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Nemesis is teh “unanticipated consequence” of hubris

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — a veritable rule of thumb ]
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Swiss Army Knife

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Let me steer clear of both foreign policy and presidential candidates, and simply quote Cheryl Rofer from her recent twitter fusillade re Neil deGrasse Tyson:

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Humility has as many applications as a Swiss Army Knife.

JM Berger swiftly doubletweets Seamus Hughes

Friday, March 4th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — coffee on the rocks with blarney ]
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Seamus Hughes tweets:

to which JM responds, rapidfire:

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For the record, that’s not just idle Twitter, that’s actionable intelligence:

A misappropriated image?

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — minor correction to a USG CVE tweet ]
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I don’t think there’s any room for doubt about the Islamic State enslaving captured women and selling them. The IS magazine Dabiq, issue 4, under the heading The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour, recounts:

After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Shar?’ah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations, after one fifth of the slaves were transferred to the Islamic State’s authority to be divided as khums.

This large-scale enslavement of mushrik families is probably the first since the abandonment of this Shar?’ah law. The only other known case – albeit much smaller – is that of the enslavement of Christian women and children in the Philippines and Nigeria by the mujahidin there. The enslaved Yazidi families are now sold by the Islamic State soldiers as the mushrik?n were sold by the Companions (radiyallahu ‘anhum) before them. Many well-known rulings are observed, including the prohibition of separating a mother from her young children.

There’s even a theological justification offered – the avoidance of sin. Discussing the long period in which slavery was no longer practiced in Islam, the writer says:

Finally, a number of contemporary scholars have mentioned that the desertion of slavery had led to an increase in fahishah (adultery, fornication, etc.), because the shar’i alternative to marriage is not available, so a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation towards sin.

Furthermore, Dabiq issue 9 contains an article titled Slave Girls or Prostitutes by one Umm Sumayyah al-Muhajirah in which the writer, poresumably a woman, writes:

I and those with me at home prostrated to Allah in gratitude on the day the first slave-girl entered our home. Yes, we thanked our Lord for having let us live to the day we saw kufr humiliated and its banner destroyed. Here we are today, and after centuries, reviving a prophetic Sunnah, which both the Arab and non-Arab enemies of Allah had buried. By Allah, we brought it back by the edge of the sword, and we did not do so through pacifism, negotiations, democracy, or elections. We established it according to the prophetic way, with blood-red swords, not with fingers for voting or tweeting.

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However, the image used by USG in the tweet above appears to be a photo taken for Reuters by photographer Ali Hashisho, with the legend:

Shiite Muslim women chained to one another march During a reenactment of the Battle of Karbala During a mourning process, two days before the day of Ashura, in Saksakieh village, southern Lebanon. December 4, 2011

As I say, this doesn’t in any way disprove the Islamic State’s use of slavery as a religiously sanctioned practice.

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I’m not the first to notice this misattribution — but I do think it’s worth getting these things right, and this is not the first time an Ashura photograph has been misattributed in this way. For an earlier mistaken use of an image from an Ashura procession to illustrate IS treatment of captured women, see this piece.

What you say on Twitter, stays on Twitter

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — plus a quick followup to my post on Political candidates and religion ]
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Also of interest:

to which Sarah Posner responded:

On the orthogonality of rabbit and duck

Monday, February 1st, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — a brief comic digression about them and us ]
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Generally, we’re stuck with this:

It is a good one, I’ll admit.

I’m inclined, however, to agree with this analysis on occasion:

What I hadn’t realized, though, is that the theriomorphic rabbit and duck divinities in question are orthogonally related:

Very clever!

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Two sides to every coin, two hands for every koan?


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