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Released, recidivist

Friday, July 31st, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — Jerusalem and San Francisco, religious and not ]
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Two recent cases of recidivism:

Today:

and just a short while ago:

**

In making the comparison, it is worth considering that in one case there were multiple wounded victims, in the other one victim killed; that in one case there’s a very close correspondence between the earlier and later crimes, in the other not so much; that in once case the concept of sanctuary cities is involved, in the other not; that in one case there was a clear religious motive, while in the other, not; that one plays into a narrative on the right, the other on the left..

My personal interest will be to see whether the Jerusalem Pride stabber claims he acted, as did Phineas in Numbers 25, without consulting a religious authority — because he knew he was carrying out the will of G*d. Yigal Amir, the assassin of Yitzak Rabin, made that claim according to the late Israeli analyst, Ehud Sprinzak.

BTW, flags

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — along the lines of yoga chitta vritti nirodha ]
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Obviously. I am going to be interested in the DoubleQuote in the Wild juxtaposition to two flags in a political cartoon commentary on last week’s events in the US, but I still find it very hard to decide whether the appropriate DoubleQuote to embed it in is this:

SPEC DQ flags 2

where the “ISIS flag” is in fact a satirical play on the IS flag with silhouetted sex-toys in place of the calligraphy…

Or this — well, actually, no contest, this one gets my vote by a zen mile!

SPEC DQ flags 1

Because, well..

SPEC DQ flags 3

I guess that’s my analytic bottom line, right there in Patanjali‘s Yoga Sutras.

**

Sources:

  • This week in flags #lovewins
  • CNN Claimed to Spot an ISIS Flag at a Gay Pride March. It Was Actually a Drawing of Sex Toys
  • Not the wind, not the flag
  • Yoga Sutras: ‘Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodhah': ‘Yoga is the Cessation of Modifications of Mind’
  • Miraculous!

    Thursday, June 11th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — miracle in Egypt, human perfection in Russia ]
    .

    It’s not entirely clear, then, why he would need to be “shriven ” — have his confession heard and be granted absolution — by Abbot Ephraim

    To be fair, though — Putin‘s exact words, as reported in the body of the Independent post:

    It appears that the Lord built my life in a way that I have nothing to regret.

    Not quite the same thing as “God wanted him to be perfect” — although, doesn’t God want that for everyone? Matthew 5.48, at least in the King James version.

    **

    Meanwhile in Egypt:

    Jabhat al-Nusra and IS: same hadith, same message

    Friday, May 22nd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — just a curiosity ]
    .

    SPEC DQ same hadith JN IS

    The hadith quoted in the upper panel is from p. 11 of the new issue of Dabiq, the magazine of the Islamic State.

    Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi captions the hadith in the lower panel:

    “When a son of Adam dies, his deeds are cut off except for three things: ongoing charity, knowledge from which one can obtain benefit, or the supplication of a righteous son for him.” [hadith on the authority of Abu Huraira]

    His post attributes it, along with many other examples, to Jabhat al-Nusra.

    **

    Sources:

  • Islamic State, Dabiq issue 9, p 11
  • Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Archive of Jabhat al-Nusra Billboards and Murals
  • Insight into Iraq in Seierstad’s bio of Anders Breivik

    Monday, April 27th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — another example of what I call “landmines in the garden” ]
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    I wouldn’t have picked a bio of Anders Breivik as a likely source for insights into Iraq, but Åsne Seierstad‘s bio, One of Us, provides one all the same… first quoting the Qur’anic sura Al-Anfal (upper panel, below) in her epigraph to a chapter —

    SPEC DQ Al-Anfal

    — then commenting on that quotation (lower panel, above) a page later.

    **

    What interests me here is Seierstad’s last sentence as quoted in the lower panel:

    By naming the campaign of extermination after a sura of the Qur’an, the Iraqi government sought to legitimate its executions as a war against believers.

    We have seen jihadists quote scripture often enough to suggest they have divine sanction for their acts of violence. Here it was Saddam Hussein in 1988 whose interpretation of the Qur’an provided that sanction. And I emphasize the word “interpretation” since Sura 8, Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War), was received shortly after the Battle of Badr, which it is understood to describe in detail, and its applicability by analogy to completely different circumstances such as Saddam’s campaign against the Kurds (and also, as Wikipedia notes, Assyrians, Shabaks, Iraqi Turkmens, Yazidis, Jews, and Mandeans) is indeed interpretive and subjective rather than “authoritative”.

    Saddam Hussein’s “authority” in Quranic exegesis would be questionable at best — so long as one was not overheard questioning it in Iraq at the time.

    Specifically, the very next verse of Al-Anfal clarifies the context. It does not say “When you find the unbelievers living in their villages and towns” — it says:

    O believers, when you encounter the unbelievers marching to battle, turn not your backs to them.

    But it is a little late for anyone to presume to give Saddam Hussein lessons in the book he once ordered written in his own blood, least of all myself.

    **

    My overall point here is that the world’s scriptures in general offer paths towards paradise, pardes, pardis — a tranquil garden or orchard. Not infrequently, though, they also contain texts which can blow up in our faces if read not in historical context but with contemporary violent intent.

    Landmines in the Garden.

    Caveat lector.


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