Archive for March, 2008

Fitna The Movie

Posted in Politics, Religion, Society on March 27th, 2008

Below is the English version of Geert Wilders’ highly controversial film about the Qu’ran. It directly links passages from the Qu’ran to various and sundry heinous acts of savagery, brutality, oppression, and terrorism that have been committed by Islamists in the name of Islam across the globe.

I’m posting it here, not as an attack on Muslims or the religion of Islam, but as a starting point for discussion.

My first thought on this video was that it is a classic example of “cherry picking” individual passages out of a text in order to use those passages out of context to change people’s overall opinion of a text as a whole. This tactic has been used time and time again, yet never seems to fall out favor through overuse.

The English translations of the referenced sura from the Qu’ran are linked to below in their entirety. Read as part of each whole passage they convey a somewhat different meaning.

My second and sadder thought was that the extremists – a small minority among Muslims, as it is with any religion or ideology – are probably doing the exact same sort of “cherry picking”, down to sura and verse in order to justify their own agendas.

I think that Wilder’s video will appeal to many people who are already afraid of Muslims. I also think it will enrage many Muslims who already hate the West. I doubt this level of bigotry will change anyone’s opinion though; it’s too unsubtle to be good propaganda. I am force to conclude that Geert Wilder is hoping for a violent reaction from Muslims since such would only further support his world view.

Related Reading:

The Fitna
Book of squirrels: Beautiful magical photos of wild squirrels
Religion: The Basics
The Kids Book of World Religions
Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me

Descent Into Hell

Posted in 2008 Olympics on March 25th, 2008

On Monday, March 24, 2008, at the altar of Hestia in Olympia, Greece, the Olympic Torch was lit – amid peaceful protests – for the 2008 Beijing Games. Eleven women, representing the roles of priestesses, performed the ceremony in which the torch is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror.

The Olympic Flame will now be carried by runners during a 85,000-mile, 136-day relay across five continents and 20 countries, ultimately culminating with its descent into Hell as it is plunged into the Cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Games. To add insult to decades of injury, the Olympic Torch will be carried through Tibet to further show Chinese control of the occupied territory.

So, after decades of being a beacon of hope for mankind, the Olympic Torch returns to the darkness as it is used once again for the glorification of a totalitarian and genocidal regime. It should now be remembered that the modern torch relay was introduced by Carl Diem, president of the Organization Committee for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, as part of an effort to turn the games into a glorification of the Third Reich.

Related Reading:

China (DK Eyewitness Books)
Human Rights and Social Justice in a Global Perspective: An Introduction to International Social Work
The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2008 Edition
Coach's Guide to Game-Winning Softball Drills: Developing the Essential Skills in Every Player (International Marine-RMP)
Human Rights: An Anthropological Reader

Obama’s Race Speech

Posted in 2008 Election, Society on March 18th, 2008

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. - Pastor, Bigot, IdiotI’m fairly sure that everyone in the US who’s not deaf has heard a lot about Trinity UCC’s retiring senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.’s radically anti-American and racist speeches and diatribes. You’d have to work diligently and relentlessly to maintain any semblance of ignorance on the subject.

Few people in America are now indifferent to Wright.

It’s no surprise that Wright’s ongoing hatred of “White America” has had a negative impact on Sen. Barack Obama’s bid for the Democratic Party’s US presidential nomination. I had even posted about this back in July, 2007. In an attempt to mitigate the damage to his campaign Sen. Obama has publicly condemned Wright’s bigotry and distanced himself from his former pastor.

Obama has gone a step further though…

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Reading:

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
Obama: An Intimate Portrait
Presidential Elections 1789-2008 10th edition
Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage
Election 2008: A Conversation In Heaven