October 27, 2006

"After we clean the world of the White House first..."

That's when Sheikh Taj El-Din Hamid Hilaly, the most prominent Muslim cleric in Australia, said he would step down. Reuters paraphrases the quote above as a statement that "he would not go until the White House was cleaned out." Somebody needs to learn how to read. Those words aren't a mere wish to see President Bush out of the White House. They state a desire to rid the world of the White House. The place in need of "cleaning" is not the White House, but the world. The uncleanliness is not the President in the White House, but the White House in the world.

The demands that Hilaly step down follow his horrible statements about women and rape: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem."

50 comments:

Dave said...

I can't take Islam seriously as a religion when its "leaders" make comments like these. But then I don't take much of religion seriously.

Goesh said...

Right on! What I find most savory though are the taxi drivers who won't carry passengers who have alcohol in their possession. Walk for the right of religion, baby! Is this an existential dilemma for Liberals or what? Cut n' run and placate - what else can we do when it's their religion and we have none?? Ya' gotta' luv their logic - kill the power that allows women to become exposed meat. I think that one plane taken down back on 9/11 was intended to clean the White House.

knoxgirl said...

The most prominent muslim cleric in Australia.

"Religion of peace" ... if you're not a girl!

DaveL said...

There's a pervasive idea in Islamic law that men have no control over their sexual desires, and so women who do anything that might arouse them are the problem, not the men who react.

So, the analogy with a cat (notoriously untrainable) with a man is utterly mainstream in Islamic culture.

dick said...

DaveL,

So according to the Muslims because you can't control yourself it is my fault and my problem and I have to change? I am sure that half our population or so will really appreciate that if and when the Muslims win. Of course when CNN puts out the Muslim propaganda - err, news report -- that will make it all better.

With leaders like this one, we should make sure that we don't lose, n'est-ce pas?

mikeski said...

Reuters paraphrases the quote above as a statement that "he would not go until the White House was cleaned out." Somebody needs to learn how to read.

Everybody at Reuters reads just fine, Ann. It's objectivity (or, at least, the appearance thereof) that Reuters needs to learn about.

tjl said...

"Is this an existential dilemma for Liberals or what?"

If it's an existential dilemma for liberals, they're doing a pretty good job of concealing the fact.

Crazed imams are no problem for the Left because of that key tenet of multiculturalism: if you find any non-Western practices disturbing, it's only because you are wrongfully applying oppressive neo-colonial judgmental standards. The Reuters paraphrase shows how to make the obligatory cultural adjustments.

Balfegor said...

There's a pervasive idea in Islamic law that men have no control over their sexual desires, and so women who do anything that might arouse them are the problem, not the men who react.

It's not just Islamic law -- it's shot through modern American discourse, the notion that the discipline to refrain from sex (e.g. when you are a teenager and still in school) is simply unattainable, and any program that attempts to inculcate that discipline is dotty and out of date.

tcd said...

I can understand why Reuters paraphrased the imam's statement that way. It's because liberals think President Bush is the problem and not the terrorists. If only President Bush was out of the White House and the US abandoned Iraq, the terrorists would leave us alone. Of course, liberals won't come out and say it. Instead, they make a movie about assassinating President Bush. Wishful thinking on their part.

Ann Althouse said...

tcd: That's my point. They are reading the statement through the cloud of their political opinions.

Anonymous said...

tcd,

That's right. Of course one has to overlook things like, oh, the Khobar towers, the USS Cole, the Nairobi embassy, and the '93 World Trade Center attack. We could even go back to Beirut '83 and Tehran '79, but those don't fit the storyline.

"If it bleeds, it leads"? Nah.

"If we can blame Bush, give it a push."

john(lesser) said...

Dave's response is classic. It isn't a threat if you can dismiss it out of hand as not serious. This news has been floating around the internets for a few days now, so I spent a bit of yesterday trolling the high trafficked "feminist" blogs looking for comment. Nothing. I did, however, find out there is a reproductive rights crisis going on in Nicaragua.

Pogo said...

Re: "uncovered meat "

So will we see the righteous indignation of US feminists against Islam?

Does it not unnerve the Left that Hilaly and Osama and Dean and Pelosi sound like they're reading from the same page of talking points?

charlotte said...

Paster Jeff,

Even 9-11 wasn't in response to Bush- it had been planned for several years prior to his eight months in office. Reuters and reflexive Bush bashers have as simplistic, uninformed and dark a worldview as the Islamists.

In Atlanta, an immigrant Ethiopian father is on trial for cutting off his two year-old daughter's genitals with a pair of scissors. The girl is still suffering recurring nightmares and has an altered life to look forward to. Jail is too good for the devout dad. They should just cut off his pleasure parts.

And that imam should be left out uncovered in a cage of big carnivorous cats, in my lapsed Presbyterian opinion.

PatCA said...

John, Pogo,
I think Americans are starting to "get it," if the feminist hierarchy doesn't. Ironically, the media's free pass to Islam accompanied by continuous use of images of outrage and misogyny, is doing the West's job for them in the PR department.

BTW Aussie Tim Blair has more coverage of this idiot...er, imam.

JorgXMcKie said...

Does this mean we're free to refer to non-chadored American women as 'uncovered meat' now? I kinda miss 'chicks' but I guess 'uncovered meat' is a reasonable substitute.

How about it Lefties? Are the feminists our there in agreement with this? Or do I have to claim to be Muslim to do this?

chickenlittle said...

I think the left has a closeted desired to resist this evil, even violently. But they refuse for the moment for the almost treasonous reason that THEY are not in charge.

charlotte said...

(Ha, so sorrie Past-o-r Jeff. I usususaly tipe and spel bettor than that!)

Tibore said...

Islam is being turned from a religion into a philosophy of anger by those poorly and narrowly educated leaders. If this isn't nipped in the bud soon, a whole generation of people will be raised enabled to hate under the cover of their religion. And this is simply not acceptible.

I'm heartened to hear Pope Benedict strongly emphasize the importance, even centrality of reason in the Catholic Church. I wish I'd hear more of that sort of thing from Muslim leaders.

Derve said...

"Does this mean we're free to refer to non-chadored American women as 'uncovered meat' now? ... How about it Lefties? Are the feminists our there in agreement with this?"

In cleverer terms, I think we already do. Watched any beer commercials lately?

Christy said...

I've been pondering the Imam's "uncovered meat" comment for a couple of days now. The attitude is deeply disturbing, yes. But what scares the bejeebus out of me is the idea of any Muslims at all on a jury where the crime is violence against a woman. Yes, I'm getting hysterical. I've gone from a girlhood crush on Saladin and an enchantment with Sufism to someone who believes Muslims should be allowed nowhere near the civilized world. What has happened to me? This seems to be a passion over which I have no control. The object of my passion must be removed from my sight! De-fanged, so as not to engage my rage!

Doyle said...

Little Green Althouse.

john(lesser) said...

Only clever in your own mind, Derve. Your equivocation and lack of seriousness is telling. This is happening in Australia. I am sure they have American style beer commercials there.

john(lesser) said...

I guess that is Doyle's way of saying this really isn't a problem, and anyone who points it out is a right-wing troublemaker.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Dave said...
I can't take Islam seriously as a religion when its "leaders" make comments like these. But then I don't take much of religion seriously.


Dave is extremely right, and extremely wrong.

One of the results of our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq is that Islam has been pulled out into the open: increasingly we are able to see what Islam's leading voices believe and preach, and it is a far cry from what a religion ought to express.

That a few liberal types keep trying to play up a distinction between radical and moderate Islam is tenuous, when the moderate voices lack the authority or the will to speak up.

That Dave, in the luxury of his life and mind, can dismiss religion though, is absurd. It's like Rumsfeld after we took Baghdad and the Iraqis were looting everything (including weapons). Rumsfeld said something like, "Oh they are just letting off steam."

Unfortunately the things we choose to dismiss come back and bite us hard.

Then too, on the flip side (the positive view), the sheer magnitude of the beneficial effects of religion in history ought to make Dave slightly less intellectually inert.

Doyle said...

Of course not. I would never minimize the importance of Australia's leading Muslim cleric, or Reuters' shameful misrepresention of his remarks.

Anonymous said...

If this isn't nipped in the bud soon, a whole generation of people will be raised enabled to hate under the cover of their religion.

Sadly, it's been going on for a generation already in the Middle East. That's why we are dealing with large populations of angry, ill-educated, violent young men.

In places like Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia the governments have either ignored or encourged hate-filled anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda.

You're so right, Doyle. Nothing to be worried about. Once we get rid of Bush, the Islamic world will go back to loving us again.

brylin said...

Those who can't take Islam seriously better reconsider. Look at the fertility rates in European countries and think what the future demographics will be like in 20 or 50 years. And can you name any moderate Islamic religious leaders?

So all uncovered meat beware!

chickenlittle said...

"think what the future demographics will be like in 20 or 50 years"

sort of turns Morrison's line "They got the guns but we got the numbers" on its head huh?

chickenlittle said...

What would Jim say?

Daryl Herbert said...

I think Doyle's on to something.

As soon as any reasonable person starts to pay attention to Islam, they start to sound more and more like Charles Johnson.

Because, after all, Charles Johnson is a reasonable person who has paid a great deal of attention to Islam. He knows what prominent Muslim community leaders are up to all over the world. There is nothing at all surprising about this comment coming from a very prominent Muslim figure. And they're not much different here in America.

Craig said...

The uncovered meat analogy is a statement is horrible because of its callousness towards women (i.e., the disregard it has for the effects of its stance), but it is also a horrible statement about men.

In his analogy, the cat cannot be blamed because it is not a moral creature but rather a mere mechanism. If the rape statement follows the analogy, then it is whoever fails to sufficiently cover women that is to blame. (Some) men are not to blame because, apparently, (some) men are not fully moral creatures.

Query what policy implications this has: if the men are not to be blamed for rape, what other "crimes" (which of course are no longer crimes once the putative actors lose moral status) are no longer crimes? Taking the same analogy, we claim to train dogs, not to teach them.* We eat many creatures, and widespread social discomfort at eating them arises almost always after we ascribe moral capacity to them. Hence, as more and more people decide that dogs do, in fact, have the self-awareness to have some understanding of right from wrong, we feel bad eating them. If (some) men are mere mechanisms, can we eat them? And just how far does this go? (Alternatively, do these conclusions, which are not far behind the cleric's conclusion, reveal his true position -- a loathing of women more basic and not derived from any analysis of capacity or responsibility?)

More interestingly, his analogy is posed awkwardly, for of course the meat does not cover or uncover itself. The question should be: whose fault is it, the cook or the cat? The meat cannot cover itself. Well, its initial effort -- growing skin -- was rewarded with slaughter, and since then, it can't cover itself. So the question becomes whether the cook is the same as the meat in this case (i.e., is the woman the actor) or is the cook society and its norms?

Under the second reading, this is an argument that isn't terribly far from those who argue that Western society's elevation of sexual satisfaction and energetic hunt for sexual desirability (which is, perhaps, tantamount to "uncovering the meat" in some sense) is at least partially responsible for rape. (That is a oversimplified version of such an argument, but I wanted to show how the analogy gets there, not to make such an argument.)

* I myself find the strict division of humanity away from the rest of the world an unresolved question. Regardless, consider any thing not considered as capable of acting in light of moral rules, e.g., a computer. When a computer does something undesired, we blame mechanical failure or programming error; we do not say that the computer is culpable.

Pogo said...

But Daryl, Charles Johnson is full of hate, while the imams are just talking truth to power in their multicultural diversity paradise, merely giving voice to a culture ruined by Western colonialists, protecting all that uncovered meat.

Pogo said...

Craig, you're making the egregious mistake of analyzing this. The cleric means only this: It is so because I say it is so.

You can't use logic to convince a barbarian, but you can whack him over the head with a very large book.

Craig said...

That was, indeed, the concern behind my parenthetical "Alternatively, do these conclusions, which are not far behind the cleric's conclusion, reveal his true position -- a loathing of women more basic and not derived from any analysis of capacity or responsibility?"

Craig said...

Also, Pogo, to continue the thread, there is a certain risk to regarding others as barbarians.

If it is central to being a barbarian that you are sensitive to pain* but not to logic, then barbarians, like cats and computers, are not moral creatures.

You may be correct that the barbarians aren't worth analyzing, but what about us? If we are moral creatures, then surely it says something about us that we conclude that they are not moral creatures?

And surely such a conclusion has implications for permissible actions? First, judging them becomes problematic -- is a computer virus evil? Second, but perhaps oppositely, we don't need to grant them the respect conditioned upon being a moral creature. No one cries out when a computer is tortured -- the claim doesn't even make sense.** So if they are truly barbarians, and if the term is more than rhetoric (as you suggest when you point out the limits of logic for barbarians), then there might be nothing wrong with obliterating them if that is what is most beneficial for us and the other moral creatures.

But then the American public apparently does not have the stomach to do this -- we treat our cattle horrendously worse than we treat such barbarians. Where is the gap? Finding that gap might be very beneficial (if not for policy implications in this political situation, maybe for merely telling us more about what we really think about morality and what it means to be moral).

* Here I blithely treat your book as mere weight, even as the other meaning hangs in the air.

** Torture is difficult to analyze, because it is a varying combination of pain, fear, and other effects (compare here, re: definitional difficulties, Nietzsche's threads of punishment definitions). Talking about pain outside the context of the potential for consciousness is difficult -- what would that mean? Can a plant feel pain? And talking about animals at all, as mentioned in my first comment, is difficult because the moral status of animals is varying and controverted in Western culture.

chickenlittle said...

"So if they are truly barbarians, and if the term is more than rhetoric... then there might be nothing wrong with obliterating them if that is what is most beneficial for us and the other moral creatures."

I think our elected government (regardless of who populates that entity) must consider doing just that, under extreme circumstances.

Craig said...

The importance of morality, though, is that there is a serious position* that obliterating barbarians (where barbarians are non-moral creatures) is permitted for any net benefit to moral creatures at all -- not in extreme conditions. If we want to live there, we can obliterate them; if we feel the slightest bit endangered, obliterate them; heck, if it amuses us, obliterate them.

(For all of these, of course, one must be concerned for the effects obliterating them might cause on us or other moral creatures, but there is no concern whatsoever for the barbarians.)

* Really, this represents a class of positions where, for various reasons and in various ways, something truly matters only if it matters to someone. That is, I'm a moral creature, so I matter, and you're a moral creature, and so you matter, and the things that affect you or me matter exactly and only inasmuch as they matter to you or me. So, the earth matters because we live on it. Torture matters because it affects us. Animal cruelty matters because it harms us to know of it, it is a sign to us that the actor is errant and might later harm us, and it is believed to cause a deleterious affect to the actor -- the actual suffering of the animal is not in itself important.

Pogo said...

Re: "If we are moral creatures, then surely it says something about us that we conclude that they are not moral creatures?"

That's statement is based on a false conclusion. It is simply not 'central' to being a barbarian that they are not moral creatures. Rather, they choose immorality, or choose to ignore the issue altogether.

In short, barbarians aren't excused as animals simply because they behave as one.

And self-defense is not immoral.

Doyle said...

Come on, Ann, there's some pretty highbrow moral philosophy going on in here, and you're sitting it out!

Inquiring minds want to know: Where do you stand on barbarian obliteration?

Revenant said...

I'm never sure what to make of descriptions like "most prominent Muslim cleric". Pat Robertson is probably the most prominent Christian minister, but most Christians think he's a jerkoff. Does "most prominent Muslim" just mean "guy who's in the news the most" or "most representative Muslim religious figure"?

ignacio said...

Yvonne Ridley had a piece in the Washington Post recently: "How I learned to love the veil." She was of course kidnapped by the Taliban, but guess what...they turned out to be great guys! And she discovered that Taliban-style Islam respects women more than the West.

Because we have, uh, beauty contests and stuff...

No questions were asked of her. She was allowed to propagandize and have the last word. A friend of mine at ABC emailed to me: "But wouldn't the suppression of unpopular viewpoints be... censorship?"

Yvonne Ridley, having been a journalist in her previous life, is a little more media-savvy than the "uncovered meat" sheikh.

brylin said...

But Doyle, who are the barbarians? Islam or the decadent West?

I guess it depends on your perspective.

Bleepless said...

The original piece was in "The Australian" newspaper and quoted the slimeball accurately. But it then went on to say the statement was aimed at George W. Bush. I sent the paper a little rocket, pointing out the difference between the President and the White House. I sent it about an hour ago, so so response yet and, considering how foul the Aussie media are, there probably never will be even any acknowledgement of the exstence of another opinion.

chickenlittle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chickenlittle said...

None of the long-time Madison people have remarked here about the similarity to what Judge Archie Simonson said about 30 years ago (others might Google his name). I seem to recall a lot of feminist outrage then, and a successful recall election. Where is their indignation now? and why is feminist outrage still mostly directed at Christians? Is just a case of act locally, tolerate globally?

tjl said...

"Yvonne Ridley had a piece in the Washington Post recently: "How I learned to love the veil." And she discovered that Taliban-style Islam respects women more than the West."

Now that she's embraced Taliban-style Islam, shouldn't she be staying home and sewing herself some new burqas? After all, the Taliban took a pretty dim view of literacy for women, and proved it by eliminating girls' schools and killing the teachers. A woman writing op-eds in the WAPO is definitely fatwa material.

There's something unfathomable about an educated Westerner like Ridley adopting such a perverse and self-negating belief system. The only explanation must be that Ridley is deeply sado-masochistic and experiences exquisite delight as she grovels.

Derve said...

"Does this mean we're free to refer to non-chadored American women as 'uncovered meat' now?
...
Derve: Your equivocation and lack of seriousness is telling. This is happening in Australia. I am sure they have American style beer commercials there."


He made a wisecrack about American women; I referred to American tv commercials.

Come off your high horse and stop seeing things that aren't there?

Elizabeth said...

chickenlittle, the sky isn't falling. You must not be reading any feminist blogs, because the story is on them, with outrage intact. Read Broadsheet at salon.com, and go into the comments, for a start.

Harry Eagar said...

revenant, Hilaly is not just a noisy imam. He was appointed mufti for Australia of its largish Lebanese Muslim community.

Not only is he their chosen spiritual and moral guide, they are cheering him on since his statement. We can safely assume that he had made it to them earlier, anyway, since some of his flock has been raping infidel women and claiming provocation as a defense.

The discussion about moral/immoral barbarians seems wrongheaded to me.

Humans are necessarily moral actors. Some humans choose to act immorally, even to set up religions -- Islam -- that glorify and require immoral behavior.

These immoral actors are then open to whatever punishment their actions deserve (including, conceptually, extermination), not because of what they believe but because of what they do.

As a practical matter, when the moral community is finally outraged enough, it will throw out the appeasers (Bush) and bring in the hard men. The hard men will not exert any effort to distinguish between 'good' Muslims and 'bad' Muslims, just as the Allies in the 1940s killed Germans indiscriminately.