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DoubleQuotes in DC — and in Hebron, S Africa and Saudi

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

[ Charles Cameron -- anti-semitic? isislamlamophobic? apartheid arguments on buses and street signs, etc ]

I’ve been tracking how geopolitical arguments are conducted on the sides of buses for a while now [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ], and the latest round brought Pamela Geller out again, this time making the connection between the the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler on the one hand, and the Qur’an on the other:


I was interested to see whether there was a Muslim bus campaign to counterbalance this, and found this ad, which (it seems to me) preaches to the choir…


So those two ads make a DoubleQuote in my terms, though they’re too long and thin for my usual DQ format.


Okay, but when you go searching, you find things you were not looking for, but that still interest you — and during the searches I made to find those two bus ads, I also ran across this, which looked like a DoubleQuote in the Wild:


That’s an attempt to distinguish between Israel’s situation and that of South Africa, and following along that trail I cam across two other items of interest. The first combats the frequent assumption that Israel is an apartheid state not by denying it but by suggesting that Saudi Arabia certainly is…


While the second, in some ways a perfect match for the first, suggests that Israel is indeed running an apartheid system, as demonstrated by the segregation into Jewish and Arab sections of a street in Hebron:


Part of what interests me in these two shots of roads, however, is that they’re not strictly speaking DoubleQuotes – in each case, we have a single image which serves as a DQ because the division / comparison is already present in the frame of the photo.

In anthro terms, that’s contageous rather than sympatheic linkage — contagious and sympathetic being the two classif forms of magic., one having to do with items in contact with one anoither, the other with objests sharing a likeness. There are also correlattions with CS Peirce‘s ideas of icon, index and symbol, and Korzybski‘s territory and map.

In terms of the theorizing of Hipbone-Sembl thinking, those are interesting correspondences to note.



  • Islamic Jew hatred
  • We’re sweating April 15
  • Apartheid State / Assieged State
  • Islamic Apartheid
  • Hebron, with distinction marked
  • Hebron, original by Michael Huniewicz
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    A claim that al-Baghdadi is the Dajjal, maybe?

    Sunday, May 11th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- also, the split between AQC and ISIS in a nutshell: rival claims to the title of Amir al-Mu'minin ]

    A site with the domain name “Horn of Satan” carries this banner at the head of each post.


    I’m intrigued by an article in today’s Al Arabiya News by Dr Theodore Karasik, Is ISIS bigger than al-Qaeda?, in which he writes:

    Al-Baghdadi has designated himself as a global leader of the jihad fighters in particular and of Muslims in general, and as a herald of the Caliphate. Importantly, al-Baghdadi argues an apocalyptic viewpoint: “One should also beware of the likelihood of a false messiah claimant appearing among them, who would in fact be the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).”

    A mention of the Dajjal in the context of ISIS and al-Baghdadi merits a slightly closer look, so I searched on “One should also beware of the likelihood of a false messiah claimant appearing among them” and found Dr Karasik’s article and three other hits, all of them from the site called Horn of Satan. All three refer to the same post from January 21st 2014 on that site, Self Declared Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of Isis the prophesied false Caliph?


    Dr Karasik’s article appeared to be quoting al-Baghdadi as warning us against the arising of a false messiah, the Dajjal, but the Horn of Satan post appears to have a different slant:

    The Wahhabis usually disregard, downplay and even mock any importance for the lineage of Prophet Muhammed (saw) and they make secular equalitarian arguments against traditionalist Muslims in regards to this. But recently all of a sudden some of the takfiri Wahhabis of ISIS (a savage Khawarij cult group that is slaughtering Muslims in Syria, and made of mostly foreigners like Saudis and other takfiris from foreign countries), have been quite flashy in displaying a long name for their leader “Amir ul-Mu’minin – Abu Bakr Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi Al-Baghdadi”. Praise be to Allah, our Prophet (saw) taught us enough to respond to such false claimants.

    This is then followed by ahadith regarding the Dajjal from two of the major collections, Abu Dawud and Sahih Muslim. Commenting on the first of these in terms of its applicability to al-Baghdadi, the writer says:

    Whether this prophecy refers to him is a speculation although probable. But the meaning contained in it would still apply to him and the likes of him.

    One should also beware of the likelihood of a false messiah claimant appearing among them, who would in fact be the Dajjal (Anti-Christ). These Khawarij at present have their strength in a region between Iraq and Syria, and this is the place from which Dajjal would likely emerge.

    So the remark about “the likelihood of a false messiah claimant appearing among them” is not a warning from al-Baghdadi, as Dr Karasik implies when he introduces it with the phrase “al-Baghdadi argues an apocalyptic viewpoint: followed by a colon. It is a warning about al-Baghdadi as a possible Dajjal and and ISIS as a group from which such a figure might well be expected to arise.


    And why select al-Baghdadi and ISIS or these dubious honors? The Horn of Satan site — which would appear to be the source of the English translation of the quote Dr Karasik uses — explains both the choice of the potential Dajjal…

    But recently all of a sudden some of the takfiri Wahhabis of ISIS (a savage Khawarij cult group that is slaughtering Muslims in Syria, and made of mostly foreigners like Saudis and other takfiris from foreign countries), have been quite flashy in displaying a long name for their leader “Amir ul-Mu’minin – Abu Bakr Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi Al-Baghdadi”

    and the geographic location, suggesting that ISIS might be the group from which the Dajjal would emerge:

    These Khawarij at present have their strength in a region between Iraq and Syria, and this is the place from which Dajjal would likely emerge.

    Here’s the somewhat enigmatic marked-up screengrab from what looks to be a FaceBook page, used in the Horn of Satan post to illustrate the “flashy .. long name” given to al-Baghdadi:

    FWIW, Musa Cerantonio is an Australian convert to Islam with a show on Saudi TV called “Ask the Sheikh, according to a December 2012 MEMRI bio. I suspect his FB page may have been taken down…


    Within jihadist ranks, Mullah Omar of the Taliban was hailed as Amir al-Mu’minin after he donned the cloak, mantle and authority of the Prophet, so to speak — some of the statements I quote in that piece describing the event are a little over the top, and the word “authority” in my title should be read in the metaphoric sense of “mantle”.

    So Al-Qaida’s Ayman al-Zawahiri regards Mullah Omar as the Amir al-Mu’minin and ISIS gives al-Baghdadi the title — and there in a nutshell you have the split between AQC and ISIS, playing out on a battlefield near you in the fighting between ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.

    Not that the title doesn’t have other claimants — both King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III of Sokoto are also so styled.

    And the title is more closely related to the Caliphate than to the Mahdi…


    As an aside — a “vending machine living in the clouds”…

    The Horn of Satan site has its own echatological component, which you’ll find in the final post of their series, Answering Muhammed bin Abdul Wahab’s Four Principles of Shirk, titled The Four Principles in Light of End Times Tribulations. It consists mainly of ahadith warning of the coming of the Dajja, with a brief intro para attacking the English language booklet of Muhammad ibn ?Abd al-Wahhab‘s Four Principles, saying:

    It opens the way for the enemies of Islam to attack the foundational doctrines of Islam. It is of the end time’s dajjalic plots that has deluded the modern day khawarij, into making true Muslims appear as polytheists and vice versa, and in making the path to heaven appear as hell and vice versa. It turns God into a vending machine living in the clouds, paving the way for people with such creed to be easily receptacle in taking dajjal as god.

    Also of potential interest — a page titled Educational Curriculum and Sources for Boko Haram (A Wahhabi sub-cult in Nigeria, which hosts extracts from Dr Ahmad Murtada‘s Boko Haram: Its Beginnings, Principles and Activities in Nigeria.

    Enough. And I’m a bit bleary-minded, I hope this makes sense.


    DQ: Syria/Saudi two way street

    Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- two way street, aka boomerang, aka blowback ]


  • From Saudi Arabia to Syria: Aaron Zelin, The Saudi Foreign Fighter Presence in Syria
  • From Syria to Saudi Arabia: Asharq al-Awsat, Saudi Arabia arrests first ISIS-related terror cell
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    Whodunnit, WaPo?

    Friday, March 21st, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- a small matter -- of some concern to journos and scholars perhaps -- of truth in attribution ]

    My twitter feed this morning included this:

    Now Stéphane Lacroix is a scholar of salafism and politics at Sciences Po whose little book with Thomas Hegghammer, The Meccan Rebellion, marks him as someone the mere mention of whose name generates a click-through, a download and — time permitting — a careful reading.

    I clicked, I saw, I printed to .pdf.

    And that’s where things got just a little strange.


    In the upper panel below, you’ll see what I saw when I clicked through to the WaPo site as suggested by McCants:

    — while in the lower panel above, you’ll see what I saw when I hit their “print” button.


    I’ve “enlarged” the credits in those two screencaps, and I do understand that the WaPo “Monkey Cage” blog-post in question was likely posted by Marc Lynch, fow which I’m grateful, and that even the “for print” version gives Lacroix credit at the very end of the piece, noting in italics:

    Stéphane Lacroix is an associate professor of political science at Sciences Po in Paris, France.

    Today, I notice all this. In a year or three, though, if for some reason I want to quote the piece after finding it by a quick search for MB-related file-titles on my laptop, I’m liable to attribute it to Lynch rather than Lacroix. Because the downloaded .pdf copy I now have stored away tells me the piece was “By Marc Lynch”.

    Whose opinions I also respect. But who didn’t in fact write it.


    From my POV the world is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing — not even my inclination to change things I notice and find unhelpful.

    Like failing to distinguish “written by” from “translated by” and “posted by” — or “date posted” and “date last updated” from “date downloaded” for that matter…

    Because — forget truth in advertising, it’s a lost oxymoron — we could really use something as basic as truth in attribution, okay?


    And now I’ll go read the article.


    200 lashes for a Saudi rape victim???

    Sunday, September 29th, 2013

    [ by Charles Cameron -- how a half-baked, re-raked tale from 2007, now showing on my local Facebook, gets things all wrong ]

    Let’s set the record straight.

    It seems that Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times did the amplification in this case. He tweeted, and Mia Farrow retweeted him, so we know what he said:

    I can’t find Kristof’s original tweet, I guess he’s deleted it. About the same time Mia Farrow was RTing it, though, and thus saving it for the record, he tweeted:

    And if you go to JM Hall‘s twitter stream, you’ll see that he was schooling Kristof on this one, and pointed him to an NYT piece from 2007. Funny, that — being an NYT piece and all…


    Anyway, the word got out on Facebook and went at least a little viral. And that’s sad. Because while the story does illustrate the state of jurisprudence in Saudi in 2007, the raped girl never actually received those 200 lashes — she was personally pardoned by the King.

    Which should be a reason for rejoicing, not condemnation.

    But here’s how it was presented on my FB page —

    That does somewhat encourage the reader to think she did in fact receive those lashes, doesn’t it?


    I understand, Nick Kristof tweeted it — and he’s the good guy who helps a whole heap of socially beneficial causes around the world that deserve all the support and encouragement he can bring them. I’m not disputing that, in fact I’ll gladly stipulate it.

    But the story was wrong, and wrong in a damaging way. And forwarding or endorsing this sort of thing makes me very sad. Let me explain why.

    The Examiner.com is an outfits that “operates a network of local news websites, allowing ‘pro–am contributors’” — nothing wrong with that, you just need to be careful when you read them, in other words.

    The Examiner article in question quotes the Clarion Project, calling it “the women’s rights-centered news portal” when it’s far better known as the source of a whole lot of anti-Islamic propaganda — the Muslim organization CAIR lists Clarion among the “Islamophobia Network’s inner core” groups, while Clarion views CAIR with similar distaste. Okay, maybe they cancel each other out, let’s stipulate that, too.

    But the article then states that the Clarion piece was posted “on Sept. 22, 2013″ — whereas if you click through, you’ll find it’s actually dated Thu, November 15, 2007 — it’s 5 going on 6 years old. So why drag it up again now?


    Retired US diplomat John Burgess who blogs about Saudi Arabia quotes to us, in a blog post from December 2007 and titled ‘Qatif Girl’ Receives Saudi Royal Pardon, an article from Agence France Presse in Riyadh, also dated December 2007, which can tells us what actually happened — how this unhappy story ended:

    RIYADH (AFP) — Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has pardoned a teenage girl sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes after being gang raped, Al Jazirah newspaper reported on Monday.

    The ruling against the 19-year-old girl in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom had attracted widespread international condemnation, including from human rights groups and the White House.

    The Arabic language daily said it had been informed of the royal pardon from its own, unidentified, sources.
    But in the same article, the kingdom’s Justice Minister Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Ibrahim Al Shaikh told the paper the king had the “right to overrule court judgements if he considered it benefiting the greater good.”
    The minister added that the king, who is viewed by many as a cautious reformer, was concerned with “the needs of the people and the court judgments that are made against them.”

    Got that? Pardoned. By the King. Who is viewed as a cautious reformer.

    I hope Kristof and Farrow have let their friends know…


    So the Examiner writer whose work Kristof and others are quoting has:

  • picked up a nasty story from Saudia Arabia almost six years ago,
  • that actually didn’t end in a girl being given 200 lashes for being raped
  • but resulted in the King personally pardoning her,
  • thus moving Saudi jurisprudence in a very welcome new direction
  • — and posted it without any of the redeeming parts, with attribution to a group that’s not exactly friendly to the House of Saud, and getting the date wrong by almost six years in the process… And then well-meaning, generous people — Nick Kristoff and some of my friends among them — circulate this ugly and incomplete story, without first checking to see what truth there is to it.

    I quoted a source without checking its veracity only the other day [1, 2, 3], so I’m in no position to go around blaming people who don’t check their sources. But seeing this particular story of the 200 lashes go viral makes me sad — because repeating it only stirs up righteous anger, disgust and hatred.

    Rape is terrible. A penal code that sentences people to 200 lashes is way, way beyond my sense of justice. But I don’t believe stirring up hatred between nations or against religions is the path we want to choose…


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