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Total number of comments: 4 (since 2013-11-28 16:50:20)

Phil Paine

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  • Omar Khayyam (71)
    • Shiraz when spring is here - what pleasure equals this?
      With streams to sit by, wine to drink and lips to kiss,
      With mingled sounds of drums and lutes and harps and flutes;
      Then, with a nice young lover near, Shiraz is bliss.

      -- Jahan Khatun (a fourteenth-century poetess), translated by Dick Davis

    • The Islamic Caliphates's conquest of the Persian Empire (637-642 A.D.) led to a slow conversion of the bulk of the population to Islam over the next few centuries. However, Persian culture is not Arab culture, and never has been. Iran was a prodigious producer and consumer of wine for thousands of years before the arrival of Islam, and it remained a beloved part of Persian life long after. The Safavid poets customarily celebrated the glories of wine, and epicurians delighted in knowing the best vintages. While there was always a faction among the pious who rabidly denounced it, most Iranians have usually considered this attitude fanatical --- and not very Persian.

      When you drink a bottle of Shiraz, even if it is grown in Australia or California, rather than the Iraninan province of Shiraz, you are continuing this glorious tradition.

  • The Rumors of Multiculturalism's death Are Exaggerated (Against Merkel)
    • Spot on. A couple of centuries of absorbing immigrants has taught us Canadians that most complaints about immigrants not assimilating are idiotic. People arrive here, and some can quickly pick up a new language, while others can't. Kids absorb things quickly, adults with more difficulty. Granny, dragged along by the family, can't seriously be expected to learn a lifetime's worth of new stuff. Whatever they chose, it's their own business. It doesn't bother me if somebody prefers cricket to hockey, or if they walk around in sari. Why should it? Only a meddling nosy-parker would concern themself with such things. We don't have any Canadian ideology that demands conformity in "culture". Instead, we prefer to believe that the freedom of the individual to live as they please IS the defining characteristic of our culture. And on that basis, we have built a pretty nice society. As the recently elected mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, has written: "We want to live in cities that are intersections of the world. Immigrant and ethnic presence in city neighbourhoods does not threaten our identity; rather, it encourages us to engage in new experiences and creates a healthy tension that challenges us, forces us to re-examine ourselves and helps foster innovation." This view is pretty much the consensus. Attempts by crackpots to drum up anti-immigrant sentiment invariably fizzle out quickly. Until European nations learn this lesson, they will always be skirting the edge of barbarism.

    • It is not the State's proper business to make people "assimilate" to anything. Any society that allows the State to tell people what they can wear, for example, is a society of primitive savagery.

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