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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:03)

basta collini

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  • Arabs and the Olympics (Majid)
    • This is one of the most simple-minded opinion I have read on this column, and Dr. Cole, it reflects badly on you to select this drizzle as a must read on your blog. There are so many holes in this piece it will take so many books to list all its fallacies, but let me take a few of his points and try to make sense of this none sense. Mr. Majid tried to find some reason for this poor Olympic performance by the Arab nation by touching lightly upon several factors (again fallacies which I don’t want to touch right now because Mr. Majid needs to educate himself extensively on Islam and the Middle East before jumping to piece his half-baked opinion) but settled on the faith as the main cause of the problem. Let me directly quote the central point of his piece, “… the Arabs’ relationship to Islam needs to be reformulated for the times if they are to move ahead. They need to make a concerted effort to keep the spheres of religion and politics wholly separate. … Muslim-majority Arab societies need heretics, people who are not cowed by the fear of hellfire and the popular condemnations of moralists to nudge their fellow coreligionists out of their paralysis. They need to instigate a cultural revolution, not just a political one, if there is ever any hope for Arabs and Muslims to have a real place in contemporary civilization.” Mr. Cole, is this really something you find worthy of our attention to include it in your blog? Let me try to jot down some of the simple truths that come to mind immediately.

      1. Atheletic performance and one’s faith are not co-related, period. There is no evidence whatsoever that athletes were negatively impacted by adhering to the tenet of the Islamic faith. Akim Alajuan was a super-star basketball player who never skipped a day of fasting even while playing a very demanding game. Mr. Majid, just do a little reading on the power of mind over body and you will understand the process better. I don’t have a position one way or another if a Muslim athlete breaks his fast to compete in these games, the point is there is evidence that indicates that athletes who chose not to break it were not impacted negatively at all; they performed according to their ability.

      2. According to Mr. Majid, the Arab nations tally of few medals is a by-product of the religious baggage they are carrying. Ten percent Egyptians are Christians and there are another four to five million Arab Christians in different Arab nations. If Mr. Majid discounts the performance of the Muslims Arabs because of their faith, how do you explain that of the Christians? Even though nothing to brag about, how about the performance of Iran and Turkey, who earned 12 and 5 medals respectively? And how about the performance of India? With a population of more that 1.2 billion, ( which is more than four times the size of the Arab population – in fact, the Arab population is not 350 million, Mr. Majid. it is approximately 280-290) - India finished up with 5 medals. And I am quite positive, Mr. Majid, you know that India is the largest democracy in the world and its poor showing in the Olympics is not the result of the system of the government, but can we jump and conclude that it is because of their faith? Since you tried to make the Muslim’s faith the central point of your argument – “…Islam needs to be reformulated for the times “, would you like to brush the Hindu religion in the same way you did with Islam?
      3. Islam and Civilization. Mr. Majid, you tried to equate Islam with backwardness and you did not mince words to do that. I know we are in a time frame that the powers that be are trying hard to demonize the faith and attribute anything and everything negative in the world on Islam. And you are just one of the cogs in the wheel that is following the wagon and throw as much dirt as you can on Islam. All I can say to you about this matter is try to open your eyes and get out of the shallow viewpoint you have subjected yourself to appease those who are bashing Islam. You talk about “reformulating Islam for the times” ignorant of the fact that it is Islam that brought light and science to the doorsteps of Europe when the whole continent was wallowing in darkness. I suggest that you read about the Abbasid, the Fatimid dynasties and the multiple Crusades that were sent to destroy Islam and we will start talking about world civilization. There are books that fill a whole library about civilization brought to you by Islam and I strongly recommend to you to just read a couple and that will be a start for you.

      Mr. Majid, you have said so much none sense in so short an article and it is time consuming to deal with all the junk. Again., let me repeat myself and say to you once more, try to learn and educate yourself before giving analysis that is based on false premises.

  • Greek Lessons for the Arab Spring: Majid
    • This is the most absurd and twisted historical evidence I have ever read in defense of Western civilization that undermines and denigrates the contribution of Islamic civilization to the world. Dr. Majid, you are a professor of English and I suggest that you stick to that and leave history to the experts. It has become a culture of the West nowadays to put down Islam and those who follow the faith and you are trying hard to fabricate history to jump on that bandwagon. You have attributed all human civilization to the Greeks and Romans without bothering to mention the first ever recorded civilization of the world, the Egyptians. I am not sure if you have read the book, Egypt vs. Greece and the American Academy by Molefi Kete Asante, and if not, please read it and familiarize yourself on who were the first people to establish human civilization..
      No doubt the Egyptians who built the pyramids were not Muslims, but certainly they were not Greeks, Romans or Europeans, the so-called cradles of civilization according to your opinion.

      The Greeks and Romans contributed immensely to world civilization and Islam’s contribution towards that end is not a history that should be ignored. As an academic, I have no doubt that you have read books on the golden age of Islam with its tremendous contribution on art, philosophy, science and medicine, etc. but chose to ignore that in your blind adulation of the west. Are you even aware that some the founding fathers of our nations who gave us the wonderful constitution were slave owners? Authoring a beautiful piece of paper does not make one a student and follower of democracy. Women and people of color were not considered human enough to vote in our democracy until recently and you chose to admire everything western, warts and all, without mentioning any of its weakness. I would have said a lot, but I believe even professors have to learn before they try to teach.

      Dr. Cole, I have a great deal of respect for your thoughts and I read your column very often, but I suggest you should be very careful in selecting guest writers who are worth reading.

      Ilias

  • Alimagham: What Egypt & Tunisia Tell us About Iran
    • The Iranian revolution of ’79 was not engineered and led by ayatollahs; it was a popular revolt against the Shag involving all sectors of society. But the section of the people with a strong organization happened to be the ayatollahs’ and they came to power easily convincing the populace as the only option to any other. Although it is very premature to state with any certainty the path of the Tunisian, Egyptian and other revolutions in the region, it is almost a given that the same line of thinking will hold true in these instances; that those who have the organizational strength will have an upper hand in the final outcome of these events. I will mot be surprised if the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt have a strong representation in the parliament in the promised coming election if the process in not compromised. The Shia and Sunni schools of Islam are fundamentally different from one another and one should obviously not expect the final outcome of the revolution in Egypt to be similar to that of Iran, but the strong role of the MB in the future is not something to dismiss out of hand. Just to stress the fact these regional upheavals are instigated and led by the youth is not an all inclusive analysis because the final outcome in regards to the leadership could be much different from what the original group of leaders had in mind.

      The ayatollahs’ in Iran know a thing or two about how to take control of a revolution and stay put in power and we should take note when they give council to the people of the regions. Even though we can only speculate on the percentage of the population than can lend ear to the advise of the ayatollahs and take them seriously, we should not take their views lightly because of the role the Iranians played in the region in recent decades siding with the aspirations of the Palestinians and making fools of the major Arab regimes in the region. Even though what we see in the Middle East is fundamentally an upheaval mainly about the economic difficulties (isn’t every revolution about the economy?) it is a no-brainer that the region’s politics is a major concern for the Arab and Muslim masses. No matter how the MSM and the talking heads in our nation make light of the Palestinian issue in these events and sometimes dismiss it outright as none issue, I believe the ayatollahs’ are very much in synch with the people in regards to its importance. The majority of the world and Muslims particularly were against the Israeli war in Lebanon and Gaza and everyone knows which country in the ME was solidly behind those who were fighting the incursion. The Shia Nasrallah of Hezbollah was the most popular figure in Sunni dominated Egypt and, I guess much of the region in 2006 during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. And we all know that Iran was its main backer. In short, I don’t think the populations of the ME see Iran in the same light as they see their own governments. Yes, the revolting public might not want a version of the ayatollahs replacing their current regime, but they remember vividly the role they played in the region vis-à-vis Israel and I bet the people do not regard them as their enemy. In fact, what the people remember clearly is the role our nation played in the region during those trying times siding with Israel and the role it is still playing now showing more concern about the stability of the region rather than the welfare of these masses.

  • Top Five Myths about the Middle East Protests
    • I was watching Bill Maher yesterday and jumped out of my seat when he started blubbering about the ordeal of the CBS reporter. This was the guy I had most admired in the MSM about his views in general and you can imagine my indignation when he started showing his true color when it comes to his understanding of other cultures. It needs to be said and let me add some of my views in regards to what happened to Lara Logan.

      Although I do no know the details of what happened to Lara Logan, it happened in atmosphere of a revolution and at a time when the authorities let loose the hooligans to attack the protesters and foreign journalists. Judging from the peaceful nature of the revolution in Egypt (because there was no major criminal incidents that occurred in those 18 days except for the action of the authorities who tried every trick on the book), there is no reason to think that this action was perpetrated by anyone of the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets; the incident had all the markings of the action of the security forces which we have all witnessed inflicted live against the protesters. And everyone by now heard that many journalists were roughed up by the authorities and beaten by the thousands of hooligans they unleashed on the demonstrators.

      When one of the host on the show, Tavis Smiley, tried to argue and teach this Neanderthal a lesson about sociology, Bill Maher went on to read a news article about how a head of a Muslim family in the U.S. beheaded his wife because of some misunderstanding. And because of these two incidents, he was making generalizations about how all Muslims men oppress their women and that the liberation of women should precede everything in Muslim countries for the entire society to enjoy democracy and freedom. And at that point, I abandoned every respect that I had for this person and made a decision not to watch his show anymore. Even during the very few times I had the misfortune of watching FOX news, I never came across such a blatant and racist comments as I have witnessed watching Bill Maher yesterday. How can someone in his position be so ignorant about an issue and makes his hate about Muslims bare for everyone to see?

      Our nation has come a long away in a mere century when half of the population (women) and African Americans were denied full citizenship and the right to vote. Ours was a nation where slavery was the order of the day while Paris was burning yearning for Liberté, égalité, fraternité and none of us have the moral authority to judge and put condition (there is no freedom in Muslim countries until women are free from their husbands – Bill Maher) in the struggle of other people except to lend our moral support because none of us free when some of us are under oppression.

      The other point Bill Maher willfully forgot in his argument but Juan Cole repeatedly mentions in his blog is the commonly held belief that all Muslim nations are dictatorship. Although we may not like the type of democracy they are practicing, there hundreds of millions of Muslims living in democratic societies where the people can vote, elect and be elected such as Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India (where 14 percent of the population is Muslim) . In fact, majority of Muslims live in democracies except for a notable exceptions of Arabs and much of Africa. Folks such as Bill Maher should make a note of educating themselves about other cultures before teaching others about values of freedom. And we should remember that no one has a monopoly on either human values or virtues.

  • The Speech President Obama Should Give about the Iraq War (But Won't)
    • Thanks for putting everything in black and white. This would be a death blow for the Republicans to admit and no such thing will see the light of day. But more importantly, this speech will not be delivered by Obama for some obvious reasons.

      1. As it is, Obama is falsely accused by the right for being a Muslim (as if there is anything wrong with being one), for being born in Kenya, for being a socialist, communist, Nazi, etc. If he was to deliver the message you wrote, I can not even imagine the reaction from the right, and maybe to an extent from the conservative left. Sadly, a good portion of the population will never accept the construct you laid down although the majority of the world knows the facts from day one.

      2. I am not totally convinced that Obama shares your opinion. I have voted for the guy but I am regretting my actions ever single day. Every action he took so far is evidence that he is not ruling from the center, but from the right. He has been busy trying to appease the right (despite the rights’ total condemnation of his actions) from day one. I would not in a million years expect Bush to deliver this message, but Obama is not that different from him; yes, he knows how to campaign and do the talk, but not the walk. His low ratings are not the result of the work by the right because they never voted for him anyway; it is the outcome of the dissatisfaction of the center and the left that voted for him.

      basta

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