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Reading upbeat articles about the curious indigenous customs of authentic ethic brown people and their authentic, mysterious, exotic religious beliefs makes New York Times readers feel good about themselves in an abstract way, unlike those upsetting articles about terrifying armies of white American Jesus terrorists.
I mean, there's just something so... authentic and life-affirming about seeing young brown people celebrating their exotic native customs! It's so... diverse. That's what it is, an affirmation of our diversity here in New York, unlike the fat, white bigot Jesus-camp hoards that graze on processed food in flyover country. Here in New York City we can read these quaint lifestyle pieces about diverse minorities being authentic and diverse on their stoops. And they live in Queens or somewhere so it can all be very pure and abstract. Something to think about while buying farm-fresh non-factory eggs in Union Square, you know?
Mohamed, Peace be upon Him!See, in New York we're respectful of the faith-traditions of oppressed brown minorities, unlike the mosque burners in Jesusland.
Might be covering the letter of the law, but sorta missing the spirit of the thing if you're staying up all night and sleeping all day to avoid actually doing the fasting.
The article shows how an ideal boy is trained into allah's culture. They are like the antebellum southern plantation owner's children loving their childhood friends of both races. Then the adult religious rules come such as community fasting to build group cohesion and identity. The problem is that as the group grows up the superiority of Islam over infidels arises, like the southern whites' superiority over blacks used to arise. A similar story is told in Ben Hur about the Italian occupier's son and the Prince of Hur growing up together. Now if we can buy the world a coke, all should be well. Never mind it is a fast. The fasting is a humbling but power giving experience regularly done by some Christians who remember Jesus had to do it at the beginning of his ministry. I believe that fasting is done by Jews on Yom Kippur.
palladian,Thank you. No one else could have said it better. There is no bigger example of tribalism in America than the residents of Manhattan, fully exemplified by their daily marching orders, the New York Times.The closest that comes to mind isHe told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: 'Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.' Luke 18:9-12, The MessageSubstitute Manhattanite for "Pharisee" and "flyover country" "for "other people" and one gets an excellent HD picture.
Don't you people like conservative family values?
I mean, there's just something so... authentic and life-affirming about seeing young brown people celebrating their exotic native customs!They're not actually, you know, brown, what with being Albanian.Peter
I'm really getting bored of the abundance of Islam is wonderful and woo, the poor put upon Muslim articles.How about some articles about how young Muslim girls (10 and under) are forced to cover themselves while their brothers run around in shorts in t-shirts? How about the stoning of that couple? Islam is barbaric.
Dead Julius: screams the NY TimesI don't think anyone is screaming hear other than you.
They also just recently had an *upbeat* article about being poor.Something about-how in the Obama economy-owning only 100 things is the -new Bohemian.It's the "new happy"-because owning more than 100 things is so-Bush Bourgeoisie.
Like Chase, I think Palladian said it all very excellently. If only we had people like Palladian and DBQ in power, our problems could be solved. They would kick ass and take names! Of course, about half of our free-loading tax-eaters would exit to a friendly country and that would be a good thing.
I want to hear about female circumcision. With pictures.
What's really annoying about it is they think they are giving it all-The New York Times Seal of Cool.
By "friendly country" I meant the tax-eaters would have to find a new place where they could continue to leech off the taxpayers.
When I was a teen I was encouraged to fast and pray and even if we Protestants didn't give anything up for Lent, we were supposed to think about the spiritual benefits of giving things up for a time, not sinful things or bad things, just things we really wanted, and not forever.I think it's incredibly useful, strengthening, just as an exercise. Something like this is good for us just in general terms. Outside of religion or sports we really don't have a lot of places to practice strengthening our self-discipline. Until we need it to be strong... and then we struggle.
"They're not actually, you know, brown, what with being Albanian."Of course you'd think that, being a small-minded Jesuslander. Brownness is an ontological state, not a skin color! All oppressed peoples of the Majority World are brown people! All people who reject the imperialistic, Capitalistic paradigm are brown people! There are only two types of people in the world: brown people, like Barack Obama and Amy Goodman and Mohamed (PBUH), and there are white people, like Condoleeza Rice and Clarence Thomas and George W. Bush. It's not about race, it's about being.
Some people wont be happy until every article about Muslims mentions 9-11. They're called bigots.
Hey when did they do an *upbeat* it's cool to be Mormon article?
Brownness is an ontological state, not a skin color! Wow Palladian. A button has been pushed. I do like that turn of a phrase though. Are you suggesting "people of color" is passe?WV spermi. That one's two days late.
c3: WV spermi. That one's two days late.Are you trying to conceive?
Palladian nailed it with the first comment. Most NYT's readers are such tourists. In the immortal words of William Shatner, no one likes a tourist. I have a slightly different view of Ramadan. I tried fasting one year just to see if I could do it while in Egypt. It was not that easy at first, but I did it. Once you get on the cycle of eating at night, it is not that hard. Obviously working hard in the sun and not drinking water is no longer an option. And with workers all staying up at night, productivity drops a lot. So not a lot happens in Ramadan during the day. The people most affected by it are chain smokers. They definitely are not happy during Ramadan. Coffee and tea drinkers make sure to wake up before dawn and drink and eat up to get through the day to avoid a caffine withdrawal. But I saw the most horrific traffic accidents evah during Ramadan. All because of people racing home for sundown to break fast. Once I saw a station wagan taxi crushed flat with probably a dozen people in it (obviously all killed). It was run over by a huge truck at an uncontrolled intersection of two rural roads. I had to drive past. The accident had just occurred, but there was nothing to be done, and a local police officer was waiving traffic on. There was a puddle of blood that covered the road from edge to edge. My pick up truck was white. It wasn't exactly white after I drove past. That has stayed with me.
Substitute Catholic and Lent or Jewish and High Holy Days and see how cool the Gray Lady thinks it is.
I'm pretty sure Muslim teens previously fasted on hot August days during Ramadan in NYC.Yet an "upbeat" article wasn't written until the GZ mosque controversy, pardon the pun, exploded.Zee timing as zay say ez a lettle suspicious, no?
Standing O for Palladian
Some people wont be happy until every article about Muslims mentions 9-11. They're called bigots.Well, I don't specifically want 9/11 mentioned in every article. But I am I supposed to have romantic notions about such rituals, given the despicable (to borrow a word that's gotten a lot of play on this blog lately) treatment of the women and girls by Muslims all over the world? I could care less whether and when they eat, don't eat, sleep, etc. All the other unpleasant stuff trumps all that. Does that make me a "bigot" I wonder?
knox: But I am I supposed to have romantic notions about such rituals, given the despicable (to borrow a word that's gotten a lot of play on this blog lately) treatment of the women and girls by Muslims all over the world?Romantic, no. But bringing up that stuff constantly and thinking about it when you hear the word "Muslim" is bigoted.If you were intimating all gays are AIDS spreaders, all men rapists, all women whores, all Christians lying abortions of bigotry, it would be no different.
Sorry for sharing a Ramadan story that was anything but "upbeat".
New York Times is becoming more like NPR everyday. What journalism was performed in this article? Seems like they just talked to a few kids they saw on the side of the street. Is reporting their ages what makes it journalism?
If you were intimating all gays are AIDS spreaders, all men rapists, all women whores, all Christians lying abortions of bigotry, it would be no different.I don't think it's fair to compare Muslims to "gays" "men" or "women" because those are physical traits people are born with, not belief systems that they choose.But bringing up that stuff constantly and thinking about it when you hear the word "Muslim" is bigoted.I think it's unrealistic to expect people to overlook the stoning, the circumcision, the millions of radicals who terrorize people all over the world.I can definitely say that if it were overwhelmingly Christians who went around doing such behaviors, hell, yes, I would have bad associations when "Christians" were brought up.As it is, I don't have anything but a generally neutral/positive opinion about them, as they leave me alone and don't blow people up.
"I think it's incredibly useful, strengthening, just as an exercise. Something like this is good for us just in general terms."Yes, but would you want your children playing dawn to dusk -- in the long hot days of summer -- without *drinking any water*?
So to echo Palladian's comments, why is "tribalism" quaint and enlightening when the "brown" peoples do it, but not when the "white" peoples do it?Last time I checked, Islam didn't seem anymore enlightened than a passle of Mississippi baptists...
Those Muslim people seem so nice. I can't imagine they did all of the things that George W. Bush accused them of. In fact, the more I read the NY Times, the more I think Bush and those strange Jesus-followers are the cause behind of all the violence and terror in the world.
Jason,How many Muslim nations exist in which women are NOT victims of Sharia either through stoning, FGM, modesty police, forced marriages, severely restricted movement or education?
No ice cream trucks are allowed to roam the NYC streets in the month of Ramadan.Take away the temptations, take away the sin.Cover the slutty women with burqas, banish temptations from the low lives who could not control their animal instincts.
I think calling those with whom you disagree but whom you won't [or can't] refute 'bigots' makes you and *asshole.Perhaps, though, with the race card being maxed out, those without the intellectual firepower to actually make a coherent argument need some new slur to divert attention.WV: moruders -- those who kill in name of Islam.
Please, I don't have to hear from the NYTimes about the quaint religious requirements of Muslims to gain entrance to Paradise: 1)Charity to Muslims (note don't bother with kafirs, anyone not a Muslim. 2)Prayer to Allah, 3)Fasting during the month of Ramadan, 4)One vacation to Mecca during your lifetime and last but not least 5) Declaring that Mohammed is the prophet of the only God, Allah.Let's not forget that there is no Golden Rule in Islam. You, the unbelieving kafir are hated by Allah and Mohammed directs you to be friendly to but NEVER befriend a kafir.Oh, yes...Muslims may murder, torture, abuse, rape and do anything else to a kafir and still go to Paradise. There is no penalty in the Koran or Sharia Law proscribing a Muslim from treating a kafir, non-Muslim as NOT human. There is no word for "conscience" in Arabic and no shame in Islam for any type of mistreatment of a non-Muslim, kafir. It is written! Allah the most merciful, be praised.
knox: I can definitely say that if it were overwhelmingly Christians who went around doing such behaviors, hell, yes, I would have bad associations when "Christians" were brought up.Christians murder and beat up gays all over the world.
"Don't you people like conservative family values?"Not when it involves honor killings. By the way you misspelled "here" as "hear." One thing that strikes me is how much antipathy liberals have towards Christians. I think they admire Muslims. The left has always adored mass murders and oppressors. I think it stems from an envious desire to have control over other people. I guess it's hard to look all big and bad when a newspaper no one reads won't publish your letters. It's like it's a bad mix of penis envy, Napoleon syndrome, and bed wetting. Tie that in with too much time spent in daycare with no attention from Mommy and Daddy and you have the typical NY Times reader. See it all makes sense now.....
"Christians murder and beat up gays all over the world."Really? Which society is more prone to gay bashing? A society with institutions of separation of church and state, or theocracies that treat their citizens like dogs? Progressive regimes like Cuba, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union have always persecuted gays. The pink triangles were not invented by the pope, nor by Dr. Laura. It was invented by people like you who excuse and love tyranny. In reality, your act is old, tired, and jumped the shark when the Berlin Wall fell. All you have left is some shallow finger pointing against people who just look at you laugh. There is no difference between the Robespierres ,the Stalins, The Osama Bin Ladens, and you. You are all the same lying douchebags who rise up with pampered media fare, and collapse into heaps of shit and piss when your true face is seen. You are nothing new, so put on your Depeche Mode records, stare into the mirror, and realize that at best you are a broken record from a time that everyone wishes to forget.
Lisa: How many Muslim nations exist in which women are NOT victims of Sharia either through stoning, FGM, modesty police, forced marriages, severely restricted movement or education?The things is, Muslim countries are in the developing world. Equality is a third-world problem, not a Muslim problem. If we looked at the Christian countries in Africa we'd see all sorts of horrible things, like genocide and child soldiers. In Indonesia a Muslim woman living in the city might have more rights than a Christian or Buddhist woman living in the countryside.In the West we don't have Christian theocracies specifically because they worked out so poorly. That's a failure of Christianity.I can think of one Christian theocracy in the West, Vatican City. Women aren't allowed to have sex or hold the same positions as men. People who convert to other religions or come out as gay would be asked to leave the country.
Jason said, "Christians murder and beat up gays all over the world."Why yes, that is true. But the law says they can't and our police actively look for those responsible, and if caught, our legal system prosecutes them.In the Muslim world, it IS the legal system murdering gays.
atlharp: There is no difference between the Robespierres ,the Stalins, The Osama Bin Ladens, and you. You are all the same lying douchebags who rise up with pampered media fare, and collapse into heaps of shit and piss when your true face is seen.Here I am having a discussion and someone comes along calling me Stalin and a pile of shit and piss. And I really have to wonder if they are you talking about me or themselves. Because I know what everyone else is thinking.
Jason,Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Emirates, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Pakistan (a nuclear power!!) are hardly developing nations. They are very wealthy and yes, they treat women like shit thanks to Sharia.
Christians murder and beat up gays all over the world.Jason,I googled "Christians murdering gays" and didn't come up with much. I would never deny that gays are victims of violence by Christians. But I also have to admit that I am unaware of a pervasive trend on the scale of that committed by Muslims.I will certainly admit that you might be more knowledgable on the specifics of this subject than I. Muslim countries are in the developing world. Equality is a third-world problem, not a Muslim problem. If we looked at the Christian countries in Africa we'd see all sorts of horrible things, like genocide and child soldiers. OK, but Christians or Buddhists from Africa or any other 3rd world country aren't running around the world blowing other people up. Why is that? And isn't an overwhelming amount of horrific violence in Africa committed by Muslims?I will concede that the 3rd World Aspect probably does worsen matters. At the same time, many if not most of the terrorists in western countries are solidly middle-class and well-educated. That was one of the shocking revelations of 9/11, was it not?I can think of one Christian theocracy in the West, Vatican City. Women aren't allowed to have sex or hold the same positions as men. People who convert to other religions or come out as gay would be asked to leave the country.Very poor comparison. Would I rather be a woman in Vatican City, living under the Catholic hierarchy's rules or under Sharia?? Vatican City all the way: no contest. I don't know why you even brought it up, honestly.
"In the West we don't have Christian theocracies specifically because they worked out so poorly. That's a failure of Christianity.I can think of one Christian theocracy in the West, Vatican City. Women aren't allowed to have sex or hold the same positions as men. People who convert to other religions or come out as gay would be asked to leave the country."Christian political systems don't work because Christianity is not a political religion. It has no civil code unlike Islam and was never intended to be be the foundations of any government. It's not a "failure" of Christianity, but more a failure of people like you to really understand it. As far as the Vatican City goes well they may forbid people from marrying and being gay, but they aren't jailing and killing people over it. That is where the hypocrisy lies; you praise those as "developing" that murder, terrorize, and destroy the lives of their own people, and condemn those who actually insure freedom and liberty. There is no comparison between the two in the modern world. That is why your act is stale and old. You cannot even tell the difference between a has-been theocracy who biggest crime against the disobedient is exile, and another who literally will cut your spine. Islamic countries are not developing countries, they are crumbling relics like Marxist regimes. They only last as long as their lies are sustained, kind of like your arguments.
Lisa: In the Muslim world, it IS the legal system murdering gays.In Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, and Yemen. In other Muslim countries it is not.In Uganda, a Christian country, they were just trying to institute the death penalty. So I don't want to hear about it.Everybody sucks, and I'm glad to be an American.
knox: I will certainly admit that you might be more knowledgable on the specifics of this subject than I.You don't see it because in the West we don't usually attribute people's bad behavior to their Christianity. It's one of our biases, we leave out the person's religion even though it was a motivator.In atheistic countries gay-bashing is not a problem.
Remember this poll where only 26% of US Muslims support suicide bombings and only 5% support al qaeda.Media Spins/Spikes Disturbing Finding That Quarter of American Muslim Young Men Support Terrorismhttp://minx.cc/?post=227473
"In Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, and Yemen. In other Muslim countries it is not."Actually in those countries, they neither acknowledge the existence of gay populations and persecute them heavily. Again, you show your ignorance and are pwned by the truth. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/brutal-land-where-homosexuality-is-punishable-by-death-792057.html So what are we to make of this? Are you merely ignorant? Do you feel that executing homosexuals is still the hallmark of a "developing" nation? Nice job jumping the shark, I must say Bob Hope looked better dressed up as the Fonz than you. Fail!
In atheistic countries gay-bashing is not a problem.Ever heard of Cuba?"Cuban police have once again launched a campaign against homosexuals, specifically directed at travestis (tranvestites) whom they are arresting if they are dressed in women's clothing."http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/latin_america/newsid_3926000/3926441.stmFAIL!
Ah, yes, it's always the Christians who are mean to gays. Oddly, the sheriff's Department I worked for for twenty+ years was overwhelmingly Christian, with a minority of Agnostics. Funny how we always locked up anyone we caught beating gays. Stranger still that none of those we caught were ever practicing Christians. Meanwhile devout Muslims hang gays from construction cranes, push them off tall buildings or pull walls down on them.
Peter: Meanwhile devout Muslims hang gays from construction cranes, push them off tall buildings or pull walls down on them.But you said you caught only non-practicing Christians. Your personal experience here doesn't seem to back this up.And I have to wonder if they ask people if they are practicing Christians when they arrest them.
"But bringing up that stuff constantly and thinking about it when you hear the word 'Muslim' is bigoted."Not bringing it up is sexist. I know which side of that line I'm on.
Ann Althouse said... "I think it's incredibly useful, strengthening, just as an exercise. Something like this is good for us just in general terms."Yes, but would you want your children playing dawn to dusk -- in the long hot days of summer -- without *drinking any water*?8/21/10 6:14 PMLittle kids, sick people and pregnant women are forbidden from fasting. And Muslim kids generally stay up late to play.As for fasting, most people gain weight during Ramadan.
I'd never heard of a fast that disallowed *water*.Does Ramadan disallow water?The Code Pink-ers who were "fasting" allowed anything that could be pureed to the point of being drinkable. I figure that's pretty clearly cheating.But water? No, water is not cheating. Granted, also... Ramadan is a sort of weird half-a-day fast anyhow. Most Christian fasts are all day and night too but only for a day or two.
"In the West we don't have Christian theocracies specifically because they worked out so poorly. That's a failure of Christianity."This is an absolutely bizarre statement.Should we *want* a religion that makes a good theocracy? Should we want one that says it must be? That was the criticism of Democracy in Iraq as moderate Muslims of good faith tried to explain to us ignorant Westerners with our quaint Judean religious traditions, that Democracy placed the judgment of man over the judgment of God and therefore Islam and Democracy were incompatible.Does this make Islam more of a success than the poor failure of Christianity to set forth a strong enough theocratic tradition?What??
"In Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, and Yemen. In other Muslim countries it is not.In Uganda, a Christian country, they were just trying to institute the death penalty."Let's do a little thought experiment: compare the relative population/wealth/importance of "Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, and Yemen" in the Muslim world to Uganda in the Christian world.Disclaimer: I am neither Christian nor Muslim, heh.
"You don't see it because in the West we don't usually attribute people's bad behavior to their Christianity. It's one of our biases, we leave out the person's religion even though it was a motivator."I'm calling bull shit on this one.What bad behavior is *not* attributed to a person's Christianity in the West even though religion was a motivator?I'd be happy with a single example of a non-reported Christian motivation for bad behavior.
Synova: I'd be happy with a single example of a non-reported Christian motivation for bad behavior.Beating your wife.Sexual discrimination.Racism.
"You don't see it because in the West we don't usually attribute people's bad behavior to their Christianity. It's one of our biases, we leave out the person's religion even though it was a motivator."Except if you work for the NY Times. Seriously, that has been the hallmark of the left for eons is to attribute the religion of someone as a disqualifier for serious consideration. It happens in academia, it happens in newsrooms, it happens wherever the left has a controlling interest in maintaining power and influence. The thing that gets me is how wrong you are. You really need to get out more and read something outside of whatever Barbara Streisand posts on her website. Also ditch the glasses, they make you look like a groupie for Moby.
I think some of you really need to get a clue about the meaning of "tolerance". It's only true tolerance if it's something I tolerate and please keep in mind that I specifically refer to things I tolerate that I know you ignorant religious people don't. I mean that's really the point of calling it tolerance isn't it? What fun If I can't feel superior in my magnanimity?
"They're not actually, you know, brown, what with being Albanian."Funny how the only immigrants who count for official "diversity" purposes are the brown one. Are you an orphaned Bosnian muslim? Go stand in the "White" line. What a neo-apartheid shithole this country is.
Jason,Wow. Good list. You hit the nail on the head with that one. *Only* Christians are guilty of those things - racism, sexual discrimination, beating your wife.No, wait. I think that one crosses sectarian lines. You even have atheists who participate in those actions.As to so-called atheistic countries being friendly to gays, you are wrong again. When I lived in East Germany (before the wall came down) they put gays into psychiatric hospitals. This due to the fact that by being gay they were not contributing positively to society by helping to further the nation. It is well known that the Soviets put gays into the gulags. I could go on.
As an Egyptian Muslim, there are a couple of things I wanted to clarify:- In Ramadan, water IS prohibited until dusk, and yes in August is difficult, but definitely manageable.- Female Genital Mutilation isn't a Muslim practice and it is more of a social convention escpecially in West and Middle Africa- The reason, in my opinion, for people consistently blaming Islam for all the terrorist acts that occur worldwide, is how media portrays muslims and arabs. If there is been a group of people that has been stereotyped to the point of utter humiliation in the 21st century so far, then it has to be Arabs.Anyone, who has spent sometime over at this side of the world, like "Fred4Pres", would know that the way we are portrayed is a huge injustice. I concede that Islamic movements are at the hight of their strength at the movement, but there are still an equal number of people here that are just enlightened, cultured, and educated as in the West.I hope this means anything to anyone who reads it.
@siko237:Then do something about it. Maybe you don't believe me, but we don't actually want to hate you. You bring it on yourselves by behaving like such asses. But there is hope.A good start would be to not make excuses whenever a Muslim commits a terrorist act. Don't complain about how awful the world treats Muslims. You can think it, but if you want to improve your reputation you need to memorize the phrase, "Now is not the time."Don't complain about "anti-Muslim backlash", resist the temptation to bring up Palestine or bash Israel, don't dance on the graves of the dead to push your political agenda, just express your sympathy and denounce the violent radicals who abuse your religion for their terrible ends -- and that's all.Trust me, we're a pretty easygoing bunch over here; you want people to stop hating you, you have the power. Simply recognize that when people are dead at the hands of Muslims it's a really bad time to complain about how rough Muslims have it.Once you've gained that valuable perspective we can go on to more complicated reputation-building concerns such as the right way to go about expressing indignation toward editorial cartoonists. As a quick reminder this:"Behead those who insult the Prophet!"... will do less for your image than this:"We understand the important issue of Muslim violence against artists and join with the cartoonists in denouncing it. We are, however, saddened they choose sophomoric insults to make their point."You can change the way we think about you quite easily -- if you really want to.
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