Wednesday, August 10, 2011

imam zaid on the norway massacre

Reflection on the Norway Massacre by Imam Zaid Shakir
...let us imagine that the wildest of the anti-Muslim bigots eventually get their wish and the country is purged of Muslims. Were that to happen, an America purged of Muslims would not be a nation immune from purges. New demons would emerge to take the place of the departed Muslims. Like the Muslims, those demons would demand to be exorcised and the likes of Anders Breivik, perhaps by the millions, would rise up to undertake the task. Before such a scenario unfolds, we would do well as a nation to realize that the demons we need to exorcise are not our fellow humans. They are the demons of ignorance, delusion, hubris and our tendency to continuously ignore the lessons that history repeatedly endeavors to teach us. The sooner we all get on with the business of attacking those demons the better off we will all be.

"the oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does a westerner"

Loonwatch: Jews and Christians Way More Likely than Muslims to Justify Killing Civilians

Loonwatch: Surveys Show Muslims in Every Country Less Likely to Justify Killing Civilians than Americans and Israelis

Why They Hate Us (II) by Stephen Walt

I don't really want to essentialize Jews and Christians in the way Muslims too often are, but I can't help but point out that given the genocides which were commanded in the book of Deuteronomy and put into vivid practice in the book of Joshua, it is clear that Bible believers can't take the position that genocide is always wrong and be consistent. Furthermore, in modern times, in spite of the moral restrictions of Catholic just war theory, it is clear through acts like the attacks on Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII that even Christian/Western nations have reached a turning point in terms of following their own rules.

On a related note Defending the Transgressed: Mudafi' al-Mazlum by Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti is a contemporary fatwa (from a traditional Shafii) against targeting civilians in warfare.

Blogger Muhammad Cohen shares a tongue-in-cheek reaction to the Breivik attacks in Norway which was Overheard at Ali’s Diner on Arab Street

For a bit of background on where the title of this post comes from, you can check out Common Dreams' The Westmoreland Mind-Set by Derrick Z. Jackson

Thursday, August 04, 2011

"checking out some fromm, some sartre, camus..."

I've recently been looking into Slavoj Zizek again which has whet my philosophical appetite more than usual. The thing that is most intriguing about Zizek is the way he seems to synthesize so many diverse influences into a coherent perspective. It's made me want to reread some older philosophers to try to decide how I feel about them. At the moment, I mainly want to look at some of the existentialists like Camus and Fanon. When I first got into them (in high school) I wasn't Muslim so reading them now should be interesting considering that Camus was born in Algeria and both of them had a lot to say about the Algerian Revolution (and by implication, political revolution and jihad in general). The other day I went to Borders and got Albert Camus' Resistance, Rebellion, and Death and The Rebel. I'll probably read some Gabriel Marcel next and then pick up The Wretched of the Earth again.

See also:
islam and existentialism
ali shariati

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

your friendly spider-man from the barrio

Wow, I'd heard that the Ultimate version of Spider-Man was going to die... check out his replacement; from Peter Parker to Miles Morales: