Monday, June 29, 2009
The underlying tension between the transgressive and the assimilitative aspects of conversion erupts most obviously and most dramatically in situations […] where the adopted identity of the convert is at variance with the cultural meanings sanctioned by that society. The radical displacements of meaning brought about by religious change are un questionably major political disruptions and treated as such in the discourse of the dominant community. […] Where there is such disparity, dominant communities prefer to use the term ‘proselytism’ rather than ‘conversion’ to indicate the forcible nature of religious change. The term also carries with it a baggage of associations that identify religious change as an effect of manipulation , propagandistic activity, loss of individual self-control and will power, and sustained political mobilization. The use of the term ‘proselytism’ further denies subjectivity, agency, or choice to the subject and replaces individuals with masses as the unit of analysis. (p 87)
AD says: Why is this important? Because when Muslims talk about becoming Muslim they speak of conversion (or reversion, actually), but when they speak of folks leaving Islam, they speak of proselytism and almost always say the person was brain-washed or offered money or a visa to the West or whave have you.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
President Sarkozy once again showed the way yesterday when in a presidential address to France’s two houses of parliament, he said the burqa is not welcome in his country and should be banned. As he rightly went on to say the full-body garment which makes women in Afghanistan look like a cross between a prison cell and a walking tent is “not a sign of religion” but a “sign of subservience.” He added: “We cannot have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social ife, deprived of identity.”
Saturday, June 20, 2009
And salamu 3aleykum from Scotland!
Thinking there is a political solution to the Israel-Palestine problem is destructive and harmful to everyone involved.
Watch this, and weep.
"Birds of Paradise" – Martyrdom Recruitment as Children's Entertainment
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Anyway, check out this video advertising for this conference and if you're in the area then attend and make some friends.
(The embed does not appear to be working so click over to YouTube and check it out there.)
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Abd-ul-Wahab was an incarnate whirlwind
of Puritanism against the prevailing
apostasy of the Moslem world. The sect which
he founded and which took its popular name
from him was a protest against Moslem idolatry
and superstition. It stood for no new doctrine,
but called back to the original Islam. Wahabiism
was an attempt at an Arabian reformation.
Yet so far from giving any progressive impulse
to the Mohammedan cult, it has proved the most
reactionary element in the history of Islam.
This purely Semitic and unique movement, with
all its energy, has produced nothing new; it
has been directed exclusively toward the
repristination of the old Moslem monotheism.
The history of the sect shows that a reformation
of the Moslem world by a return to primitive
Islam (in theory and practice) is an
impossibility, even when aided by the sword.
Samuel Zwemer, the Disintegration of Islam, ch 2. (p 77)
PS: As always, you can e-mail me at winterlightning (at) safe-mail (d0t) net
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
There is not one of Us but has his own position. Lo! We, even We are they who set the ranks. Lo! We, even We are they who hymn His praise. (37:164-166)
[Forbidden to you are] married women, except those whom you own as slaves. (4:24)
Women are your fields:go, then, into your fields from whicheaver side you please. (2:223)
Or in another translation:
2:223 Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him.
My annoted Saudi version of the Qur'an adds the interesting comment "as long as it is not in the anus," but surely that is not in the Arabic at all. The Arabic is not very difficult in this verse actually (unlike many other verses in the Qur'an). It basically says "however you want to" or "as you like."
Saturday, June 06, 2009
That is the only way.
Crete is beautiful, but getting here was really a pain. Well, at least I didn't have to pull my pants down at the airport this time (yeah, I've had to do that before). Pictures will be forthcoming, in sha' allah. But give me a while.
Blogging will be sporadic.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Hope you all are well. I will be enjoying Crete, in sha' allah.
Ah yes, in sha' allah. Just what does that means? the word 'in' makes the sentence conditional: IF. Sha' is the past 3rd person masculine for "to will" more or less. And Allah, well, I'm guessing you know who Allah is. Thus it means "if God willed it" but in Arabic the past tense in conditional sentences also applies to the continuous, making it both "if God wills it" and "if God will will it."
In practical parlance it can mean anything from "I hope so" to "maybe" to "I don't want to, but I'm trying to be nice about this" to "I have no idea" to "that's fine with me." Thus I have told a taxi driver "Turn right at the light," to which he answered "in sha' allah."
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
and that with the coming of the prophet Muhhammad a final stage of history
has been reached, is helpful for the development of a historical consciousness.
The idea of consecutive prophets creates a historical ‘spine’
to the nebulous mass of events in the world. On the other hand, the super-
human perfection of these prophets militates against writing a serious
history of these individuals; its basis is so unhistorical that it places
their histories outside the boundaries of critical scholarship.[...]
From John Stringer's recent article in SFM 5:3, June 2009, p 104.
An argument sometimes adduced is that the cause of the changed relationship between East and West is not a Middle Eastern decline but a Western upsurge—the discoveries and the scientific, technological, industrial, and political revolutions that transformed the West and vastly increased its wealth and power. But this is merely to restate the question: Why did the discoverers of America sail from Spain rather than from a Muslim Atlantic port, out of which such voyages were indeed attempted in earlier times? Why did the great scientific breakthrough occur in Europe and not, as one might reasonably have expected, in the richer, more advanced, and in most respects more enlightened realm of Islam?
What Went Wrong? The Atlantic Online, January 2002.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Articles I am particularly interested in are:
Bridger's article on Kenneth Cragg (one of my heroes)
Miller's article on "Cracks in the Foundation of Islam?" and
Stringer's article on the Qur'an's view of patterns in history.
And this is new: you can DL the entire journal as one PDF right HERE.
In LWP I am interested in the article on the future of Asian missions by Yung.