I can’t argue with that

by Ted on August 18, 2004

1. Dan Aibel at Contrapositive reads the New York Times very carefully, and points out that it would probably be for the best if the city of New York took an interest in the cars that military recruiters regularly park illegally in Times Square.

To put it simply: If there are going to be 3,000 pound metal boxes parked in the middle of Times Square, they ought to be have an awfully good reason to be there. And they should be inspected regularly—whoever happens to own them.

2. Gary Farber discusses the same post from Bjørn Stærk that Belle pointed to below. My favorite part is this exchange at Winds of Change:

SDN: Don’t worry, Gary, when Jews fly planes into skyscrapers I’ll be hunting them too.

Gary: Yes, I know.

Two points possibly worth making:

a. This is one problem that we can’t blame Bush for. For all of his faults, he has consistently urged respect for the Muslim faith and world, and I’m grateful for that.

b. What is the intended end goal of LGF-ish anti-Muslim agitation? I certainly understand that there’s a lot to criticize. But those comments indicate a significant (?) vein of people who seem unwilling to accept that we’re going to continue to co-exist with Muslims. If this is engagement…

3. I don’t like illegal music downloading, but I’ve made my peace with mp3 blogs. This track, “Seeds of Life”, by the 70s Latin funk group Harlem River Drive, makes me want to quit my job and hit a cowbell for a living. Just awesome.

{ 9 comments }

1

belle waring 08.18.04 at 5:51 am

you should really get that CD, “Broasted or Fried.” Another good compilation is “Kool it: soul, funk and jazz go latin.” I updated my post to credit Farber, too, but thanks for pointing that out.

2

Dave 08.18.04 at 6:15 am

What is the intended end goal of LGF-ish anti-Muslim agitation?

There is a feeling among some that the West and Islam as it is practiced in the Arab world are fundamentally incompatible. Historically, I think there have been a number of precedents set that indicate some cultures truly are incompatible. Not all of those clashes involved Islam, or religion for that matter – just look at the Cold War.

I myself am skeptical about the Arab Muslim world’s ability to liberalize before a major (i.e., nuclear) confrontation with the West. Also, I think the further we go down the road we’re going down, and the longer regimes like Iran and Saudi Arabia foment and fund radicalism, the worse our mutual chances get.

I also find some of the tenets of fundamentalist Islam, as it is practiced, to be fundamentally wrong. The treatment of women, gays, and those who convert from Islam is atrocious under Sharia, and that’s not even getting into the obscene anti-Semetism (not just anti-Israel sentiment) that pervades the Arab world.

I’m sure there’s still a chance. We need to do less to antagonize Arab Muslims, but the greatest amount of social and political change has to come from them. It is simply not acceptable to have an undemocratic, theocratic society that violates the fundamental human rights of women and those practicing minority religions. And it is not acceptable to excuse these evils in the name of “tolerance”.

3

Dave 08.18.04 at 6:20 am

I want to make it clear – I’m not condoning the “Islam should be banned” stupidity. Most of the Muslims I’ve known have been liberal Muslims, with Western values. It’s not Islam that’s the problem, but Islam as it’s practiced in much of the Arab world.

Just as with abortion clinic bombings, and Ann Coulter’s position on environmental protection. It’s not Christianity that’s the problem, but rather Christianity as it’s practiced on the right wing of the Republican Party.

4

Katherine 08.18.04 at 6:50 am

Bush’s rhetoric on Islam has been fine, and even admirable at times. There have been a few missteps–not calling out Boykin; the unfortunate use of the word “crusade”, etc.

But their policies towards Muslim immigrants have done more harm to more people than LGF has yet succeeded in doing. Arbitrary detention for weeks or months, abuse in custody, deportation based on flimsy immigration violations and/or “violations” that are actually INS errors….all of it resulting in almost no useful intelligence or terrorism related prosecutions.

I read somewhere that we have deported more non-terrorists in sweeps relating to the war on terror than we deported “socialists” in the Palmer Raids.

5

lewy14 08.18.04 at 9:31 am

Ted,

It seems the link to Winds of Change that you posted was wrong.

The correct link to the Gary Farber post in question is here.
(http://windsofchange.net/archives/005386.php)

The link which you posted is to my latest Hatewatch briefing (which I would humbly recommend as well!)

6

lewy14 08.18.04 at 9:46 am

Ted, sorry, turns out I’m the one who is confused. Gary subsequently quoted from the comment thread in my post in his own top level post, which is the link I indicated above. Anyway, the link I posted is likely of interest as well. Sorry for the confusion. Going to bed. Now is obviously not the time for me to read about Spanning-Tree Networks with no 4-Cycles

7

Kildare man in Queens 08.18.04 at 2:43 pm

There is a feeling among some that the West and Islam as it is practiced in the Arab world are fundamentally incompatible.

I’m stating the obvious here, but the problem (for me at least, an Irish immigrant married to a laped/cultural Muslim) is that the crazies make no effort at all to differentiate between “Islam as it is practiced in the Arab world” and the Bangladeshi computer programmer, Algerian barber and all the other people they run across daily.

When the sort of “discourse” in the comments section at Staerk’s place becomes acceptable (even linkworthy!) you get the situation where when you mention your family celebrates Eid everyone in the office looks at you like you just farted loudly. Reading crud like that literally gives me palpitations and makes me want to draw my wife very, very close to me.

What people like Instapundit with his “we need more outspoken Muslims” don’t make allowance for is the obvious fact that most Muslims are dealing with the orange alerts, economic downturn and day to day crap that he and I are. They don’t have time to set up organizations or picket embassies or whatever the hell he expects.

Again, I’m stating the obvious, but if anyone honestly expected me to apologize for or agitate against the IRA or INLA or whomever I’d laugh in their face.

But their policies towards Muslim immigrants have done more harm to more people than LGF has yet succeeded in doing

This is very very true, and yet the notion that some of those LGF or Staerk commenters could be living on my block or working in my building upsets me a great deal.

8

Kildare man in Queens 08.18.04 at 2:44 pm

Feh, for “laped” read “lapsed” of course.

9

Robin Green 08.20.04 at 6:25 pm

[i]What people like Instapundit with his “we need more outspoken Muslims” don’t make allowance for is the obvious fact that most Muslims are dealing with the orange alerts, economic downturn and day to day crap that he and I are.[/i]

Yesyesyes – but the reality is, that the US is still a relatively well-off society in which dissent is tolerated and even encouraged, and therefore you have a whole bunch of activist groups on almost every major issue facing the world today, despite the constraints on ordinary people that exist. So there is a genuinely interesting and important question here: Why aren’t there any very visible liberal Islamic organisations in the US? (I mean liberal in the US sense of course – not in some bogus sense in which stoning homosexuals to death, chopping off the hands of theives, blaming women for being raped etc. are classed as “liberal”.) I’m not trying to be snarkey, I genuinely want to know why. I can think of some reasons of course – but not knowing much about Muslim culture, I don’t know if they’re correct.

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