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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Steps forward and back? 


Two stories from the Long War, both via Glenn Reynolds.

First, the leading clerical lights of Sunni Islam, who have declaimed over the years on an unbelievably wide range of subjects, have finally gotten around to declaring the genital mutilation of girls out-of-bounds:

The Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, the oldest and most highly respected institution in Sunni Islam; and the Grand Mufti of Egypt have released an official fatwa declaring the practice of female circumcision (also called female genital mutilation or female genital cutting) un-Islamic. The decision was made at a conference hosted in Egypt and attended by Muslim clergy from around the world.

Glenn writes, "Sadly, this counts as progress. But, you know, it does count as progress." I'm not willing to go quite that far. Yes, if a fatwa can reduce cases of clitoridectomy among the abominable bastards who perform it (and Christians and animists also do it in particularly primitive corners of the world), we should rejoice in that. I'm just not certain that this indicates a trend. The legal and actual circumstances of women in the Islamic world seem to have degraded significantly in the last 30-40 years, at least by reference to press accounts and as measured by Western standards. One random fatwa which denounces a tradition that is in any case a long way from the center of Islam is not necessarily evidence of progressive energy within the religion. Maybe I'm wrong, but this fatwa strikes me as "good," rather than progress, much like a winless football team finally winning a game over another easy team late in the season. The fans will at that point cheer any victory, but does it really mean the team will be better next year?

Meanwhile, in Paris, Pajamas Media's Nidra Poller examines the latest case of anti-Semitic violence, in which a mob attacks a Jewish soccer fan because the Israelis beat a French team, a black plainclothes police officer intervenes to defend the Jew, the mob attacks him, he draws his weapon, warns the crowd back, still they attack, and finally he shoots two of them. Violence, which is often claimed never to solve anything, undoubtedly saved the life of the cop and the Jew at the expense of brutal thugs who would beat them or kill them because their team lost a game.

Guess who languishes in jail? The French have an ever more curious sense of justice, and one that every American politician should consider before citing French approval or disapproval as a reason for doing or not doing something.

One final thought on the problem of soccer hooligans beating up on Jews and police officers: Doesn't it seems like a problem easily solved with the quick enactment of right-to-carry and stand-your-ground laws?

3 Comments:

By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Sun Nov 26, 09:42:00 AM:

Hawk,

Have you seen any confirmation of this:

"Followers of the militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took over state-run television Saturday to denounce the Iraqi government, label Sunnis "terrorists" and issue what appeared to many viewers as a call to arms."

or of this interpretation:

"I think this is an official declaration of civil war against Sunnis. They're going to push us to join al-Qaida to protect ourselves."

LINK

I've read that Sadr's pissed at Maliki for meeting with Bush. We know Maliki formed an alliance of convenience with Sadr for a period of time and that there are reports of Iraqi forces standing idly by while Sadr's militia burns people alive. If this brief alliance crumbles and Sadr insists on calling the non-combatants to war, it would certainly meet the criteria for civil war...

Yuck.  

By Blogger Kevin T. Keith, at Sun Nov 26, 04:52:00 PM:

One final thought on the problem of soccer hooligans beating up on Jews and police officers: Doesn't it seems like a problem easily solved with the quick enactment of right-to-carry and stand-your-ground laws?

Good thinking.

Obviously, what we need most is a mob of anti-Semitic soccer hooligans armed with concealed weapons and a legal right to kill anyone they think is threatening. That'll help.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Nov 27, 08:35:00 PM:

"If this brief alliance crumbles and Sadr insists on calling the non-combatants to war, it would certainly meet the criteria for civil war..."

If it means getting the Mahdi Army and other Shi'ite theocratic cockroaches into the lit streets, I sure hope so. Let us (and by us, I mean the US and Iraqi Armies) break these bastards in combat, and put an end to these perpetually retaliatory domestic attacks with the Sunnis.

The smartest thing they could have done was play nice until we left, and then make their bid for power. (which I assure you, they fully intend) If they want to do it while we still have divisions there, hurray. If Sadr and his little revolt are killed and broken, Iraq will have a much greater chance of pulling together.  

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