January 27, 2007

Questions about Islam

I came across this post on the "About: Islam" forum. A man named Tim, who says he's struggling with his faith and had questions about life as a Muslim. The following is my reply:

I reverted to Islam almost seven years ago. Practicing Islam for me is a striving (jihad) to become a better Muslim. I submit to the will of Allah (swt) by trying to obey His laws and the example of the Prophet (pbuh) in all aspects of my life, to the best of my abilities. I stumble sometimes (we all do, being human), but I continue on.

What has it done in my life? What hasn't it done? :) It provides guidance for me; "the straight path," so to speak. On the one hand, Islam encourages my taqwa, my "God-consciousness," helping me to be more mindful of my relationship with Allah (swt); on the other hand, it helps guide me to live a better, more healthful life, so that I can avoid the mistakes in life that so many others make.

What makes it real to me? Islam is largely an "orthopraxic" religion, which means that we are mostly concerned with "correct practices." For example, of the five pillars of Islam, only the first, the shahadah, is more belief-oriented than a practice like the other four. (And even there, we recite the shahadah at least once in every prayer.) So, in living life as a Muslim, many of our practices makes Islam real for me.

Am I happy? Am I content? Yes, I am probably more content now as a Muslim than before. Obviously I felt a need was missing in my life that Islam filled for me (otherwise, I wouldn't have reverted). But I will also say that in the six+ years of my life as a Muslim, I've never thought at any point that I made the wrong decision. As for what waits for me in the hereafter, insha'allah, I'll go to Jannah (heaven), but that's for Allah (swt) to decide. In the meantime, I can only live my life as best I can as a Muslim.

If you're serious in your interest in Islam, I suggest that you start reading the Qur'an.

Little Mosque on the Prairie, Episode 2: The Barrier

Some of the comments regarding the second episode of "Little Mosque" on Izzy Mo's blog have left me scratching my head. Sexual humor, inappropriate moments? (Yeah, there's one kiss toward the end of the second episode that is inappropriate by Muslim standards, but otherwise?) Are we watching the same program?

Family Guy: Christian Alternative to the Theory of Evolution

(H/T to Jim/rlrr.)

January 25, 2007


Amare Stoudamire of the Phoenix Suns, dunking over the New York KnicksThere are days when I really miss living back in Phoenix. This is one of them. I miss watching sports. If I was in Phoenix, at least I could have caught some of the Suns games on TV. Two fifteen-game streaks - in the first half of the season!

(BTW, this is Amare Stoudamire who's dunking the ball over the New York Knicks. Yeah, #31, just stand there watching Amare as he flies past you.)


January 23, 2007

41 and Counting

The first post on my "favorite movies" meme can be located here; that post focuses on Sci-Fi and War movies. This is my second installment on a third category, with two more categories to go, insha'allah:

Comedy/Romantic Comedy
Overall, I’m not a big fan of comedies. There are very few of them that I really enjoy, although I do have a few favorites. One is “What’s Up, Doc?” the 1972 screwball comedy with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neil, which is actually an updated version of another of my favorites, “Bringing Up Baby” (1938), with Cary Grant and a completely ditzy Katherine Hepburn. (I know, oxymoron time – ditzy/Hepburn – but what can I say? She was in that movie.) I also loved Madeline Kahn in “What’s Up, Doc?” There are some characters that are so abrasive (in a good way) that they can magically transform a good movie into something really special. Crispin Glover did it with his “George McFly” character in “Back to the Future;” Madeline Kahn did it with her “Eunice Burns” in “What’s Up, Doc?”

Another great comedy with Cary Grant is “Arsenic & Old Lace” (one of Milady’s favorites). And I’m also rather partial to “Operation Petticoat” (with Grant, Tony Curtis, and a very young knockout by the name of Marion Ross – yeah, “Richie Cunningham’s” mother on “Happy Days”), although I’m not including this movie as one of my absolute favorites.

Two other comedies on my list are “Young Frankenstein,” the Mel Brooks’ comedy with Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Marty Feldman and the recently departed Peter Boyle. “Frau Blucher!” :) (Actually, there are several people in both “What’s Up, Doc?” and “Young Frankenstein” that made both movies terrific, including Madeline Kahn, Liam Dunn and Kenneth Mars.) In recent years, the best comedy I’ve seen is “Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain,” aka “Amélie.” That’s a cute movie and while it’s something of a romantic comedy, I think of it more as a regular comedy.

Speaking of which, I’d much rather watch a romantic comedy now than a regular comedy. While I’ve enjoyed Nora Ephron’s various romantic comedies (“When Harry Met Sally…”, “Sleepless in Seattle”), I like “You’ve Got Mail” the best. Another great but underrated romantic comedy is “Strictly Ballroom.” (Milady groans yet again.) This Australian movie has a really tight plot and it’s got a wonderful soundtrack, being heavy on Latin music. “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived!” Last on my list for romantic comedies is the old (1952) John Wayne movie, “The Quiet Man.” Just like I like to watch “Young Frankenstein” every Halloween if I can, “The Quiet Man” often comes out every St. Patrick’s Day. For this movie they seemed to have picked up every character actor in Ireland at the time of filming, which made it into a wonderful ensemble picture.

Ooooh, speaking of ensemble movies (yes, I’ve just added another movie to my list), “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” While the movie is a little uneven in places, I really enjoy this film. It was a great boost for the careers of Hugh Grant, John Hannah and Kristin Scott Thomas. I also loved Simon Callow’s performance. Sadly, Charlotte Coleman, who played “Scarlett” in the movie, died a few years ago from an asthma attack. From Allah (swt) do we come, and unto Allah (swt) do we return.

Morning Musume English Lessons

I came across these videos at the S'pore blog iZ Reloaded. This is not quite how my colleagues and I taught English in Korea, but the videos do bring back a sense of nostalgia for me. Actually, the one thing that strikes me about the young women in these videos is just how badly they all speak English. When I was in Korea, most of my students were college-age, and while a few had poor speaking skills, most did not. Moreover, in the late 90s, the Korean government had required the primary schools to begin teaching English to the children at an earlier age. There was one time while I was visiting a beach in Busan when I ran into a group of kids who were able to maintain a conversation with me for about 45 minutes. Considering that these kids were about 10 years old at the time (and that most Korean kids at that age could only speak a sentence or two in English before they used up all their vocabulary), I was quite impressed. The Japanese girls in these videos are nowhere near the level of those Korean kids. Run times: 9:42 and 9:59.

January 20, 2007

Saddam meets Deana Troi: A Hoagie Boy Special

A little something for the Hoagie Boy, Daffyd ab Hugh: Marina Sirtis ("Counsellor Deana Troi" from "Star Trek: The Next Generation") in her photo op with the late Saddam Hussein. Deana's now a Muslim, alhamdulillah! ;)

"Don't look so stiff, my dear! You really do look wonderful in your hijab, but you need to cover all of your hair if you're to be a proper Muslim woman."

January 19, 2007

Hoagie Boy: This is too good to be true...

[This blog post brought to you by Cheetoz™, the Breakfast of Chickenshits, er...Chickenhawks.]

There's some clown, a repugnantcan blogger by the name of Daffyd ab Hugh, who came to notice on a couple of blogs I read. Turns out ol' Daffyd here's upset with four generals who testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The generals, all of whom are retired, were testifying that Bush's escalation of the Iraq War is exactly the wrong strategy to follow, that troop levels should instead be lowered. Now Daffyd's reason for being upset is that, in his opinion, none of these generals are "qualified" to speak out. Why? Because they're retired and "...not a single general (except Keane) has any military experience post-9/11..." Horrors! All that military experience counts for nothing; 9/11 changed "everything!"

Yeah, right.

And what is Daffyd renowned for? Well, he's the published author of "The Conquered: Rebels Trilogy," a set of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" fan novels, all three books of which are currently available from Amazon for the whopping price of one cent each.

And with this ultra-svelte physique, how much military experience do you think Daffyd has?

"Boy, you're going to carry that weight, carry that weight a long time; Boy, you're going to carry that weight, carry that weight a long time."

Hat tips: tbogg and Sadly, No!

January 18, 2007

Little Mosque on the Prairie (Episode 1)

I'm happy to say that someone has put the first episode of "Little Mosque on the Prarie" on the internet (run time: 21:37). In the first episode, a young man flies into the fictional Canadian town of Mercy to become the imam of a "little mosque on the prairie" (actually, the Muslim community is subletting part of a church facility).

I had read various mixed reviews about this first episode. It being a comedy, I think people expected the show to be full of laughs. The humor, though, is more subtle. I think I laughed out loud once. But I did enjoy the show. Even though most of it dealt with various Islamophobic stereotypes (and there are several inaccuracies about Muslim life, prayer, etc.), it still comes out with a positive outlook about Muslims and Muslim-Christian relations. I look forward to watching more episodes of this series, insha'allah.

January 17, 2007

Greenland Melting

Warming Island, Greenland, in 2006Another very good article on how global warming is affecting the earth. This New York Times article is about the melting ice sheet in Greenland. The photo to the right shows a recent image of "Warming Island." Further below is a photo from 1986 that shows "Warming Island" when it was thought to be a peninsula of mainland Greenland.

Be sure to let all your wingnut friends that they'll be having beachfront property much sooner than they thought. Some quotes:

Mr. Schmitt, a 60-year-old explorer from Berkeley, Calif., had just landed on a newly revealed island 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle in eastern Greenland. It was a moment of triumph: he had discovered the island on an ocean voyage in September 2005. Now, a year later, he and a small expedition team had returned to spend a week climbing peaks, crossing treacherous glaciers and documenting animal and plant life.


Maps of the region show a mountainous peninsula covered with glaciers. The island’s distinct shape — like a hand with three bony fingers pointing north — looks like the end of the peninsula.

Now, where the maps showed only ice, a band of fast-flowing seawater ran between a newly exposed shoreline and the aquamarine-blue walls of a retreating ice shelf. The water was littered with dozens of icebergs, some as large as half an acre; every hour or so, several more tons of ice fractured off the shelf with a thunderous crack and an earth-shaking rumble.

All over Greenland and the Arctic, rising temperatures are not simply melting ice; they are changing the very geography of coastlines. Nunataks — “lonely mountains” in Inuit — that were encased in the margins of Greenland’s ice sheet are being freed of their age-old bonds, exposing a new chain of islands, and a new opportunity for Arctic explorers to write their names on the landscape.

“We are already in a new era of geography,” said the Arctic explorer Will Steger. “This phenomenon — of an island all of a sudden appearing out of nowhere and the ice melting around it — is a real common phenomenon now.”

In August, Mr. Steger discovered his own new island off the coast of the Norwegian island of Svalbard, high in the polar basin. Glaciers that had surrounded it when his ship passed through only two years earlier were gone this year, leaving only a small island alone in the open ocean.


The sudden appearance of the islands is a symptom of an ice sheet going into retreat, scientists say. Greenland is covered by 630,000 cubic miles of ice, enough water to raise global sea levels by 23 feet.

Warming Island Greenland in 1986Carl Egede Boggild, a professor of snow - and - ice physics at the University Center of Svalbard, said Greenland could be losing more than 80 cubic miles of ice per year. “That corresponds to three times the volume of all the glaciers in the Alps,” Dr. Boggild said. “If you lose that much volume you’d definitely see new islands appear.”

He discovered an island himself a year ago while flying over northwestern Greenland. “Suddenly I saw an island with glacial ice on it,” he said. “I looked at the map and it should have been a nunatak, but the present ice margin was about 10 kilometers away. So I can say that within the last five years the ice margin had retreated at least 10 kilometers.”

The abrupt acceleration of melting in Greenland has taken climate scientists by surprise. Tidewater glaciers, which discharge ice into the oceans as they break up in the process called calving, have doubled and tripled in speed all over Greenland. Ice shelves are breaking up, and summertime “glacial earthquakes” have been detected within the ice sheet.

“The general thinking until very recently was that ice sheets don’t react very quickly to climate,” said Martin Truffer, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. “But that thinking is changing right now, because we’re seeing things that people have thought are impossible.”


There is no consensus on how much Greenland’s ice will melt in the near future, Dr. Alley said, and no computer model that can accurately predict the future of the ice sheet. Yet given the acceleration of tidewater-glacier melting, a sea-level rise of a foot or two in the coming decades is entirely possible, he said. That bodes ill for island nations and those who live near the coast.

“Even a foot rise is a pretty horrible scenario,” said Stephen P. Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami.

On low-lying and gently sloping land like coastal river deltas, a sea-level rise of just one foot would send water thousands of feet inland. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide make their homes in such deltas; virtually all of coastal Bangladesh lies in the delta of the Ganges River. Over the long term, much larger sea-level rises would render the world’s coastlines unrecognizable, creating a whole new series of islands.

“Here in Miami,” Dr. Leatherman said, “we’re going to have an ocean on both sides of us.”


Global warming has profoundly altered the nature of polar exploration, said Mr. Schmitt, who in 40 years has logged more than 100 Arctic expeditions. Routes once pioneered on a dogsled are routinely paddled in a kayak now; many features, like the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in Greenland’s northwest, have disappeared for good.

January 15, 2007

My Top 5 ... uh ... 39 Movies (So Far)

[Note: Due to time constraints, I haven't been able to finish this meme just yet, and I don't know when I'll get it done (insha'allah, later in the week). So I'm going to post the first couple of paragraphs that I've written so far and, insha'allah, I'll finish this up soon.]

It's been ages since I've been tagged with a meme, but seeing how the last time MENJ asked me to do one and I didn't, and that this meme is on a topic of interest to me, I thought I'd do this one...sort of.

The meme is actually to choose your top 5 favorite movies, but I love movies so much that to choose only five is...well, impossible. In fact, in trying to make my movie selections, I thought I'd first categorize the movies into five types and then select the best movie in each group...and that didn't even work. So here are my top 36...er, 37...uh, 39 movies (so far). :)

Science Fiction
I've been reading SF since I was a teenager, and my tastes in SF tend toward realism (what's called "hard SF" among the SF community). With that in mind, probably my earliest favorite SF movie was "2001: A Space Odyssey." That movie was one of the first to have "realistic" looking space technology, and I really loved that look. I used to try to design the space station and various spacecraft from the movie during study hall in high school. :)

In the late 70s, I caught the Lucas/Spielberg bug: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (which my dad and I saw together at the theater) is a great movie about obsession, treated in a very humane way. Of course, "Star Wars" is also a good movie (replayed on TV this past Sunday night), but "The Empire Strikes Back" (coming up on TV this Sunday) is my all-time favorite Star Wars movie. I enjoy "dark" movies and, of course, the "I am your father" revelation by Darth Vader was a great twist at the time. Back to Spielberg, "ET: The Extra-Terrestrial" struck a nerve with me when it was released in '82. I had just moved away from home (permanently) a few months before the movie came out and the theme of homesickness really shook me up. I probably saw the movie about a dozen times at the theater that summer.

Another great - and very underrated - movie that came out soon thereafter was "Tron." The storyline wasn't much, but the computer graphics were quite revolutionary for the era and the very last scene, the time-lapse night scene that resembles the data speeding through the computer in the movie, made me rethink how to look at our world as a whole. (And have you ever noticed that the ending of Will Smith's "I Robot" was taken straight from "Tron?" Milady did.)

In the mid 80s, I really loved "The Road Warrior" with Mel Gibson. (Milady groans.) The plot is a retelling of the siege of Troy, and some year I should write a little more about the similarities between this movie and the Trojan War, insha'allah. (But not now.) Finally, SF movies in the 90s and 00s haven't really struck me as much as the earlier movies did. The Matrix movies were good, and I enjoyed "The Matrix Reloaded" the most. That second movie in the trilogy seems to me to be the most "Matrixish." (The third movie is too much your standard action movie.)

War Movies
This is another category that, on the face of it, you'd think would be easy to choose one movie above all...but, noooo! "Patton," with George C. Scott, is a strong favorite. My parents used to have the soundtrack for that movie, and that made a strong impression on me as well. Another great, but old (1962) movie is "Laurence of Arabia." (Milady groans again.) Despite loving the movie, I've yet to get past the first few pages of Lawrence's "Seven Pillars of Wisdom," which is supposed to be an excellent book.

Another great, but even older (1953) movie is "Stalag 17," which the 60s TV series, "Hogan's Heroes," is based off of. Robert Strauss, who played "Animal" in the movie, steals the show with a great over-the-top performance (he was nominated for an Academy Award - Best Supporting Actor - for that role).

Once again, Spielberg makes my list with two greats: "Saving Private Ryan" (the first 20 minutes of which will give anyone post-traumatic stress disorder) and "Schindler's List." The last movie for this section is Akiro Kurosawa's "Ran." The movie is one of Kurosawa's adaptations of a Shakespearean play turned into a Samurai classic. "Ran" is very loosely based on "King Lear," and is a very artistic and stylish movie (with heavy doses of blood and gore). (I've been thinking of how I could turn "King Lear" into a modern adaptation based here in S'pore.)

Future categories (insha'allah): Comedy/Romantic Comedy, Drama and Other.

January 10, 2007

Americans Confronted With Warm Winters

This article makes me wonder if one of my red sisters is still convinced that global warming is a "liberal conspiracy." She lives near D.C., so she's been affected by this unnaturally warm weather.

One thing I should point out is that climate changes like the ones that have been happening in recent weeks are going to affect the middle latitudes the most. Here on the equator (S'pore is one degree north of the equator), the effects of global warming won't be nearly as severe as they will be, insha'allah, in the US or Europe. Down here, where there's more ocean than land, the heat from the sun turns the water into clouds, helping to block the sun's rays (reflecting the heat back into space). As a result, our climate remains a relatively stable 30-33 degrees Celsius (around 90 degrees Farenheit) every day of the year. Yes, we do have an endless summer, but the temperature isn't oppressive with heat waves and the like as you'll get in the US and Europe. So, if you live further north, expect your summers (and winters) to become much worse than it is down here in the tropics.

A week of warm temperatures in the middle of winter is now making Americans confront terms like climate change and global warming. Last year at this time the Big Apple was snowed in by a blizzard but today New Yorkers are walking around in T-shirts.

And it is the same all along the East Coast. Temperatures soared to record highs on Saturday, touching 70 degrees Fahrenheit in Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland.

"I know very well that it's not supposed to be like this, so what does it mean?" said Karen Bukhart, Boston resident.

Meteorologists answer that El Nino is to blame. "It enhances the jet stream across the pacific and the southern states of the US. This produces a mild pattern for much of the United States," said Vernon Kousky, meteorologist.

But environmentalists warn that while El Nino may have been the immediate cause for the warm weather, there is more to this than just El Nino. "Underneath those reasons relates to global warming. Global warming is setting up conditions that are making it more likely for us to see these kinds of effects.

While it may be inappropriate for us to say that global warming specifically caused this one event it makes it more likely for such events to occur," said Dr Bill Chameides, Chief Scientist, Environmental Defense.

In Washington, the unusually warm weather has caused cherry blossoms to bloom three months early. While the flowers are pleasing to the eye they are also a cause of worry. Americans are increasingly wondering what is going on.

"It really concerns me. It is January 6. We should be in the middle of a snowy period, a cold period. Life and ecosystems need that full cycle to rejuvenate and something is wrong. All of the flowers are blooming, the cherry tree blossoms, the crocuses. I personally attribute this to global warming," said Laura Bowling, a US resident.

The United States, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, pulled out of the Kyoto treaty in 2001.

But Katrina, the summer's heat wave, last week's snow storms in Denver and now temperatures of over 20 degrees Celsius in January seems to be sending the message home - that climate change is for real.

January 9, 2007

Muslim Girl's Organs Save Four People

There is a good story on the first page of the Home section of today's Straits Times. Last month, a young Malay Muslim girl lost her life after her boyfriend's motorcycle got into an accident. The boyfriend sustained serious injuries, but survived. The girl, Syahida Said ("Sy" in Malay is pronounced as "sh"), had severe brain and lung injuries, and was pronounced brain dead three days after the accident. However, the good news is that Syahida's mother allowed some of her daughter's organs to be donated.

The problem here is that the Muslim community is reluctant to donate organs after death. This despite the fact that MUIS, the ministry for Muslim affairs, has written two fatawa permitting the donation of organs in emergencies to save lives (the fatawa were written in 1986 and 2003). "Now, under the Human Organ Transplant Act, kidneys, livers, hearts and corneas suitable for transplant are taken from all Singaporeans and permanent residents - unless they have opted out - except Muslims, upon their death. Muslims have to opt in, with the consent of two Muslim men, who need not be relatives."

In 2006, six hearts, one lung, seven livers and 56 kidneys in all were transplanted from dead donors. Of those 70 organs, only four came from one Muslim - Syahida Said. There were no Muslim donors in 2005. That's pathetic. We, the Muslim community of Singapore, need to help contribute our organs after death so that we may help others in need. Should I meet an untimely end, I authorize my wife's family to allow my organs to be donated.

May Allah (swt) reward Syahida for her gifts of life. Ameen. Her heart now beats in the chest of a man in his 50s who suffered from heart failure. Her liver saved a woman in her 50s with cirrhosis. Her kidneys went to two men in their 40s. May all of these people treat Syahida's gifts with respect and prayers for her wellbeing in the hereafter. Syahida's mother said, "She was very helpful and had wanted to be a nurse. I'm happy she managed to save four people."


January 8, 2007

JAFI Charles Johnson

Came across a blog called hypocalypse via Crooks & Liars that had a post about that "noted Muslim scholar," Charles Johnson (of LGF infamy). Ol' Chuck here wrote:

"Keith Ellison took his oath on the Koran, touching it with his left hand which is most definitely haram..."

My comment on the hypocalypse page:

Ol' Chuck there's hardly an Islamic scholar; his level of "scholarship" is too little to impress even a Muslim. As abraham pointed out in his 23:25 comment, we Muslims do a ritual bathing called "wudu" before we pray or touch the Qur'an. Touching the Qur'an with either hand after performing wudu is permissible; after all, it is a book and, like any book, it normally takes two hands to handle properly. (Duh!) But here's what Chuck missed, which even a Muslim child could have told him: The "Qur'an" used in the ceremony was a George Sale translation. Translations of the Qur'an are not the Qur'an itself, which is only in Arabic. Translations, while they too should be handled with respect, are not subject to the wudu requirement. I seriously doubt that Jefferson's "Qur'an" has any Arabic in it; I suspect there is only the English translation (and a rather poor one at that). And so it didn't really matter who touched the "Qur'an" that Ellison used in the ceremony or with what hand because it wasn't a real Qur'an to begin with. But as I said earlier, even a Muslim child could have told you all this and, yes, this really does show you all what a dolt ol' Chuck is.

January 6, 2007

Terror's Trivial When It's Not Muslims

An excellent post over at Prison Planet on the lack of a reaction to the ETA bombing of the Madrid airport.

How many people who aren't news junkies know that Madrid Airport was bombed on Saturday? Relatively few I would venture, and that's because major western governments and their media mouthpieces don't hype terror unless Muslims are behind it.


Operatives of the Basque separatist organization ETA packed 800kg of explosives in a car bomb that ripped apart the parking lot of Barajas Madrid Airport, killing two and injuring twenty people.

Now imagine if "Al-Qaeda" bombed Heathrow or LAX. You'd never hear the end of it, the news would be on it 24/7 and entering an airport would be akin to checking into a concentration camp. And yet Saturday's blast was greeted by little more than bylines and muted dismissals by the mainstream media.

Before 9/11 terrorism was seen through the prism of a criminal problem because fewer people lose their lives as a result of it than do those who get struck by lightening. There have been just 2,929 terror induced deaths since 9/11 according to the Bush administration's own numbers and more people every year die in swimming pool accidents - hardly the mega threat to western society that many have portrayed. Put in this context, Saturday's bombing would not have made the top of the news because like all terrorism that occurs in the west, it is extremely rare, random and, like murder, rape or theft, is impossible to ever truly prevent.

But in the "post 9/11 world," the artificial creation and maintenance of the myth of "Islamofascism" is dependent on ceaseless obsession with the imminent threat of Muslim terror around every corner, and that's why something like the Madrid Airport bombing would have been shoved down our throats until kingdom come - but only if Muslims were behind it.

Terror attacks like Saturday's become mere pre-cursors to the "and finally" puff piece if they can't be pinned on "Islamofascists" and the scam recycled.

It's almost a national emergency nowadays if Muslims - God forbid - are seen praying on an aeroplane, and their every action being scrutinized as a foreboding for the apocalypse, which only breeds suspicion across all of society, has turned the land of the free into the United States of Hysteria.

January 5, 2007

Those Darn Founding Fathers!

How were we to know that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Locke were really "Islamofascists" in disguise?

George Washington asked in a March 24, 1784, letter to his aide Tench Tilghman that some craftsmen be hired for him: "If they are good workmen, they may be of Assia, [sic] Africa, or Europe. They may be Mahometans, [Muslims] Jews, or Christian of any Sect - or they may be Atheists ..."

John Locke had already advocated civil rights for non-Christians in his Letter on Toleration: "Thus if solemn assemblies, observations of festivals, public worship be permitted to any one sort of professors [adherents], all these things ought to be permitted to the Presbyterians, Independents, Anabaptists, Arminians, Quakers, and others, with the same liberty. Nay, if we may openly speak the truth, and as becomes one man to another, neither Pagan nor Mahometan, nor Jew, ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion. The Gospel commands no such thing."

(Both quotations from Juan Cole.)

For more, see Late Nite FDL: Thomas Jefferson, Islamofascist.

("Sheikh Thomas Jefferson" graphic courtesy of darkblack.)