Israeli Jews oppose banning minarets

We all know about that ridiculous minaret ban approved in Switzerland late last year. While I oppose Islamic law and Islamism being propagated in Europe, as I support freedom both from and of religion, I oppose government bans on building a religious structure.

But what about those imperialist racist colonial Muslim-oppressing Israelis, who like the imperialist capitalist West engage in the "War on Islam?"

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Youssou N'Dour, "I Bring What I Love": An elegaic meditation on faith, Islam and music

Cross-posted at River Twice Research.

President Obama's speech in Cairo last week as well as the candid and heated debates in Iran during its contentious presidential election provide yet another opportunity to revisit the sterile images of Islam that dominate the discussion both in the West and throughout the Muslim world as well. That discussion is framed by Muslim terrorists or extremists on the one hand squaring off against secular but resentful populations on the other. That is one facet of a kaleidoscope, a potent one but in no way the only one.

If there's any doubt on that score, a new documentary focusing on the career of Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour should dispel it utterly. "I Bring What I Love" is an elegiac, beautiful film, years in the making, and it will start playing in New York this week and then in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Like all documentaries, it will be dwarfed by the summer blockbusters that surround it, but this film deserves an audience.

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What Planet Is He On?

(cross-posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

On the way to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia the New York Times is reporting that President Obama told Laura Haim on Canal Plus, a French television station, that the "United States also could be considered as 'one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.'"

This comment, predictably, has set off some controversy. Case in point is Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch, who asks "what planet is he on?" Answers Mark Leon Goldberg,

I'm guessing "earth." Because according to the Pew Research Center, there are an estimated 2.35 million Muslims in Amerca.  This means that if the United States were a member of the 57 nation Organization of the Islamic Conferences it would rank, in terms of Muslim population, above Albania, Kuwait, Brunei, Benin, Togo, Djbouti, Suriname, Gabon, Gambia, Guyana, Guinea-Bissau, Comoros, Qatar, Lebanon, and the Maldives.

Obama went on to say:

"What I want to do is to create a better dialogue so that the Muslim world understands more effectively how the United States, but also how the West thinks about many of these difficult issues like terrorism, like democracy, to discuss the framework for what's happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and our outreach to Iran, and also how we view the prospects for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,"


"I think the most important thing I want to tell young people is that, regardless of your faith, those who build as opposed to those who destroy I think leave a lasting legacy, not only for themselves but also for their nations.  And the impulse towards destruction as opposed to how can we study science and mathematics and restore the incredible scientific and knowledge -- the output that came about during centuries of Islamic culture.

After 8 years of clumsy buffoonery - I guess this is what real diplomatic efforts look like.

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Progressive Democrat Issue 213

I have recently joined the co-op board of my building. It was a contested election, so I was a bit surprised to have gotten elected. But it is a tough position since many shareholders in the building are unhappy with how things have been run and are expecting new board members like me to make things better. Not sure I can do much better than the past board members, but I do think it is important to try. And that means I may have to cut back somewhat on the effort put into this newsletter. More on that below.

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Geert Wilders: The Next Prime Minister of the Netherlands?

As many of you may know, Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician, and one who constantly speaks out against what he sees as the "dangers" of Islam. He has been issued a fatwah,been indicted in Jordan been banned in the UK, and is under 24/7 police protection. Recently, he has been doing the interview circuit, from O'Reilly, National Press Club, UAC, etc. he was even invited to speak to the Capitol by AZ Sen. Jon Kyl.

He has released a movie called "Fitna," in which he compares Islam to Nazism, but shows shocking footage of anti-Western bigotry. However, many fear that his tactics create more bigotry against the West, by fanning the flames of Islamic resentment against the West.

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