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Cry Me A Riverbend II

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What's the Deal with Muslims and Pigs

Cropped image from Cox&Forkum

I realize that pigs are unclean in Islam, but...well, lets start with this event:
Police Investigate Ham Incident At School

April 19, 2007

LEWISTON, Maine --Police are investigating as a possible hate crime an incident in which a ham steak was placed in a bag on a lunch table where a group of Somali students were sitting.

A Lewiston Middle School student was suspended after the incident, which happened April 11.

Superintendent Leon Levesque said the incident is being treated seriously and police are investigating. The center for the Prevention of Hate Violence is working with the school to devise a response plan.

The incident is the second of its kind in Lewiston in recent months. Last summer, a man rolled a pig's head into a mosque in Lewiston, which has a large Somali population. A court later ordered the man to stay away from the mosque.

Here is an article in the local Lewiston newspaper, which I think places the incident in a larger context of harassment toward the Somali students based on their religion.

Still, how an act can be a "hate crime" if it wouldn't be a crime at all otherwise is beyond me, but I never understood hate crime laws anyway.

Which brings me to the question of Muslims and pigs. Why is it that people from Islamic cultures so famously can be so gulled by pigs and pig by-products. Ham is also forbidden to Jews as well, but only for eating. No one would think to offend a Jew with a pig. He would use symbols like swastikas that carry an underlying threat of violence. There isn't the notion that Jews become unclean before God because a pig (or a pig effigy) is near them.

I offer the famous British Piglet ban.

In Texas, a Muslim congregation built a mosque next to a pig farm and then tried to drive the farmer away. So he responded by holding pig races every Friday.

These are a few among many minor incidences (we'll leave aside for now the major ones) that founds the bias among Westerners that people from Islamic cultures are irrational (that they attach a magical import to symbols and offenses), and treat them appropriately ("Don't offend them, they might kill someone.")

If I'm missing a larger issue, I sure wish someone would point it out to me.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Contrary To What You've Been Hearing: The Pro-Iraq Forces Have Regained the Initiative

...or so says The Weekly Standard (hattip Gateway Pundit).

Scroll to the end of the article to read about the inflated media reports of the lack-luster crowds of Sadrite protesters.

On murder-suicide bombings:
The mass casualty suicide attacks, which have incited the Shia population to support sectarian violence in the past, have been absent from Baghdad since an attack at a Shia market on March 29th. Al Qaeda has conducted several attacks in the provinces, most notably a chlorine gas suicide strike in Ramadi and conventional suicide bombings in Kirkuk and Khalis. The Ramadi attack, the eighth chlorine attack in Anbar province, was another attempt to break the Anbar Salvation Council, a grouping of Sunni tribes and former insurgent groups opposed to al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq. The Khalis strike was intended to stir up sectarian violence in the mixed Sunni-Shia province of Diyala, while the Kirkuk strike was an effort to pit Kurds against Arabs in the contested and oil rich northern city.

On jihadis and insurgents:
The Baghdad Security Plan has resulted in the death or capture of three senior al Qaeda operatives over the past week.

Diyala Mission:
Multinational Forces Iraq deployed a Stryker Battalion to Baqubah, the provincial capital, and since has been conducting a series of targeted raids, clearing operations, search and destroy missions and some permanent presence missions in the Diyala River Valley north of the city. The latest operation resulted in 30 terrorists killed and another 28 captured. The raids also uncovered an al Qaeda in Iraq training facility and 25 weapons caches.

Western Iraq Mission:
In Mosul, over 179 insurgents were captured and eight killed during operations over the past week. Violence in Niwena province has increased since U.S. and Iraqi forces shifted towards Baghdad. In Anbar, Iraqi and Coalition forces are pushing outward from the larger cities and towns into the rural farmlands that snake along the Euphrates River Valley.

Shi'a Militia Busting:
Operations are ongoing in Diwaniyah, where elements of Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army fled after the announcement of the Baghdad Security plan. The split in Sadr's Mahdi Army has left a large segment of that group looking to reconcile with the Iraqi government. The extremist elements of the militia have reestablished themselves in Diwaniyah, and security in the city is said to have been deteriorating ever since. The Iraqi government and the Coalition are pursuing the Mahdi Army holdovers remaining in Diwaniyah. Thirty-nine Mahdi fighters have been captured since the operation began on April 6, and several have been reported killed.

CMAR II says "Check it out".


Greyhawk @ Mudville Gazette posts on how the Iraq Liberation Critics have been rooting for the failure of the Iraq mission from the beginning

Like a child re-reading her Wish List on Christmas Eve, those opposed to the Iraq mission (for no other reason than that it was Dubya's idea) have been predicting it's failure almost from the moment of commencement.

Greyhawk cites a long list of prominent reporters declaring the battle for Iraq lost within days of the start of the fighting.

Incidentally, it didn't start with Iraqi. NY Times columnist, R.W. Apple, declared Afghanistan a "quagmire" within three weeks of US soldiers arriving on the field of battle. That was October 31, 2001...SEVEN WEEKS after 9-11.

The following is probably my favorite part of the post . Greyhawk cites a March 2003 post by a "peace activist" entitled 'Bush Wins': The Left's Nightmare Scenario

But this outcome is less likely than many assume, and the antiwar movement would be well advised to plan for a third scenario: "Bush Wins."
In order to prevent such an eventuality, the movement needs to work overtime now to inoculate the American people against...the "mirage" of democracy that will likely be planted in Iraq after a short war.
Even more discouraging, when I asked a senior organizer why the movement doesn't expand the focus of protests to include regimes like Sudan's, which is prosecuting a decade-long war of slavery and genocide, she replied that she feared President Bush would agree with protesters, and use their arguments as a pretext to invade Sudan next.
That's right. Remember those complaints that deposing Saddam was hypocritical because he was not the "most evil" dictator in the world? Well, don't suppose that meant the people saying that actually wanted anything done about those other evil tyrannies. It was just a ploy.

It's past time to question the patriotism of the American detractors of the war against Islamofascism.

Anyway, check out Greyhawk's post.

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Iraq Shi'a Cleric Campaigns for Secular Governance

IraqPundit posts on a Shi'a Cleric Iyad Jamaleddin. His POV is no surprise if you are familiar with Ayatolla Sistani's Shi'a branch that believes imams should not be involved in politics.

"not because I'm against religion, but because I want to safeguard religion. Some politicians ask me how could you say such things while you're a clergyman. It's because I'm a clergyman that I want to defend my religion."

IraqPundit notes:
Jamaleddin, who praises the virtues of dance and soccer (unlike Al Sadr, who regards soccer as a Zionist plot), believes that Iraqi secularism was reflected in the national reaction to the Iraqi singer, Shada Hassoun. Her recent triumph on "Star Academy," the Arab world's version of "American Idol," was wildly celebrated by all Iraqis regardless of sect.

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Pro-Iraqi Forces Bust Rival Shi'a Gangs in Diwaniyah

The town leaders of a Shi'a town south of Baghdad requested help driving out the Mehdi Army (Sadr's gang) and the Badr Brigade who had each imposed Sharia law.

This could have something to do with Sadr's desperate ploy yesterday to call for attacks on US troops on the anniversary of Saddam's fall.

heh heh...If Sadr wants the US out, he should return to Iraq from Iran and lead the fight himself.

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