Bloggingheads Community

Bloggingheads Community (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/index.php)
-   Diavlog comments (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=9)
-   -   Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=5841)

Bloggingheads 08-22-2010 12:05 AM

Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 

ginger baker 08-22-2010 03:54 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Only in these dispassionate fascist times can a purported "mosque at GZ," by all accounts indeed moderate, remain a "debatable" issue. (How about some attention given to net neutrality?) The issue, like pretty much everything else, has been caricatured by the rabid right beyond recognition; and the feckless Democrats can't seem to talk their way out of a garbage bag to counteract. It is very depressing to see what the US is degenerating into....&, unfortunately, it will only get worse.

Always Cynical 08-22-2010 04:33 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Eli Lake says that he doesn't want to seem like a weasel regarding the Park 51 Mosque just because:

A. The project's organizers and Muslims have the Constitutional and legal rights (contract and zoning) to build the Park 51 Mosque at the site of the old Burlington Coat Factory;

BUT

B. Some 9/11 families really want the project's organizers and Muslims to build the Park 51 Mosque somewhere else.

So Eli's a yes on Judeo-Christian religious freedom and a well, sorta, maybe on Muslim religious freedom. Eli also knows that if he supports the project in the manner that he would endorse the construction of a synagogue or church at the site, he would forfeit his Magic Neocon Decoder Ring.

I'm not a Muslim. Not really all that religious. But I do believe in the God of Consistency Across the Board. I also scorn the Satan that is Hypocrisy on an Issue by Issue Basis..

Hypocrisy in this case, I suggest, thy name is Eli Lake. But let's forget about Eli. He's really not all that memorable.

Instead, does anyone care to specify the exact distance from the site of the former World Trade Center that a Muslim facility may be built? Why?

Does anyone care to specify the exact amount of time that must pass from Sept. 11, 2001 before said Muslim facility may be constructed? Why?

Perhaps 100 blocks and 33 years? Why?

Maybe three-quarters of a mile and 18 years, seven months, three weeks, two days, 49 minutes, and 14 seconds? Why?

Also, what type(s) of other religious facilities (i.e. Judeo-Christian, Hindu, etc.) may be built around the site in question? Why?

How many Muslim-Americans should have died on 9/11 to give Muslim-Americans the same status of Judeo-Christian Americans in society's respect for their religion, religious rights, family suffering on and after 9/11, and status apart and distinct from al Qaeda and Muslim extremists elsewhere? Why?

How far must said facilities be from the World Trade Center site? Why?

How much time must pass before these facilities may be constructed? Why?

Please provide specific numbers. Specific dates. Specific sorts of facilities. And, of course, the legal, ethical, moral, and Constitutional reasons for your chosen criteria.

Call Bobby Spencer and Mad Pam Geller. I'd appreciate their feedback as well.

See, that's the greatest thing about America and Democracy: On our turf, Democracy applies to all.

Took us a while with African-Americans and ladies (voting rights) to enact that fact, but we came around. That's why this is the finest country in the world. Everyone gets their say. Everyone gets the same rights. Everyone has a shot at life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the chance to view bad Super Bowl Sunday ads, and the duty to complain about his/her boss. Takes us awhile to realize these facts sometimes, but we eventually and always do.

Americans, we're not perfect. But we're willing to correct our mistakes and we're damn determined to make sure the little guy gets a shot. Fair is always fair. And right is not a political ideology. Right is, well, just right. For everyone.

Thank you.

Globalcop 08-22-2010 07:45 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Why no link to the McCarthy article in the diavlog links?

http://bit.ly/dAG0mt

Eli Lake 08-22-2010 10:02 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
I am baffled by Always Cynical's post. I explicitly say I don't care if the mosque is built, that I don't challenge the property rights of the Cordoba House project to build the mosque, and that people in free societies don't have a right not to be offended. I also say that those who limit their opposition to expressing that they are offended by the project are not practicing a form of bigotry. If the opposition to the mosque limits their activism to appealing to the organizers to find another location and not the state to block the project, then I see this as nothing more than the give and take a democratic society, and not evidence of a new cultural war on Muslims.

harkin 08-22-2010 10:30 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

See, that's the greatest thing about America and Democracy: On our turf, Democracy applies to all.
Unless you practice sharia law. [cough]


When is BhTV going to invite Douglas Murray on to talk about the effects of Islamification? Winston Churchill is dead, Christopher Hitchens is dying and Murray may be the last great voice of sanity.

'Potential traitors' to the USA Adam? How about traitors to their own people?

17,000 women are victims of reported sharia crimes every year in the UK, and this is called the 'tip of the iceberg'. The hypocrisy of the American left who jump at any chance to criticize Christians to turn a blind eye to the coming disaster of widespread sharia in the US is indeed 'problematic'.

The reason Major Hasan was able to gun down his fellow soldiers is that the political-correctness surrounded him provided a buffer of self-imposed ignorance on the coming murders (they seem to have implemented Adam's advice to 'leave it to the experts'). This willingness to ignore the obvious is criminal dereliction of duty. Now the USA is performing the same head-in-the-sand practice for the coming cultural wars. If you want to see the USA in the future with increased islamification, look to Europe.

Sweden was just ranked the best country in the world, really? Let's see how Adam's tolerance has worked in Sweden. Jews beaten on the streets of Malmo? I guess that's a victory for tolerance.

Belgium

Spain (and beyond)

This radicalization will be taught in many of the mosques built in the free world. Adam calls the response 'mob coercion', what about the problem?

opposable_crumbs 08-22-2010 10:32 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

I also say that those who limit their opposition to expressing that they are offended by the project are not practicing a form of bigotry.
I'm not sure that is true once you address the issue of why they are offended. Of course grief might make their position understandable, but I'm not sure it stops it being bigoted in some form.

opposable_crumbs 08-22-2010 10:42 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
On a side note regarding Auschwitz, the Catholic church constructed a series of crucifixes after they relocated, to which some groups still object.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_cross

student 08-22-2010 11:07 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
This just completely fails.

1. Al Qaeda isn't the Islamic equivalent to Muslims as the Catholic Church is to Catholics.
2. Being critical of the Catholic Church for it's active crimes in worldwide pedophilia is not the same as being critical to Muslims for sharing the same religion as terrorists.

Utterly foolish.

DenvilleSteve 08-22-2010 11:23 AM

it is an anti-immigration thing
 
I think native Americans are fed up with immigration as a whole. They are also tired of scheming behavior of foreign governments. As in, leave us alone, go away. Bring the troops home. The Navy and the Army. We had a nice society and now over populated immigrant groups are changing American life for the worse.

Immigration has to be stopped. or allow the native born to vote on how many immigrants to allow in every year. As it is, I think other parts of the world are way overpopulated and are incresingly dysfunctional. There is no chance places like Egypt, India and Pakistan will be able to run their economies on renewable natural resources. The more people the US allows in, the less we too will be able to provide our own needs.

DenvilleSteve 08-22-2010 11:28 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 176345)
On a side note regarding Auschwitz, the Catholic church constructed a series of crucifixes after they relocated, to which some groups still object.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_cross

What did the Catholic church have to do with the holocaust? I have never understood the link.

nikkibong 08-22-2010 11:40 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
How I wish that people like Sewer and Lake would stop viewing this Cordoba House through the lens of "families of the victims." Plenty of us who didn't lose family members were profoundly affected by 9/11, and continue to be to this day. There is universality in suffering.

I was not particularly impressed by Sewer, even though I often hear him singled out for praise. Obviously it's preposterous to equate the entirety of Islam with 9/11, but Sewer implies repeatedly that Islam and 9/11 have no connection. That's an equally if not more absurd proposition.

eeeeeeeli 08-22-2010 11:51 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Obviously people have a right to be bigoted. But how are these "victim's families who are offended by the mosque" not being bigoted. Does having experienced genuine loss and sorrow mean that holding a bigoted view is not an expression of bigotry? I mean, if I get my car stolen by a group of black gangmembers, and then blame all black people, is my bigotry OK?

A larger note: conservatives frequently complain about being unfairly tarred as racist. But this is yet again an example of them defending bigoted views. "I'm just defending people right to be bigoted", they say. Well, from who? Palin defends Dr. Laura's racism on 1st amendment grounds. Yet that was never an issue. Palin was expressing sympathy and solidarity. This is the same sort of sympathy conservatives have been expressing in opposition to the mosque, pretending to defend other's right to express bigotry, yet obviously harboring their own.

harkin 08-22-2010 11:54 AM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by student (Post 176346)

1. Al Qaeda isn't the Islamic equivalent to Muslims as the Catholic Church is to Catholics.
2. Being critical of the Catholic Church for it's active crimes in worldwide pedophilia is not the same as being critical to Muslims for sharing the same religion as terrorists.

Utterly foolish.

Utterly foolish is equating all crimes by muslims as perpetrated by Al Qaeda or the Taliban or Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood (etc etc etc).

"....the number of girls falling victim to forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the "honour" of their family is up to 35 times higher than official figures suggest.

The crisis, with children as young as 11 having been sent abroad to be married, has prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to call on British consular staff in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to take more action to identify and help British citizens believed to be the victims of forced marriages in recent years."


That's 17,000 crimes against girls and women, in the UK alone, and those are only the reported ones, where experts say approx 35 transgressions happen before they are reported.

"Commander Steve Allen, head of ACPO's honour-based violence unit, says the true toll of people falling victim to brutal ancient customs is "massively unreported" and far worse than is traditionally accepted. "We work on a figure which suggests it is about 500 cases shared between us and the Forced Marriage Unit per year," he said:"If the generally accepted statistic is that a victim will suffer 35 experiences of domestic violence before they report, then I suspect if you multiplied our reporting by 35 times you may be somewhere near where people's experience is at." His disturbing assessment, made to a committee of MPs last week, comes amid a series of gruesome murders and attacks on British women at the hands of their relatives."

One hopes you can open your eyes enough to see that these crimes against children were not committed by members of Al Qaeda but people that we are told are 'moderate muslims'.

harkin 08-22-2010 12:01 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 176351)
Palin defends Dr. Laura's racism on 1st amendment grounds. Yet that was never an issue. Palin was expressing sympathy and solidarity. This is the same sort of sympathy conservatives have been expressing in opposition to the mosque, pretending to defend other's right to express bigotry, yet obviously harboring their own.

You destroy your own argument by injecting falsehoods. Dr Laura never called anyone a n______. She used the word in context to show the double standard applied by those who accept its use by people of only a certain skin color. If anyone else dares use the word (according to the PC word police), no matter the context, they are racist.

In other words, you prove Dr Laura's point.


Looking forward to your condemnation of racial quotas.

opposable_crumbs 08-22-2010 12:05 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 176352)

That's 17,000 crimes against girls and women, in the UK alone, and those are only the reported ones, where experts say approx 35 transgressions happen before they are reported.

Why are you extrapolating an extrapolation? The article itself says their were only 500 people who reported cases.

chamblee54 08-22-2010 12:40 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
It is not every day when I agree with Eli Lake.
You are not required to have an opinion on every issue.
This controversy reminds me of the state flag debate we had in Georgia. It degenerated into a proxy fight over the white/black situation. The education system and infrastructure continued to decline, while people were upset over what state flag to fly. This is the sort of divide and conquer tactic the ruling classes have always used.
chamblee54

harkin 08-22-2010 12:41 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 176354)
Why are you extrapolating an extrapolation? The article itself says their were only 500 people who reported cases.

You are right - I should not have used the word 'reported' in regards to the 17,000. You make an even worse mistake by minimalizing the total to cases reported between only two agencies.

You also failed to acknowledge this:

"Former Bradford policeman Philip Balmforth, who works with vulnerable Asian women, said he saw 395 cases of forced marriage in the city last year. "I had a case of a 14-year-old girl at school," he recalled. "The teacher tells me that the girl claims to have been married. So I went along to the school with a Muslim colleague. We saw the girl. We asked her a few questions and we were not sure. Then the girl said: 'If you don't believe me I have the video at home.'"

"In Bradford alone, a total of 250 girls aged between 13 and 16 were taken off the school rolls last year because they failed to return from trips abroad. Campaigners suspect many were victims of forced marriages."


That's 395 cases of forced marriage and 250 vanished children in Bradford alone.

Let's see, 395 and 250 in one metro borough.............

I leave it to you to decide if the extrapolation reflects reality.

chiwhisoxx 08-22-2010 12:53 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by student (Post 176346)
This just completely fails.

1. Al Qaeda isn't the Islamic equivalent to Muslims as the Catholic Church is to Catholics.
2. Being critical of the Catholic Church for it's active crimes in worldwide pedophilia is not the same as being critical to Muslims for sharing the same religion as terrorists.

Utterly foolish.

Yes, it is utterly foolish, because what Al Qaeda has done also isn't remotely comparable to what Catholics have done, at least in regards to your accusations of A Grand Worldwide Conspiracy of Pedophilia. This meme annoys me to no end, because the rate of sexual abuse amongst members of the Catholic Church isn't any higher than amongst the population at large. In fact, it's lower. This surprised me when I first found out, but here it is:

http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/201...ase-sex-abuse/

The thing that is perhaps most surprising is the ridiculously high percent of kids who are abused, which is both surprising and awful. For the record, I have no vested interest in the Catholic Church, as I'm not Catholic, or religious at all for that matter. But I think this is a popular misconception that should be dispelled.

Anyways, you could argue that the Church should be held to a higher standard for a lot of reasons, namely that people place trust in the institution. And that's a good argument, but it doesn't change the numbers. One last post, that shows that the number of reported cases of sexual abuse against Catholic priests has plummeted in the last 30 years:

http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/201...tly-sex-abuse/

georgep 08-22-2010 01:46 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
maybe this comment need not be published but couldnt Eli stop chewing gum for the hour he is on air? It detracts from his usually cogent discussion.

TKS 08-22-2010 02:08 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eli Lake (Post 176342)
I am baffled by Always Cynical's post. I explicitly say I don't care if the mosque is built, that I don't challenge the property rights of the Cordoba House project to build the mosque, and that people in free societies don't have a right not to be offended. I also say that those who limit their opposition to expressing that they are offended by the project are not practicing a form of bigotry. If the opposition to the mosque limits their activism to appealing to the organizers to find another location and not the state to block the project, then I see this as nothing more than the give and take a democratic society, and not evidence of a new cultural war on Muslims.

Nonsense. Would you be equally sanguine if such a widespread and public protest -- with full throated support from the leadership of the Republican Party -- were directed at the construction of a Synagogue (or, rather, Jewish cultural center)? I'd be horrified and enraged, as I am in this case. Threats to civil liberties can come from any direction, from the government or from popular movements. It is enormously troubling that so much of the American citizenry does not embrace the spirit of the first amendment when it comes to Muslims. You're stance is not "there is no culture war." Your stance is "it's ok there's a culture war because "they" started it."

There are two sides, Eli. Those who believe Muslims should be given equal treatment by American society and should not be condemned as a group for the despicable actions of the violent few who claim Islam as their justification, and those who do not. I'd say pick one, but I think it's clear that you already have.

Don Zeko 08-22-2010 02:27 PM

Re: it is an anti-immigration thing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 176347)
I think native Americans are fed up with immigration as a whole.

I think they've already been fed up with immigration for a few hundred years. You know, what with the smallpox and all.

Unforgivableblackness 08-22-2010 03:40 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Eli's argument that there are people who "Just don't want the Mosque built two blocks away" isn't that bad or bigoted is asinine. Once you ask them why they don't want it built there their underlying reason is because they equate ALL muslims with 9/11 and with terrorism. So he's being extremely disingenuous when he says that and he comes across as a weasel.

Simon Willard 08-22-2010 03:41 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TKS (Post 176361)
There are two sides, Eli. Those who believe Muslims should be given equal treatment by American society and should not be condemned as a group for the despicable actions of the violent few who claim Islam as their justification, and those who do not. I'd say pick one, but I think it's clear that you already have.

Eli, this is how things are in the polarized comment section. You are either good or bad. And if not, the commenters will assign you a category for your convenience. A few of us try to inject nuance, but it's a losing battle judging by the level of noise here.

Unforgivableblackness 08-22-2010 03:43 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by student (Post 176346)
This just completely fails.

1. Al Qaeda isn't the Islamic equivalent to Muslims as the Catholic Church is to Catholics.
2. Being critical of the Catholic Church for it's active crimes in worldwide pedophilia is not the same as being critical to Muslims for sharing the same religion as terrorists.

Utterly foolish.

It does completely fail. but Eli's whole argument in favor of these people who are opposing the Mosque completely fails. It comes across as if he agrees with their opposition but too scared to come right out and say I too am a bigot who thinks all Muslims are terrorists.

rcocean 08-22-2010 03:48 PM

Re: it is an anti-immigration thing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 176347)
I think native Americans are fed up with immigration as a whole. They are also tired of scheming behavior of foreign governments. As in, leave us alone, go away. Bring the troops home. The Navy and the Army. We had a nice society and now over populated immigrant groups are changing American life for the worse.

Immigration has to be stopped. or allow the native born to vote on how many immigrants to allow in every year. As it is, I think other parts of the world are way overpopulated and are incresingly dysfunctional. There is no chance places like Egypt, India and Pakistan will be able to run their economies on renewable natural resources. The more people the US allows in, the less we too will be able to provide our own needs.

Strange, because you were just arguing in FAVOR of illegal & massive legal immigration in another thread. Something about "us native born property owners" making lots of $$$ off of immigrants.

I suggest people should stop taking your comments seriously. Assuming, anyone still does.

Wonderment 08-22-2010 04:13 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Your opinion is respectable, Eli. People have a right to build the Cordoba Center in downtown Manhattan and others have a right to think the location is a poor choice. (Personally, I think it's a wonderful choice!)

But ....
Quote:

I also say that those who limit their opposition to expressing that they are offended by the project are not practicing a form of bigotry. If the opposition to the mosque limits their activism to appealing to the organizers to find another location and not the state to block the project, then I see this as nothing more than the give and take a democratic society, and not evidence of a new cultural war on Muslims.
It's the context of the "Ground Zero Mosque!" uproar that is disturbing. The context is a torrent of Islamophobia coming from the right. Some of the most virulent comes from Andrew McCarthy whom you were not nearly assertive enough in rejecting.

McCarthy is the David Duke of Islamophobia (although his intellectual credentials are superior to Duke's).

That's where your coziness with right wing extremists hurts your reputation, Eli. You've been great at reporting on the militarism of the Obama administration. Keep your eye on the ball.

chiwhisoxx 08-22-2010 04:56 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 176370)
Your opinion is respectable, Eli. People have a right to build the Cordoba Center in downtown Manhattan and others have a right to think the location is a poor choice. (Personally, I think it's a wonderful choice!)

But ....


It's the context of the "Ground Zero Mosque!" uproar that is disturbing. The context is a torrent of Islamophobia coming from the right. Some of the most virulent comes from Andrew McCarthy whom you were not nearly assertive enough in rejecting.

McCarthy is the David Duke of Islamophobia (although his intellectual credentials are superior to Duke's).

That's where your coziness with right wing extremists hurts your reputation, Eli. You've been great at reporting on the militarism of the Obama administration. Keep your eye on the ball.

I would say Eli's credibility is just fine, despite your assertions of coziness with "right wing extremists". I have yet to meet anyone with an expansive a definition of "right wing extremist" as Wonderment. Which is somewhat ironic, because if extremist is judged by your relative place on the ideological scale, Wonderment himself would most certainly qualify as an extremist.

look 08-22-2010 05:02 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 176365)
Eli, this is how things are in the polarized comment section. You are either good or bad. And if not, the commenters will assign you a category for your convenience. A few of us try to inject nuance, but it's a losing battle judging by the level of noise here.

Nuance injector.

BornAgainDemocrat 08-22-2010 05:04 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Good discussion. To understand how an American-born Muslim might become a terrorist I recommend John Updike's novel Terrorist. It is an empathetic account inside the head of a adolescent growing up in a lower-middle-class burb of NYC. Basically a study in alienation in a multi-cultural, multi-racial, decadent milieu. Like Obama, the hero has a single, Irish mom and an absent African father, with some of the same complexes (though written years before Obama appeared on the scene). A couple of good sex scenes too. One of Updike's best efforts and very convincing.

TKS 08-22-2010 05:20 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 176365)
Eli, this is how things are in the polarized comment section. You are either good or bad. And if not, the commenters will assign you a category for your convenience. A few of us try to inject nuance, but it's a losing battle judging by the level of noise here.

Your "nuance" in this case is simply equivocation for the sake of obscuring a hypocritical position. Some issues are simple, and this is one of them. You are "losing the battle" here because you choose in your posts to make a petty swipe about message board decorum (and mischaracterize what I said) rather than reply with any substantive points at all.

Wm. Blaxton 08-22-2010 06:11 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Harkin cites Hitchens as an enemy of Islamification (which indeed he is, to his credit), but he fails to note that Hitchens has actually taken a position on this particular issue (see here), and that position is not the position of Cordoba's extreme opponents.

He's skeptical of Rauf, of course, but he describes the line taken by Gingrich, Palin, and the Weekly Standard as "part-pathetic and part-sinister"; describes Foxman's comments as "crass" and "incoherent"; says of Foxman's position that "nothing could be more foreign to the spirit and letter of the First Amendment or the principle of the 'wall of separation,'"; and concludes that "the way to respond to [Cordoba's] overtures is by critical scrutiny and engagement, not cheap appeals to parochialism, victimology, and unreason."

So yeah, this is exactly why I love Hitchens. I don't expect anyone to recall my previous comments on this site, but it should suffice to say that I have never distinguished myself as a defender of Islam, even in its 'moderate' forms. (See here, for example.) But it's possible to be highly critical of Islamism and Islam itself (including its Sufi varieties), and still observe that much of the opposition to Cordoba is ugly or stupid or both. On these issues, Hitchens can be bracingly direct and appropriately nuanced at the same time, and what's more, he can do it with very few words. Which is why I hope, but don't pray, that he lives as long as possible.

bkjazfan 08-22-2010 06:46 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 176374)
Good discussion. To understand how an American-born Muslim might become a terrorist I recommend John Updike's novel Terrorist. It is an empathetic account inside the head of a adolescent growing up in a lower-middle-class burb of NYC. Basically a study in alienation in a multi-cultural, multi-racial, decadent milieu. Like Obama, the hero has a single, Irish mom and an absent African father, with some of the same complexes (though written years before Obama appeared on the scene). A couple of good sex scenes too. One of Updike's best efforts and very convincing.

I second it, Updike's "Terrorist" is a good read. It's been awhile but he does a commendable job showing what makes this teenage would be terrorist tick.

John

AemJeff 08-22-2010 06:50 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wm. Blaxton (Post 176380)
...

So yeah, this is exactly why I love Hitchens. I don't expect anyone to recall my previous comments on this site, but it should suffice to say that I have never distinguished myself as a defender of Islam, even in its 'moderate' forms. (See here, for example.) But it's possible to be highly critical of Islamism and Islam itself (including its Sufi varieties), and still observe that much of the opposition to Cordoba is ugly or stupid or both. On these issues, Hitchens can be bracingly direct and appropriately nuanced at the same time, and what's more, he can do it with very few words. Which is why I hope, but don't pray, that he lives as long as possible.

I think this is a perfectly drawn distinction. Nice post.

AemJeff 08-22-2010 06:52 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by georgep (Post 176360)
maybe this comment need not be published but couldnt Eli stop chewing gum for the hour he is on air? It detracts from his usually cogent discussion.

He's a former smoker with a real need for a crutch, I think. I'd give him a pass on it.

rfrobison 08-22-2010 07:42 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TKS (Post 176361)
Nonsense. Would you be equally sanguine if such a widespread and public protest -- with full throated support from the leadership of the Republican Party -- were directed at the construction of a Synagogue (or, rather, Jewish cultural center)? I'd be horrified and enraged, as I am in this case. Threats to civil liberties can come from any direction, from the government or from popular movements. It is enormously troubling that so much of the American citizenry does not embrace the spirit of the first amendment when it comes to Muslims. You're stance is not "there is no culture war." Your stance is "it's ok there's a culture war because "they" started it."

There are two sides, Eli. Those who believe Muslims should be given equal treatment by American society and should not be condemned as a group for the despicable actions of the violent few who claim Islam as their justification, and those who do not. I'd say pick one, but I think it's clear that you already have.

Up to now I have studiously avoided commenting on the "Ground Zero Mosque" because it seems long ago to have ceased to have anything to do with freedom of religion or interfaith reconciliation, instead morphing into yet another silly left-right bruhaha.

But I wonder if you'd do a little thought experiment for me: Say that an evangelical Christian group (i.e. one that adamantly opposes abortion) secured a property across from the site of an abortion clinic that had been bombed, and where people had been killed. Assume further that this group had gone on record numerous times condemning the actions of the bombers.

Now imagine that they wanted to build a large church on this property to, as they saw it, promote reconciliation and pray for those who perform or undergo abortions.

Can you imagine a politically organized group of people coming together to oppose the construction of the church, and the Christians for their lack of sensitivity to the families of those killed, and maybe holding a demonstration or two to condemn the Christians for their "misogynist views," etc.? Would those hypothetical protesters be incorrigible bigots, in your view, or just people exercising their First Amendment rights?

uncle ebeneezer 08-22-2010 07:50 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Yup. Look, he even still reverts to old form.

look 08-22-2010 07:52 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 176383)
He's a former smoker with a real need for a crutch, I think. I'd give him a pass on it.

I don't mind it a bit, but since some do, maybe Eli would consider slapping on a nicotine patch an hour, or however long, before taping.

graz 08-22-2010 07:58 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 176394)
I don't mind it a bit, but since some do, maybe Eli would consider slapping on a nicotine patch an hour, or however long, before taping.

And since we likely have some vegans watching -- you know how steadfast they can be -- maybe Eli could renounce meat eating as well. Let's get the bhtv censors to rule.

BornAgainDemocrat 08-22-2010 07:58 PM

Re: Culture War on Islam Edition (Adam Serwer & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ginger baker (Post 176337)
The issue, like pretty much everything else, has been caricatured by the rabid right beyond recognition

And the rabid left, yourself being a typical example.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:18 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.