودی, yahūdī; plural: یہودیاں, yahūdiyāN).

While in Pakistan last time, I went to A Mosque and happened to be able to pray the ‘Asr prayer (صلاة العصر, Salāt al-‛aSr in Arabic; نماز عصر, namāz-e asar in Urdu) there, which is late in the afternoon. I kid you not: as soon as the prayers were over, the imām launched into a harangue against (نصرانیاں, nasrāniyāN, “Christians”) and (یہودیاں, yahūdiyāN, “Jews”). Not America or Israel or Zionism. Specifically against Jews and Christians. Read the rest of this entry »

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