March 9, 2007

The "Burqini" - Shaken and Stirred

Hatched by Dafydd

A symphony of cultural symbiosis

This New York Times piece is a very badly written article that nevertheless reveals a very good development: There is life after jihad.

In fact, there's even surfing!

We're back to sunny Australia, where it's late summer/early fall, because they're on the wrong side of the globe. We're at Cronulla beach (in literary spirit, I mean, not our corruptible, mortal bodies), site of many previous clashes between Moslem "Lebanese" (mostly Palestinians, actually) and white, Christian Australians.

Our previous forrays into this neutral zone were:

The good: The point of the article is to show that moderate Moslems really can assimilate into Western culture without having to jettison their faith.

The ugly: That hideous lexiconic creation, the word "burqini"... as mutt-ugly as the word looks, its referrant is tossing a "life saver" to thousands of Australian Moslem women who don't want their religion to chain them to an old way of life.

The bad: The Times cannot help itself; it simply must whitewash the violent contributions of Australian Moslem hotheads and play up those of the whites, leaving the impression of "good" (Moslem) vs. "evil" (Christian).

One of the biggest impediments to Moslem women immigrants fully assimilating into their new culture is the modesty required by devout Islam for women's dress: They must wear the burqa, which covers the entire body, from the hair atop their heads to the ankles. While some women without question feel oppressed and burdoned by the burqa, others embrace it willingly, even eagerly, like Orthodox Jewish men embracing the yarmulke.

But every woman who wears the traditional burqa is constricted in movement and activity: There are certain things she simply cannot do while wearing a burqa... including going for a swim on the beach. The heavy cotton cloth would hamper her arm and leg movements and might even lead to drowning -- think of swiming while wearing an asbestos fire-fighting suit.

But no longer do... I mean, there's a new...

Oh, heck. On the rhetorical supposition that one picture is worth a thousand weirds, take a look; you see perhaps the beginning of a Reformation - Enlightenment of Islam:


Burqini (R)

The figure on the left is a man dressed in the traditional uniform of an Australian "Surf Life Saver," what we would call a lifeguard.

The figure on the right, believe it or not, is a girl dressed in a burqa.

From the Times:

Ms. Laalaa is a Muslim and has voluntarily worn the burqa, the traditional head-to-toe covering for Muslim women, since she was 14. It is hard to swim, she said, if your body is swathed in cotton, which is very heavy when wet.

Now, her clothing quandary solved by a novel fashion, the burqini, Ms. Laalaa, a vivacious 20-yearold, has become a Surf Life Saver, as volunteer lifeguards here are known, lured to the beach by a new outreach program for Australia’s Muslims.

This burqa satisfies the strict Islamic dress restrictions; the girl, Mecca Laalaa, is fully covered. Even her hair is covered by the bright-red sack-like protuberance at the top, and you can see that the yellow of the burqa-bikini, called a "burqini," unfortunately enough, comes all the way up her neck into the hair covering.

But this burqini is made of form-fitting spandex, and it's perfectly suitable for swimming. My guess is that the designer, a woman named Aheda Zanetti, got the idea from what contemporary Olympic swimmers wear -- full-body-covering Lycra (spandex) swimsuits:

Olympic High-Tech Swimsuits 1    Olympic High-Tech Swimsuits 2

New Olympic high-tech swimsuits

This "novel fashion," as the Times cluelessly puts it, is far more than just a cool way for young, faithful Moslem girls to hang out on the beach. It represents something brand new to Islam: the idea of creatively reinterpreting scripture to more easily conform to the modern world.

That was the stunning breakthrough Christendom went through from the early sixteenth century through the end of the eighteenth: first the Reformation, followed by the Enlightenment. By 1800, Christians had a completely different conception of their faith than they did in the 1400s and earlier. No longer was religion a totalitarian system, governing every minute of every day; no longer would innovation itself be a kind of heresy, something to arouse fear, or at least suspicion.

No longer was the material world to be considered nothing but a foul, oppressive punishment designed to purge sin from the spirit in preparation for the eternal afterlife. Yes, Christians still often pay lip service to that idea, even today; but they do not live like that, and that was the conceptual revolution.

At once, it became perfectly natural to invent labor-saving devices and systems to increase the general wealth of everyone. Hard work was no longer your "just punishment" for the inherited sin of Adam and Eve; it was just what you did to earn la dolce vita.

I have said for some time that the real solution to the problem of jihad was not for the West to annihilate all of Islam -- we can't; nor for the West to surrender -- we mustn't. Rather, it is for the West to encourage Islam to undergo its own Reformation-Enlightenment. Some (like Robert Spencer) seem to believe it's impossible; but they tend to use static analysis... they look at the suras of the Koran and say 'it's not possible to interpret that any other way than violence and terrorism,' because (after all) that's how they always have been interpreted.

Such static critics need an injection of creativity, or they need a Hollywood lawyer (preferably one who has litigated the Talmud). It's always possible to interpret even the most restrictive proscription in a way that makes it easier to live with, and easier to accomodate to modernity. You just have to think hard enough.

If the burqini catches on, it might spark other accomodations. Those accomodations, no matter how small, are the first cracks in the dam; and eventually, the sea of modernity will flood the low valleys of religious fundamentalism.

All right, so we've been through the ugly (the word "burqini") and the good (the burqini concept itself). Now for the bad...

In our previous posts, we discussed the long, escalating tensions between the Lebanese-Palestinians who immigrated to Australia (they or their children) and the white Australians, whose ancestors immigrated to Australia a long time ago (and often involuntarily) What follows is lifted from our earlier article, Riot Boyz Clash, So No Bikini Atoll, linked above:

December 11th is the first-year anniversary of the infamous Cronulla riot, which began on Cronulla Beach in New South Wales, near Canberra.

A riot in Australia? I never heard about that!

Evidently, before the riots, beach-goers had been attacked and harassed for quite some time by "Middle Eastern youths" and "Arab youths" -- mostly Moslem Lebanese immigrants, or "migrants," as they're called in Australia.

According to the Wikipedia link above, a few days prior to December 11th, 2005, a couple of white Australians were assaulted by a dozen Moslem youths at Cronulla beach; one man was beaten, as was another man who tried to come to his aid; the attackers are said to have shouted "we own this country" during the assault. A few days later, three lifeguards were also assaulted and seriously injured at the same beach, also by a dozen young Moslem males (thought not necessarily the same ones):

On Sunday 4 December 2005, a group of male youths of Middle Eastern descent were playing soccer on a Cronulla beach when the North Cronulla surf lifesavers are reported to have asked them to stop, as it was disturbing other users of the beach. The response from the youths was: "Get off our beach. This is our beach. We own it."

Gerard Henderson, columnist at The Sydney Morning Herald, alleges that the surf lifesavers then provided the youths with "a degree of verbal provocation", and "reminded the south-western suburb inhabitants that they could not swim". Shortly thereafter three surf lifesavers (aged 15, 19 and 20) were confronted by initially four, and then later up to twelve individuals, and in the process were allegedly assaulted. Not all of those present were directly involved in the melee, and several of the larger group were reported to have attempted to break up the altercation.

Police later claimed that there was no apparent racial motive behind that assault. [Isn't it interesting that this is always the first thing they claim? But note that the police don't mention whether there was a religous motive behind the assault.] A teenager was later charged with assault in company occasioning actual bodily harm.

According to Wikipedia, these incidents (and likely the repeated claim that the migrants owned the country) ticked off local Aussies of "Anglo-Celtic" descent. Wikipedia goes on to say that the Australians heard "inflammatory comments" and some rhetoric that could be taken as racist by radio hosts Alan Jones and Steve Price.

The following weekend, more than 5,000 Australian activists showed up at the beach to protest against Moslem violence; but the party atmosphere soon morphed into a mob mentality, or so says Wiki. When a Middle-Eastern looking man was chased to nearby hotel, the actual riot erupted. Several Middle-Eastern looking people, without regard to their actual nationality, were attacked, their property vandalized. Even an ambulance was attacked.

That night and the following few days, "Arab youths" roamed the street, looking for "revenge" on the whites and sporadically attacking people and burning and vandalizing properties. The violence continued to December 15th.

At the tail end of a Christmas carols service at St Joseph the Worker Primary School drive-by shots were fired into cars and parents and primary school students were verbally abused by men described as Middle Eastern. Furthermore, a total of four Churches in Sydney's South-West were attacked during the evening. The Uniting Church hall in Auburn, which is next to an Islamic centre, was set ablaze about 1.30 a.m. (AEDT) on 15 December. Premier Morris Iemma stated that "it may be" linked to the ongoing riots.

That is our summation starting from Wikipedia, but reviewing every, single external link supplied in the lengthy article... which seems pretty fair-minded, as it doesn't whitewash anybody.

But contrast that to how the New York Times describes the Cronulla riots; ask yourself this question: What is missing from this picture?

The outreach was the response to an ugly episode on Cronulla Beach, about 20 miles south of downtown Sydney, in December 2005, when skinheads and neo-Nazis, many drunk and with racial epithets painted on their bodies and T-shirts, marauded through the area beating up Lebanese men.

Many here and abroad wondered if Australia was headed for a period of rising racial tension. The riots set off a round of soul-searching and left many Australians asking if the violence reflected an underlying racism in their society.

What's missing is quite obvious: The Times simply omits all of the Moslem anti-Australian provocation before the riot and all the Moslem retaliation after. It's as if it never happened.

That would be like describing the Pacific theater of World War II thus: One day, American bombers swooped down upon Japan and dropped two atomic bombs, killing 214,000 innocent Japanese. The end.

This is typical of the drive-by media. Before writing the first word, or even gathering information, the press already had "the Story": white Christians committing hate crimes against teenagers of the Religion of Peace™. They didn't bother digging to find out what really happened, because there was no need; they already knew. And if they accidentally uncovered something that just plain didn't fit, well, they might puzzle over it for a while; but then it will be dropped and forgotten, as a monkey would drop a magazine that was beyond its comprehension.

It's necessary, however, to truly understand how close to the brink these rival gangs danced... in order to appreciate how much better relations are today between Christian and Moslem at Cronulla Beach. So far as I know, there has not been any violent attack on either side since December 2005. Such a de-escalation shows that it truly is possible for ummah and Christendom to rub together without causing so much irritation that a riot breaks out.

What it seems to have taken, in Australia's case, was a fairly firm response by the police against both sides, driving home the point that they don't have to like each other, but they must learn to tolerate each the other... or cool their heels and heads in la calabooza. It seems to have worked; and how we have the burqini as some odd offspring of the two disparate cultures. Long live the half-breeds!

So the bad, the ugly, and the very, very good, all in one package. It exemplifies the Times' new motto: All the news we see fit to print!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 9, 2007, at the time of 5:08 AM

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The following hissed in response by: Tomy


The burqini hides only the woman's skin, not her body. In my mind its equivalent to driving 80 miles per hour in reverse gear in order not to break the speed limit. I don't understand, but it is only miniscule to what I don't understand about Muslim behavior.


The above hissed in response by: Tomy [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 6:25 AM

The following hissed in response by: charlotte

This post is an encouraging take on the baby steps fundamentalist Islam is taking... some places and in some ways.

I kinda want to say something about their choosing Spandex over Semtex, but that would be a might gratuitous... I'm convinced the more Muslim women can mainstream into western life, the better chance their communities have of moderating the extremism. Especially Muslim girls in school ought to be encouraged and maybe even required to join in public school activities with classmates without special accomodation.

Small example: I've seen African Muslim immigrant school girls unable to fully participate in PE or to use both hands in certain activities because one hand is always holding a scarf closed under the chin. Schools ought to be able to require clips or something so that these girls aren't hobbled from full participation.

The above hissed in response by: charlotte [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 6:36 AM

The following hissed in response by: Troll

Ms. Laalaa, a vivacious 20-year old, has become a Surf Life Saver, as volunteer lifeguards here are known, lured to the beach by a new outreach program for Australia’s Muslims

I certainly hope she doesn't have to save anyones life. SOMEONE IS GOING TO DIE!


Need rescuing? Would your first choice as savior be a woman wearing a parachute? It's going to take extra time for her to swim out to you and extra time for her to swim back.

As a Muslim, she's probably (I'm leaving room for an exception) not allowed to touch a man that isn't part of her family. Any other guy is going to drown!

She not allowed to kiss anyone that isn't her husband. Need mouth to mouth resuscitation? Probably are SOL here! And if she gives it to you... she'll be looking at an Honor Killing for her reward.

The above hissed in response by: Troll [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 7:34 AM

The following hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr

Dafydd, I'm not sure you understand the nature of the Reformation. Its purpose and effect was to "restore" (in some manner) primitive Christianity, not to conform to modern sensibilities. However, Christianity, unlike Islam, had a nonviolent, and even pacifist beginning. The early Christians interpreted Christ's words as requiring utter pacifism (a misinterpretation, I would argue, with disastrous consequences, which arguably caused the later state-run church/church-run state); the Moslems followed Mohammed's explicit example of conquest and plunder.

The Christian reformation attempted to restore Christianity to its primitive state (although few of them attempted any completeness); in fact, the Moslems are having their reformation right now, and it won't work because the primitive state of Islam is sustainable only by constant conquest.

What you want is not a reformation; it's a Counterreformation and Enlightenment. You want liberal scholars who will say that certain chapters of the Koran are overridden by others (actually not that liberal of a position -- the Koran overrides itself in other places), and we the people get to choose which parts override which other parts.

I personally don't see this working... I see it as being a more remote hope than "converting them all to Christianity" (definitely very remote!).

The above hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 8:05 AM

The following hissed in response by: LarryD

There are a couple of essays over at American Thinker on the original Islamic Reformation, starting in the 9th century. Since then Islam has contributed nothing to science or philosophy. Read the essays, and you'll understand why. A "moderate" Muslim is one on a path to becoming a non-Muslim.

Over at Asia Times, the writer who is know as "Spengler" believes that Islam, bound up as it is with Muslim traditional society, literally cannot survive modernity. Which is why the desperate war with the West now, they only have a generation to win it and reshape the world, or they are doomed.

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 11:46 AM

The following hissed in response by: Troll

Which is why the desperate war with the West now, they only have a generation to win it and reshape the world, or they are doomed.

Co-incidentally due to the modernization of the tools Jihadist's can use.
-Air and Ground Vehicles
-Cell Phones
-High Impact Explosives
-Nuclear Weapons
-Rocket Munitions
-Video Cameras

The Jihadists are able to export their violence and terror to places they would never have been able to before. Thus we may only have a generation to win and defend our world... or we will be doomed. Remember, I believe ISLAM means Submission... that's what their end goal is... for you to submit to their will, power and society.

The above hissed in response by: Troll [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 2:27 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


I don't mind the bigotry so much as the clear indication -- your "woman wearing a parachute" sneer -- that you didn't even bother to read the post.

If you can't read, perhaps you can at least look at the pretty pictures: Does the woman on the right look like she's wearing a "parachute" to you? Do you need to return to the optometrist and get your spectacles adjusted?


I believe you (and a lot of conservative and libetarian intellectuals) have made a classic error: You have confused reason with rationalization.

What drove the Reformation was not a desire to return to "primitive Christianity," because nobody in 1500 had the slightest idea what primitive Christianity was like.

We know a lot about that era today because of modern techniques of archeology and history; but the Europeans at the dawn of the Reformation hadn't a clue what, say, the first three centuries after Jesus were like (I would say anything after the apostolic era up to Constantine's legalization of Christianity is "primitive Christianity").

"Revival" or "restoration" was the way it was sold, not the real driving force: the way it was sold to others, but also the way each individual involved sold it to himself. "I'm just trying to restore Christianity to the way it was" really meant "I'm trying to change it to the way I think it should be," which was never the way it was.

Bear in mind, the Reformation did not occur in a vacuum: It arose a century after Renaissance Humanism first began to make inroads, and the two developed in parallel -- for all that the rival reform movements often denounced each other.

One major controversy of the Reformation, for example, was allowing priests to marry; Martin Luther himself married. But that was always a contentious issue, even going back to the early days: The Church was very divided during the primitive (pre-Constantine) period, with some scholars believing that most traditions allowed priests the marry; but it was never universal.

Some later priestly traditions allowed marriage (especially in, e.g., the Celtic countries); but these dated from the Dark Ages, after the fall of Rome, when those lands were converted, not from the primitive Christian era. Priestly celibacy had been a battleground going all the way back to the apostolic era.

The tradition that Jesus was married was scandalous even back in the 400s, when the Merovingian Dynasty was founded by the first King Merovee of the Languedoc people in what is now France: that was the "secret teaching" of the Merovingians, that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, that he escaped the cross, and that the Merovingians were descended from Jesus and Mary by blood (hence their claim to be "half fish").

You don't have to buy the claim (I don't, though I wrote a pair of novels about it -- long, long before Dan Brown wrote the Da Vinci Code, by the way). But the Merovingians believed it, and they also kept it a secret, because it was considered heretical.

If Jesus was very probably unmarried, St. Paul -- who actually did more to create the Church than any other person -- absolutely, unquestionably never married. And most priests and priestly traditions took their cue from him.

This doesn't mean there weren't traditions in the early centuries of the Church that allowed priestly marriage; but if Luther thought it was universal at the time, he was greatly mistaken.

What he did think, clearly, was that it should be universal in his time. And among Lutherans and later Protestants and such, it did become more or less universal (maybe there's some Protestant sect that opposes letting priests or ministers marry; I don't know offhand).

This is emblematic of what was really going on. The Church of that time was very corrupt. The Church had built up a large number of very restrictive rules that didn't seem to have much basis in scripture, or else were contradicted by other scripture. And a lot of people were just fed up with it, eager to follow anyone who promised to make religious life more bearable and more honest -- and more consonant with the rise of Humanistic ideals.

The movement to translate the Bible into languages other than Latin, print copies of it, and distribute them to ordinary people, was not only a blow against the priesthood, it was an early inkling of democracy. (It also sparked a great surge of literacy.)

But the real purpose was to take back the religion from the Church. All subsequent revolutions took more and more back, until the Englightenment finished the transformation. Without the earlier Reformation, the Enlightenment would not have been possible.

I think you yourself touched it with a needle:

You want liberal scholars who will say that certain chapters of the Koran are overridden by others (actually not that liberal of a position -- the Koran overrides itself in other places), and we the people get to choose which parts override which other parts.

That is a good description of the "transsubstantiation" that occurred in Christendom between 1500 and 1800. Life in the Renaissance was very different from life in the High Middle Ages, and our entire understanding of religion -- its role in life (ethics) and even its metaphysical component -- changed to accomodate the Renaissance style of living.

That is exactly what Islam needs; and there is no reason why it's inherently impossible -- Spencer (and "Spengler") notwithstanding.

"What Man has done, Man can aspire to do."


Over at Asia Times, the writer who is know as "Spengler" believes that Islam, bound up as it is with Muslim traditional society, literally cannot survive modernity. Which is why the desperate war with the West now, they only have a generation to win it and reshape the world, or they are doomed.

I have run across "Spengler" several times, and I must say I'm not particularly impressed by his putative intellect. He is a run-of-the-media columnist with no more special insight than has George Will or most of the folks on "Spengler" is not an original thinker; he recycles what others have said, usually without credit.

Robert Spencer makes a much stronger argument for this point; but even he falls into the trap of assuming that interpretations of various suras are carved in stone... when the whole point of the Reformation was that passages were creatively reinterpreted in order to arrive at the desired result... which is also a good description of how the "traditional" interpretation was arrived at in the first place.

Change the desired result, and the "interpretation" will naturally follow -- and will then claim to have been in the driver's seat all along.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 3:40 PM

The following hissed in response by: Nick Kasoff - The Thug Report

Burquini? That's funny. It's not entirely unlike what I've observed amongst some Pentecostal women I knew ... forbidden from wearing pants, some wore "coolats" (not sure of the spelling), which were a sort of baggy knickers. And, while they were forbidden from getting their hair cut, they were allow to have it trimmed. Well, there's trimming, and there's trimming. But hey, you could always tell the backsliders: They were the ones with shorter hair, wearing pants. Likewise, I'm sure you won't see any women in burquinis planting IEDs.

Nick Kasoff
The Thug Report

The above hissed in response by: Nick Kasoff - The Thug Report [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 4:53 PM

The following hissed in response by: nk

I am not too big to link you, Dafydd.

BTW Troll, the idea that a woman should hide even the outline of her body is an extremely small minority view among Muslims. As is the veil. Long dresses or trousers and head scarves, to conceal the skin and the hair, is the overwhelming rule even among the most devout in most Muslim cultures.

Also, I am Greek Orthodox. Married men may become priests in my church but they will not rise any higher in the hierarchy. Priests who were not married when ordained are not allow to marry afterwards. (Which makes for some pretty long in the tooth seminarians/deacons sometimes. ;) )

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 5:02 PM

The following hissed in response by: nk

Sorry. Blogger changed my link syntax when I titled the post. Let me try the link again.

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 5:11 PM

The following hissed in response by: Troll


I don't mind the bigotry so much as the clear indication -- your "woman wearing a parachute" sneer -- that you didn't even bother to read the post.

If you can't read, perhaps you can at least look at the pretty pictures: Does the woman on the right look like she's wearing a "parachute" to you? Do you need to return to the optometrist and get your spectacles adjusted?

I read the post and looked at the pictures in particular. I'm am saying the more loose fitting the clothing is... the slower you are going to be. Both of the guys shown in your picture (the 2nd man is a little far, but for my 10/20 & 13/20 it's not a problem aren't impressing me with their aerodynamics. Both look like they are going to be quite hampered by their clothing in the water. However, I did some research... everyone needs to wear shirts like that so they don't get sunburn. Also everywhere I looked on these sites, anyone that was getting INTO the water wasn't wearing them. Skimpy, shrimpy bikini's on the men and women everywhere (except two guys that were paddling in a boat; they were wearing the shirts).
This is a nice quote about the outfits...

"Loose enough to preserve Muslim modesty, but light enough to enable swimming..."

Yep.. that's what everyone is looking for from their lifeguard... enabled swimming!

Regardless of what they are made of (stated as being form-fitting spandex) the cloth here is not fully form fitting and is going to create drag... just like 'a parachute'. Don't believe me? Well I'll quote Mecca Laalaa's Surf Lifesaver trainer.

The group's trainer, Tony Coffey, says the burqini makes swimming more difficult compared with being dressed in a bikini or swimsuit. "It's the biggest hurdle the girls face. But we can't do anything about it, it's part of the deal. They just need more intensive training."

PS. My theory of her being in a position to save someones life isn't holding too much water... yet. She's a Lifesaver-in-training right now. The requirements are steep to just get accepted.

Before commencing training for the Bronze Medallion you will be required to complete a 400-metre swim in nine minutes or less, in a swimming pool of no less than 25m, or over a measured open water course. Once this has been completed, all clubs provide qualified instructors who will train you to the level of a proficient surf lifesaver.

At the completion of your training, which will take a couple of months, your physical fitness will be tested by a run-swim-run (a 200m run followed by a 200m swim and then another 200m run) which has to be completed in under eight minutes. You will also be examined on theory, basic resuscitation and first aid and participate in a simulated rescue situation using a rescue board and tube.

All these skills combine to train you to be an effective member of a patrol team.

Oh, so shut up you Troll! Wait... you can skip these important requirements if you are special.

Are there any other ways I can join SLSA without doing a Bronze Medallion? Yes. SLSA offers a wide range of awards to its members and the community.

For example, by gaining basic awards in radio operations, you can assist with patrol observation and communication duties without having to perform water-based rescues.

I'm a cynic... so I'm betting on special.

And NK she is hiding the outline of her body. She could have just bought one of these (official gear) and probably swam better in them as well...

She's covering her -ss with her outfit! Now that may not have anything to do with any customs or religion... she just might be doing what ~95% of women would do. But there is a picture of her in the official shirts (not her swim burkini) and her special swim outfit seems to be slightly longer. You be the judge.

The above hissed in response by: Troll [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 9:00 PM

The following hissed in response by: Troll

Well now that I can look at them both (can't while posting and I was too lazy to create a dual page to look at).. they are about the same length. I'll submit they are the same length for whatever that means.

The above hissed in response by: Troll [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 9:03 PM

The following hissed in response by: nk

Troll, you need a better browser. I know I do too, but the figure on the right definitely looks attractively feminine to me. Cheesecake is a state of mind. ^_^ ;)

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 9:40 PM

The following hissed in response by: Tomy

Daniel Pipes, in "Radical Islam vs. Civilization" makes this profound statement

Like fascism and communism, radical Islam is a compelling way of seeing the world in a way that can absorb an intelligent person – to show him or her a whole new way of seeing life. It is radically utopian and takes the mundane qualities of everyday life and turns them into something grand and glistening.
Utopian? Radical Islam is grand and glistening?

There is an explanation, and I draw on "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer" and Salafi Utopia: The Making of the Islamic State by Maryam El-Shall.

  • The process invokes a psychological defense mechanism which gives reprieve from the shameful "present".
  • Radical Islam looks to an idealized and mythical past and is convinced, that through faith, this ideal past life will be again. Rational thought is not part of the process.
  • The path to this new life is simple; one must only follow, and enforce the rules
  • America and Israel, and to a lesser degree the West, are impediments to this new life. Impedimants that must be taken care of.
  • The past and future are all that are thought of, the unwanted present is not of concern.

There is a benfit in properly scoping this problem. In coming to a conclusion that radical Islam is the result only of individual and collective shame for the present, we need only to implant an acceptable alternative to radical Islam. Any movement that can supplant the present for the future will do this, and perhaps Bush's vision of a free and united Iraq is a start. Nationalism is one example of a movement that could overcome radical Islam.

The above hissed in response by: Tomy [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 11:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bookworm

You've done a great job of bypassing the Times' fatuous coverage and focusing on the political and social implications of this story. I have to say that, all I could think of when I first read the times report was of Victorian bathing costumes, something I blogged about, with illustrations, here.

The above hissed in response by: Bookworm [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 15, 2007 8:39 AM

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