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Comparisons: ISIS and WBC, KKK

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- humor, comparison, elucidation, analytic necessity, apocalyptic, and the matter of the Mardin fatwa ]


For many Muslims, these two comparisons explain simply and effectively just how divergent from their understanding of Islam the jihadists are.

This in no way takes away from the idea that if we are to understand IS and AQ, we need to consider their nature as specifically “end times” driven religious movements.

For the point of divergence, I recommend Sh. Hamza Yusuf‘s comments on the “Mardin Fatwa” of Ibn Taymiyya, in this clip from his address in Oxford’s Sheldonian:

I’d be interested in further details / discussion on the Mardin fatwa topic.



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    Dabiq #2, follow-up post — punishment by Flood and Fire

    Monday, July 28th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- Dabiq issue #2 ends with a note about the Dajjal -- thus bookending the issue with apocalyptic references ]

    Hello Kitty's caliphate -- see below


    There’s not a whole lot more that’s distinctively oriented to the “end times” in the second issue of Dabiq, although as I noted in a comment on my earlier post today, there are in fact references to both flood and fire in “It’s either the Islamic State or the Flood” (p.6):

    Allah ta’ala said: {And We had certainly sent Nuh to his people, [saying], “Indeed, I am to you a clear warner. That you not worship except Allah. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a painful day.”} [Hud: 25-26]

    Ash-Shawkani (rahimahullah) says, “The sentence {Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a painful day} is explanatory. It means: ‘I warned you against worshipping other than Allah because I fear for you’. This sentence contains a true warning. Furthermore, the painful day referred to is the Day of Judgment or the day of the flood.”

    The word “or” in Ash-Shawkani’s statement above undoubtedly combines both items mentioned. This is because the punishment promised by Nuh (‘alayhis-salam) includes both the punishment of Hellfire on the Day of Judgment, and the punishment of drowning in the flood in this dunya. As a result, his people were ultimately afflicted by both punishments.

    Allah ta’ala said: {Because of their sins they were drowned and put into the Fire, and they found not for themselves besides Allah [any] helpers} [Nuh: 25] .


    The apocalyptic references I noted in my previous post and above are from the first few pages of the magazine. And once again, they are book-ended with a final apocalyptic reference.

    On the back page, page 44, the magazine closes with another hadith, this one mentioning the Dajjal — the end times Muslim “antichrist”:

    Again, the eschatological nature of the caliphate and its jihad is clearly implied.


    There’s much else in the magazine, beyond my remit to comment on — a section on the PKK, photos of the destruction of various shrines and at least one hussaynia, an interesting and lengthy discussion of mubahalah specifically including early theological debates with Jews and Christians…

    … and a certain American Christian named Daniel McGivern will, I fear, be surprised to find himself mentioned on page 7, in connection with his expedition to find Noah’s Ark:

    In fact, the people’s faith in these truths – in spite of their differing creeds – reached the extent that a wealthy christian businessman named Daniel McGivern was prepared to invest $900,000 to send a team of explorers to investigate a site believed to be the location of the ark of Nuh (‘alayhis-salam). All this was only because of a decree of Allah mentioned in His book, which He brought to pass concerning the ark. He decreed that the ark would remain as a prominent sign in the lives of the people.

    He ta’ala said: {But We saved him and the companions of the ship, and We made it a sign for the worlds} [Al-‘Ankabut: 15].

    Before I go, here are a couple of other odd notes.

    On p. 11, obesity is mentioned as an extreme symptom of degenerate Islam:

    On the authority of ‘Imran Ibn Husayn (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) who stated that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The best of my Ummah are those of my generation, and then those who follow after them, and then those who follow after them.” ‘Imran said: “I do not remember whether he mentioned two or three generations after his generation.” Then the Prophet added, “There will come after you, people who will bear witness without being asked to do so, and will be treacherous and untrustworthy, and they will vow and never fulfill their vows, and obesity will appear among them.” [Al-Bukhar? #3693 and Muslim #6638]

    And on p. 29, they’ve posted the same photo [see above, top] that drew amused tweets and blog comments earlier this month, along the lines of @sundance’s That Awkward Moment..

    when you realize that your badass jihadi boss owns a “Hello Kitty” notebook for his military battle plans



    Sunday hilarious surprise: Eric Metaxas and Canon Andrew White

    Sunday, July 6th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- if religion is neither your cuppa tea nor your hookah mixture, you can safely ignore this post ]

    Move over, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert — just this once?

    Both Eric Metaxas — who “wrote the book” on Bonhoeffer – and Canon Andrew White — sometimes known as the “Vicar of Baghdad” — are simply hilarious in this interview, if you’re interested and potentially amused by the intricate varieties of religious experience within Christianity. I haven’t had this much fun watching two real people talking with one another in a long while.

    And behind the delight, there’s more..


    You know me, I love echoes, symmetries, fugal restatements of a theme. I thought Canon White’s bizarre and engaging dialectics, both spiritual and ethnic, was worth a DoubleQuote:

    — but you really need to hear White’s deadpan delivery of those lines to fully appreciate the humor.


    Flight 370: or the search for a landing strip

    Monday, March 17th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- whose own quest is for a long-enough strip of reliable mental silence to land an original thought on ]

    Here is Foreign Policy‘s map of landing strips that Flight 370 might have used, offered with the caveat that as with a wiki, individuals may add or have akready have added spurious information or uninformed speculations at this point:

    You may of course prefer the greater density and spread of James Fallows‘ offering from The Atlantic — both are interactive, but Fallows’ version as formulated by Atlantic reader David Strip doesn’t allow you to add landing strips if your own devising, though “if you click on any of the individual dots on this map, you’ll see popup information about the site — runway length, location, elevation, etc.”

    Thankfully, someone at NASA was not satisfied by the “in the box” thinking for which Google is renowned, raised their scopes to the heavens and looked “outside the planet”:



    In the memorable words of Alan Watts: Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown


    Sunday surprise 8: introducing “Quotes from Outer Orbits”

    Sunday, October 13th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron -- eccentric cleanliness and uncleanness, and a righteous blast of Handel ]

    I ran across two quotes the other day that made me decided to start a collection of what I’ll call “Quotes from Outer Orbits”. Here are the first two:

    My first pick comes from the label of one of Dr Bronner’s Magical Soaps:

    Replace half-true Socialist-fluoride poison & tax-slavery with full-truth, work-speech-press & profitsharing Socialaction! All-One! So, help build 4 billion Hannibal wind-power plants, charging 96 billion battery-banks, powering every car-factory-farm-home-monorail & pump, watering Babylon-roof-gardens & 800 billion Israel-Milorganite fruit trees, guarded by Swiss 6000 year Universal Military Training

    My second is a lot fiercer, but no less strange — it’s from radio host Pete Santilli, speaking on air:

    I want to shoot her right in the vagina and I don’t want her to die right away; I want her to feel the pain and I want to look her in the eyes and I want to say, on behalf of all Americans that you’ve killed, on behalf of the Navy SEALS, the families of Navy SEAL Team Six who were involved in the fake hunt down of this Obama, Obama bin Laden thing, that whole fake scenario, because these Navy SEALS know the truth, they killed them all. On behalf of all of those people, I’m supporting our troops by saying we need to try, convict, and shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina.

    I’ll take the literal soap box over the metaphorical one, thanks!


    But I don’t mean to leave you depressed at the state of the world. Meanwhile the Ensemble Zaïs, led by Benoît Babel, plays one of Handel‘s Organ Concerti with a vitality that inspires me…

    Who can despair at this?


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