The riot blogs. I’ve been blogging about the UK riots almost from the beginning. Lots of links to comment on the Left and Right, but given the stupidity of some of it, expect strong language from me.
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Salaams – apologies for long-time-no-see on Talk Islam. Been busy with the interminably slow process of novel writing, plus my own blog, where I’ve recently posted on Muhammad Ali’s letter to Norway, and also on a report by Spinwatch on UK-based right-wing think tanks. Ramadan Mubarak
As I don’t know enough about the Arab-speaking world to interpret journalist comment, beyond the usual right-wing and left-liberal paranoia, I tend to rely on the more academic-ish stuff online, especially Tabsir. Their lastest post, Dawn, by Sherifa Zuhur, seems to step beyond the prevailing cliches. Dr Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed’s The Great Unravelling: Tunisia, Egypt and the Protracted Collapse of the American Empire, posted on The Cutting Edge, takes a global perspective.
A turn of phrase can tell us so much – about the journalist who wrote the copy. Take this AP piece published in The Guardian, about the conviction of Indonesian pop star Nazril “Ariel” Irham for “violating the country’s strict anti-pornography law that came into effect in 2008.”
Indonesia, a secular nation of 237 million people, has more Muslims than any other country in the world. Though most are moderate, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years. They have pushed through controversial laws such as the anti-porn bill and criticised anything they perceive as blasphemous, from transvestites and bars to “deviant” religious sects.
Some of the hundreds of demonstrators who gathered outside the court pelted the police vehicle carrying Ariel to the court with rotten eggs and tomatoes. Others held placards criticising the star. “I have three daughters,” said Kurnia Maryati, a 33-year-old pharmacist, as she straightened out her headscarf.
Is the headscarf Kurnia adjusted meant to indicate she is a member of the “small extremist fringe”? After all, we can be sure that any Muslimah wearing a headscarf is an “extremist”, can’t we?
Apparently, Nazril filmed himself bonking groupies, uploaded the film on to his laptop, and then was stupid enough to allow his laptop to get stolen. Kurnia continues:
“To me, pornography is even more dangerous than drugs. Just think of the schoolboys watching those videos,” she said. “Next thing you know, they’ll be imagining their female teachers naked!”
Actually, Kurnia, schoolboys don’t need porn to imagine their teachers naked. And here lies the problem. The nature of and issues surrounding human sexuality rarely get discussed intelligently, whether by Muslim or non-Muslim. And whilst I can appreciate that some Indonesians might not want their nation to participate in a rather tawdry and demeaning industry that currently grosses the USA some $3 billion annually, I’m far from convinced Nazril’s laptop escapades have anything to do with “porn”.
Yusuf Smith of Indigo Jo Blogs posts a thorough, crafted, and utterly damning review of a recent Panorama programme presented by John Ware, purporting to expose “extremism” being promoted through private Islamic schools in the UK.
The recent conviction of Roshonara Choudhry for the attempted murder of British Member of Parliament Stephen Timms is being hotly debated around the Internet. Much has been said about the influence of Anwar al-Awlaki’s YouTube videos on her radicalization. Among the more interesting responses has been a post by Asim Qureshi on Cageprisoners, defending Awlaki’s right, “not to be extra-judicially killed.”
The ever brilliant Five Chinese Crackers have posted a blog entitled Tabloid b*llsh*t of the month award October 2010, which includes a superb email sent by 5CC to the Daily Fail regarding their statistically naff non-story headlined Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys ahead of Jack and Harry. Fortunately, November is here, bringing with it Britain’s very own Islam Awareness Week.
Dr Taj Hargey, sultan of MECO, is claiming another world’s first after delivering a sermon at the chapel of Pembroke College, Oxford. Replying in the comments section of the Oxford Mail, which reported the event, Arizvi of London complained:
When will the media realise that this man has absolutely zero standing in the Muslim community despite his self-promotion.
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