In front of me is a copy of this week's Economist, which states that Rushdie's 1989 death warrant was "punishment for the book's unflattering depiction of the Prophet Muhammad."I'll start off by stating that I in no way support the fatwa against Rushdie and I see it as a crime against literature and, more importantly, against the human conscience. That said, the Economist doesn't get it quite right. Quoting from the actual text of the fatwa, Rushdie et. al. were condemned to die because the novel was "compiled, printed, and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Qur'an." That, I think we can agree, casts a much wider net.
There is no direct depiction of the prophet in this work of fiction, and the reverie about his many wives occurs in the dream of a madman (emphasis added).
Britain's main umbrella group of Muslim organisations on Tuesday strongly condemned the three failed car bomb attacks here, calling for cross-community efforts to tackle the extremist threat.This story was in the top Yahoo headlines for a little while, but it seems to have totally vanished, and I can't find it at Breitbart or Google either. Not that I'm saying anything...
"Those who seek to deliberately kill or maim innocent people are the enemies of us all," said Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the moderate Muslim Council of Britain....
"Those who engage in such murderous actions and those that provide support for them are the enemies of us all, Muslims and non-Muslims, and they stand against our shared values in the United Kingdom," he added.
The deeper offense is that the president has used his pardon power to shortcircuit the investigation of a crime to which he himself was quite likely a party, and to which, his vice president, who controls him, certainly was.A black day for American democracy. One amongst many.
The president's power to pardon is full and unchecked, one of the few such powers given the president in the constitution. Yet here the president has used it to further obstruct justice. In a sense, perhaps we should thank the president for bringing the matter full circle. Began with criminality, ends with it.
If you're not outraged, you're probably just waiting for January 20, 2009.567 days, people. 567 days.
[Recent flooding] is a strong and definite judgment because the world has been arrogant in going its own way. We are reaping the consequences of our moral degradation....No, it's not a trailer for Evan Almighty—and it might not be what you'd expect at all.
We are in serious moral trouble because every type of lifestyle is now regarded as legitimate....
The sexual orientation regulations [which give greater rights to gays] are part of a general scene of permissiveness. We are in a situation where we are liable for God's judgment, which is intended to call us to repentance.
That just about sums it up, doesn't it? And there's something oddly comforting about hearing these words from a Scot whose accent and common sense seem as alien to the Middle East's pathologies as can be imagined. What a cultural clash. But my money's on the Scot.The first sentence is key to understanding one facet of Sullivan's general approach to terrorism: ridiculous oversimplification. (The fact that his other posture on the terror threat is deeply nuanced only makes this sort of consistent Neanderthal outburst all the more disturbing.) No, this doesn't about sum anything up. It tells but one small part of a much larger story. But Sullivan's not interested in a larger story right now, as we shall see.